High blood cholesterol is a serious problem and it can have a significant impact on the health of an individual. Cholesterol is a fat like substance which is essential for the formation of bile acids. Bile acids allow the body to digest fat.
Cholesterol is a fat that is made by the liver and some cholesterol in the body comes from the food that we eat, that is foods that come from animals such as egg and dairy products. Cholesterol is important for health and some cholesterol is needed to maintain good health, but too much cholesterol in the body increases the risk of developing heart disease and increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
Cholesterol is transported to the bloodstream by lipoproteins and there are two different types of lipoproteins - Low density lipoprotein and high density lipoprotein.
- Low density lipoprotein - It is also known as bad cholesterol. This is because having high level of low density lipoprotein in the body acts as a risk factor for heart disease.
- High density lipoprotein - It is also known as good cholesterol. This is because having high level of high density lipoprotein in the body reduces the risk of developing heart disease.
How high blood cholesterol affect the heart?
High blood cholesterol is one of the most common causes of heart disease, in some cases heart attack or stroke. This is because too much cholesterol in the blood can get trapped in the artery walls and over time, leads to the buildup of plaque. When the buildup of plaque occurs in the coronary arteries.
Coronary arteries are the arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart. A buildup of plaque in coronary arteries leads to the complete or partial blockage of these arteries that affects the flow of blood to the heart muscles. Lack of oxygen rich blood to heart muscles makes it unable for the heart to pump blood properly, resulting in the development of heart problem.
High blood cholesterol can affect any artery in the body and when it affect coronary arteries, it is known as coronary artery disease.
Here are some of the ways to reduce blood cholesterol level
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce blood cholesterol level and also to reduce the risk of having high blood cholesterol. Exercise is also effective in weight management and reducing the risk of suffering from obesity. Obesity is a metabolic disorder which is highly prevalent and is associated with various health complications.
Overweight is known to increase low density lipoprotein and lowers high density lipoprotein in the body. It also raises triglycerides, which is a fatty substance in the blood that increases the risk of a heart problem. Being physically active have multiple numbers of health benefits which are directly or indirectly correlated with blood cholesterol level. Blood cholesterol level can be increased by many factors and most of these factors are linked to exercise. Exercise has a positive impact on almost all the factors.
Diet and nutrition have a role to play in every aspect and every stage in life. What we eat has a big role to play in maintaining health. It is the same for blood cholesterol level as well. What we eat can have a significant impact on cholesterol level in the blood. Choosing a right rood is essential for maintaining normal blood cholesterol. Some of the food items that can help to keep normal blood cholesterol level are as follows:
- Avocado - It is one of the most nutrient rich food which is known to significantly reduce low density lipoprotein and triglyceride levels, and increase high density lipoprotein levels in the blood. Avocado is highly rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and research suggests that the consumption of a diet that is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids has a positive effect on serum lipid and has been associated with lower risk of coronary heart disease.
- Soy - Soy is a rich source of various essential nutrients such as protein, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. An adequate amount of nutrient in the body helps in maintaining the right level of cholesterol in the blood and food is the main source of cholesterol in the body. It lowers low density lipoprotein and reduces the risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease.
- Nuts - Consumption of nuts is beneficial for various health problems, including high blood cholesterol. Nuts are known to contain many constituents or compounds such as phytosterols and phenolic compounds, that has a positive impact on the health of a person.
3. Do not use harmful substances
Using harmful substances such as tobacco consumption, cigarette smoking, and excessive consumption of alcohol is extremely harmful to the health of an individual. These substances are associated with the development of a large number of diseases. Multiple studies have suggested that these substances are strongly associated with the development of heart disease and high blood cholesterol is one of the causes of it.
- Cigarette smoke is one of the common contributors to atherosclerosis, one of the heart disease and many changes in the body due to cigarette smoke promotes atherosclerosis, changes such as increased low density lipoprotein cholesterol, endothelial dysfunction, and a decrease in nitric oxide. The substances and the chemicals present in cigarette smoke causes an increase in LDL cholesterol and triglyceride and a decrease in HDL cholesterol.
- Although alcohol is a negative substance, when consumption becomes excessive, it becomes one of the most harmful substances for the body. It is well known at moderate consumption of alcohol can have an impact on cholesterol level, but excessive consumption can significantly affect cholesterol level and leads to the development of heart disease.