Some Ways To Prevent High LDL Cholesterol Levels
Every other day we hear of people having a heart attack and most often it is associated with cholesterol. Although like every other substance in the body cholesterol is also important for existence, but too much cholesterol can be equally harmful.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy fatty substance that is made in the liver and is found naturally within the cells in the body. The body produces the amount of cholesterol needed by the body, and it can also be attained by the foods that we eat. Normally, the body produces the amount of cholesterol required by the body, therefore, there is no need to consume foods that increases the concentration of cholesterol in the bloodstream.
Primarily cholesterol is required for boosting immune system and for the production of certain hormones. Cholesterol flows in the bloodstream in two forms - low density lipoprotein and high density lipoprotein.
- Low density lipoprotein is also known as bad cholesterol as high levels of this cholesterol could lead to the occurrence of heart diseases
- High density lipoprotein is also known as good cholesterol as high levels of this cholesterol is beneficial for the heart and reduces the risk of suffering from heart disease.
How does cholesterol affect our body?
Some cholesterol is required by the body but too much cholesterol in the blood increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. This is because cholesterol could cause the arteries to harden which could affect the flow of blood to the heart muscle. Too much bad cholesterol in the blood could lead to the buildup of plaque in the arteries (coronary arteries) that carry oxygen rich blood to the heart. As a result, the blood is unable to reach the heart which makes it difficult for it to function normally.
Many people often say that ignorance is bliss but when it comes to the health of a person, ignorance can be the biggest mistake. Many times, change in lifestyle is important for us in order to be more conscious about the health. Many lifestyle factors can play a role in reducing the risk of increasing the levels of low density lipoprotein and some of them are as follows:
Weight management is considered to be one of the most important factors to maintain the health of a person. Body mass index of a person is associated with the functioning of various organs in the body. Multiple studies have shown that people who are obese or overweight are at high risk of dying from heart disease, and high cholesterol level could be the cause of it.
In medical terms, obesity is defined as the accumulation of excess fat in the body such that it affects the functioning of other systems in the body. High fat in the body increases low density lipoprotein cholesterol in the blood.
You must have heard people saying that exercise is an effective way to reduce the risk of suffering from heart disease, this is because exercise has an in fact on almost all the factors that can cause heart problems, including cholesterol. Exercise helps to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol.
Eat healthy food
Eating habits play a crucial role to ensure healthy life. Making the right Choice of food is important to live a healthy life. When we talk about cholesterol, three diets are known to increase the levels of low density lipoprotein in the blood:
- Saturated fat - Mostly found in food from animals.
- Trans fat - Mostly found in foods that are made from oil or hydrogenated fat.
- Foods that come only from animal products.
On the other hand, there are some foods that are known to reduce the risk of dying from heart disease, which is associated with cholesterol. For example, a diet that allows the intake of sufficient fiber is said to be healthy for a patient having cholesterol problem. Research has suggested that people who consume at least 23-30g of fiber each day can lower low density lipoprotein cholesterol. Some of the foods that can help in lowering cholesterol:
1.Soy - It is said to be an amazing food which is highly nutritious as it contains all essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that are highly beneficial for the body. Soy is a rich source of compounds like isoflavones, genistein, and daidzein that contain hypocholesterolemic effect. Isoflavones are known to significantly reduce total and low density lipoprotein cholesterol.
2. Nuts - Many times, nuts are considered to be unhealthy due to its high fat content but the fat present in nuts are healthy. In fact, nuts are healthy foods that can help in preventing the occurrence of various health problems, including heart disease. One way through which nuts are helpful is that they are rich in plant sterols and other natural compounds that contribute to cholesterol lowering and it does this by interfering with cholesterol absorption.
3. Avocado - It is an amazing fruit that not only helps to lower cholesterol levels but also helps to prevent and treat other health problems. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and intake of foods that are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids has a positive effect on cholesterol levels.
Cigarette smoking is considered to be the most important modifiable factor for heart disease. Studies have indicated that smoking is associated with an increase in the levels of low density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride, and decrease in the levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol. The increase in the intensity of smoking leads to an increase in atherogenic lipoprotein and an increase in anti-atherogenic lipoprotein.
Reduced high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels results from alterations of critical enzymes of lipid transport lowering lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase activity and altering cholesterol ester transfer protein (CETP) and hepatic lipase activity. Studies observed that the levels of HDL-C was significantly lower in smokers compared to nonsmokers. Smoking can increase the levels of LDL - C and could lead to the buildup of cholesterol or fat in the arteries in the body, including arteries that carry oxygen rich blood to the heart muscle.
Other than the above said lifestyle factors that are many other factors as well that can significantly affect the cholesterol levels in a person. In many cases, genetics play a role in high cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. The family history of a person can also affect cholesterol level. Many people follow a healthy and balanced diet, but still have high cholesterol level. This can occur due to genetics.