Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in body cells. The body needs cholesterol to produce certain hormones, vitamin D, and to make substances that help digest foods. Too much cholesterol in the blood results in plaque formation in the blood vessels.
There are two types of cholesterol –
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – This is the bad cholesterol that makes the arteries hard and narrow.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) – This is the good cholesterol that collects the excess cholesterol and deposits it in the liver.
Symptoms of high cholesterol
Unfortunately, high cholesterol does not show any symptoms but can cause an emergency such as a heart attack or stroke. A blood test is the only method to know the cholesterol level.
Causes and Risk Factors of High Cholesterol
If high cholesterol runs in the family, you are more likely to develop the condition.
Women after menopause usually have a low level of bad cholesterol.
The risk of high cholesterol levels increases as the person gets older.
Eating deep fry oily foods, and a high level of saturated and unsaturated fats can shoot the cholesterol level.
Your physical activity
Leading a sedentary lifestyle can make it tough for the body to clear bad cholesterol.
People who are obese or overweight are more likely to develop a high level of triglyceride and bad cholesterol (LDL).
High blood sugar level
Diabetes is one of the chronic health conditions that is linked to a high level of LDL (bad cholesterol).
Ways to control high cholesterol
Be choosy with the food you eat
The body makes its cholesterol hence one need not get it from foods.
- Avoid eating foods high in saturated and trans fats.
- Select foods low in sodium, trans fats, saturated fats, and added sugars.
- Eat foods rich in fiber, nuts, and foods without saturated fats.
Check your weighing scale
Being overweight or obese impairs the body’s ability to remove bad cholesterol. People with high BMI along with high cholesterol level increases the risk of heart problems. For managing obesity and cholesterol level –
- Check your BMI and know where you fall
- Consult a dietician for a healthy food plan to maintain a healthy weight
Smoking has a damaging effect on the blood vessels. It accelerates the hardening of the arteries. Quitting smoking lowers LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and increases HDL (good cholesterol) cholesterol. One should also avoid passive smoking.
Keeping yourself physically active has a significant effect on lowering cholesterol and managing high blood pressure.
Limit alcohol intake
Excessive alcohol intake increases triglyceride (a type of fat) in the blood.
Follow the instructions
Follow the advice of your healthcare provider. And do not stop the medication unless recommended.
Keep a regular check on cholesterol level
Get your cholesterol level tested in a recommended time interval.
Talk to your healthcare provider and take all possible measures to manage high cholesterol level. This can prevent heart problems, kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and other health problems.