Everyone has different requirement for cholesterol, but high cholesterol can cause problems in the body. A smooth, fat-like substance, cholesterol helps with important body functions such as developing new cells and creating hormones. The body gets cholesterol in two ways: 80% is produced by the liver, and the remaining comes from the food we eat. Cholesterol is discovered in foods from animal products like cheese, poultry, meat, or fish.
Foods that do not consist of animal products may have another harmful substance named trans fats, which cause the body to prepare more cholesterol. Also, foods with saturated fats make the body produce high cholesterol. Foods with high sugar are also linked with growing higher cholesterol levels in the blood.
It is transferred by the bloodstream by connecting to certain proteins. The combination is named a lipoprotein. Different types of lipoproteins transferred through blood:
Low-Density Lipoprotein (Bad Cholesterol)
When high LDL circulates in the bloodstream, it can slowly increase in the inner arteries walls, which feed blood to the body. Together with different substances, it can build-up plaque. Plaque is a solid deposit that can shrink the arteries and reduce its flexibility, which leads to low blood flow. This condition is called atherosclerosis. As the artery stiffen and constrict, reduced blood can get through, leading to ischemia, or a lack of essential nutrient. If a blockage or clot forms in a narrowed artery to the heart or the brain, a stroke problem or heart attack can happen.
High-Density-Lipoprotein (Good Cholesterol)
About 1/4-1/3 of the blood cholesterol transferred by HDL. HDL cholesterol is described as good cholesterol because increased levels of HDL stop heart attack. Low HDL levels less than 40-mg/dL also raise the risk of plaque and heart ailments. HDL tends to transfer cholesterol away from the arteries and get back to the liver, where it goes out of the body. It cover up the bad cholesterol.
Triglycerides — Blood Fats
Triglyceride is a type of fat produced in the body. Raise triglycerides can be because of obesity or overweight, cigarette smoking, physical inactivity, diabetes, high alcohol consumption, or a diet with high in carbohydrates (60% of total calories or more). People consuming high triglycerides, often have a high total cholesterol level, including a high LDL level and low HDL level.
Many individuals with diabetes or heart disease also increase high triglyceride levels.
Lipoprotein is a genetic variation of bad cholesterol. A high lipoprotein level is a significant risk factor for the premature growth of fatty deposits in arteries. Lipoprotein is not completely understood, but it may interact using substances discovered in artery walls and leads to the fatty deposit build-up.
Types of Cholesterol Problems
Coronary heart disease
Cholesterol problem is highly linked with heart disease because of a coronary heart ailment. Your blood cholesterol levels are mainly responsible for heart disease. If your cholesterol is high, then it develops on the artery walls. Gradually, this build-up is called atherosclerosis. This condition leads to arteries narrow and narrow blood vessels, which reduce blood flow to your heart. It can lead to chest pain (chest pain) from insufficient blood flow getting to the heart or heart attack in case of a total blocked blood vessel and heart muscle start to die.
Type 2 diabetes
Type-2 diabetes is another ailment linked to high cholesterol because diabetes can influence different levels of cholesterol. Even if blood sugar control is necessary, people with diabetes tend to have raised triglycerides, lowered high-density lipoprotein, and sometimes raised low-density lipoprotein. It increases the chances of atherosclerosis.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that transports nutrient and oxygen to the brain cause ruptures or blockage. A stroke can result if the blood supply to the brain gets decreased. When a stroke happens, the brain begins to shrink. When a stroke happens, part of the brain cannot get the oxygen and blood it required and begin to die.
High cholesterol also has been related to peripheral-arterial-disease, which refers to the illness of blood vessels that are out of the heart and brain. In PAD, fatty deposits develop along artery walls and influence blood circulation, principally in arteries leading to feet and legs. The arteries of the kidney can also get affected.
High Blood Pressure
Hypertension or high Bp and elevated cholesterol are likewise connected with cholesterol. When the courses become limited and solidified with cholesterol plaque and calcium, the heart needs to strain a lot harder to siphon the blood by them. Thus, the circulatory strain turns out to be strangely high.
How To Lower Bad Cholesterol?
LDL cholesterol can cause to block arteries, which can lead to stroke, disease, and another arterial ailment like arteriosclerosis. Here are some foods that help you lower bad cholesterol naturally.
Oat bran, oatmeal, high fiber foods
Oatmeal loaded with soluble fiber, which is an agent called lowered LDL cholesterol. Having only 5-10 gms of soluble fiber can help lower LDL cholesterol. You can even consume 1 ½ cups of cooked oatmeal, to have the right number of fiber in your diet.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Eating fish that provide omega-3s can be the best help in the quest to lower LDL cholesterol. Some fish that consist of the highest amount of Omega-3 fatty acids include:
- Lake trout
- Albacore tuna
Try to bake or barbecue the fish to exclude any undesired fats in the food. Different wellsprings of omega-3 unsaturated fats have squashed canola oil and flaxseed.
Walnuts and almonds and other types of nuts help to lower LDL. As nuts also consist of polyunsaturated fatty acids, they help to unclog the blood vessels.
It is suggested that you consume around 45-50 gms of nuts every day. By doing this, you can effectively lower LDL cholesterol in the body.
Olive oil consists of rich anti-oxidants, which help to lower bad cholesterol. However, these antioxidants do not lower or flush the good cholesterol from your body. As the extra virgin oil is not much refined or heavily processed it consists of high antioxidants. If the oil has a light color, that means it is more processed.
Sterol or Stanol Fortified Foods
There are different foods found in the market, which are promoted with sterols and stanols that commonly limit cholesterol absorption.
Yogurt, fruit juices, and some other foods consist of sterols, which can lower more than 10% of LDL cholesterol in the body.
Apart from raising above listed foods in your diet, there are certain precautions that you should take to ensure that you manage a low LDL cholesterol level.
Avoid Junk Food
Junk food consists of many trans-fats that usually raise the LDL cholesterol level in the body. Thus, the best thing to do to skip junk food.
Foods high in saturated fats include:
- fatty cuts of meat
- Completely fat dairy products such as cream, milk, yogurt, and cheese.
- deep-fried fast foods
- processed foods (such as pastries and biscuits)
- takeaway foods (such as pizza and hamburgers)
- coconut oil
Unhealthy Foods with high trans fats include:
- deep-fried foods
- baked goods (such as pies, cakes, biscuits, and pastries)
Foods high polyunsaturated fats include:
- Margarine oil and spreads such as soybean, sunflower, and safflower
- oily fish
- seeds and nuts
- Foods with high monounsaturated fats include:
- canola, peanut, and olive oil
- some nuts
Sweets can raise blood sugar and LDL cholesterol levels. If you are aiming to lower the LDL in cholesterol, the best thing to do is skip sweets.
Cake, cookies, ice cream, pastries are unhealthy food that increases cholesterol, as well as unhealthy fats, sugars, and calories.
Frequently adding these foods can negatively influence overall health and cause weight gain over time.
Research has connected obesity and sugar, diabetes, cognitive decline, and certain cancer.
Additionally, these foods are devoid of the nutrients the body requires to thrive. These include minerals, vitamins, healthy fats, and protein.
Another way to reduce levels of triglyceride include:
- Stick to a healthy diet by following the heart-healthy food recommendations.
- Limit fatty, sugary, salty takeaway snacks, and meals.
- Reduce sugar-sweetened drinks like cordial, drinks, sports drinks, and energy drinks.
- Add food containing healthy omega-3 fats like sardines, salmon, and tuna.
High cholesterol Treatment
Try to keep up with lifestyle changes, particularly adjusting some foods you eat and encourage physical activity are essential to lower high LDL cholesterol.
You may likewise have to eat cholesterol-diminishing medications like statins to accomplish solid cholesterol. Drugs likewise decrease the danger of stroke or cardiovascular failure. Converse with your PCP about the correct treatment.
Certain lifestyle choices raise the risk of high cholesterol. Eating food with high trans-fat and saturated fat may contribute to high cholesterol and increase heart disease.
Staying inactive in everyday life can also cause weight gain and increase high cholesterol.
Smoking also causes to damage the blood vessels, making them more likely to accumulate fatty deposits. It may lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.
A few people have an acquired hereditary condition called familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). This condition causes high low-thickness lipoprotein (LDL, or “awful”) cholesterol levels starting at a youthful age that, left untreated, keeps on declining with age. FH is moderately uncommon in the United States. A measure of 1 million U.S. grown-ups have affirmed or likely FH.1
If a family member has a heart attack history, then talk to your health care about yourself and other family members to get tested.
Your health care team will know your lifestyle and suggest changes to manage cholesterol. Often the FH cannot be cured with lifestyle alone. You may require medications like statin treatment or other medication to manage cholesterol. A family health history is a background of sickness and health states in the family. Health history is helpful to know dangers and limit diseases.
Family members share genes and also share similar lifestyles, behaviors, and environments, which can affect health and increase the risk of heart disease, cholesterol, and other linked conditions. There are more increased chances of high cholesterol if you eat unhealthy food. Try to choose fresh and healthy food.
Age and Gender
Aging is another risk factor for high cholesterol. As your age increase, the body cannot fully clear the cholesterol from the blood. It leads to higher cholesterol levels and increases stroke and heart problem risk.
Until around the age of 55, women tend to get less density lipoprotein than men do. At any age, men tend to get reduced high-density lipoprotein cholesterol than females do.
Questions to ask your physician?
- How often should I get cholesterol tested?
- Am I at increased risk of heart disease?
- What are my cholesterol levels? Are they high?
- What lifestyle change do I need to follow to improve my heart health and cholesterol levels?
- Do I need cholesterol medicine?
- Do I get any side effects from the medicine?
When to test cholesterol level?
Your GP may suggest testing the cholesterol level in the following conditions:
- You have been found out about coronary heart disease, mini-stroke, or peripheral arterial disease.
- Overweight or have a family history of early diseases of cardiovascular.
- You are suffering from blood pressure, diabetes.
What are the good cholesterol levels?
- Blood cholesterol is measured in units named millimoles per liter of blood, which often used mmol/L.
- According to the general guide, total cholesterol levels should be:
- 5mmol/L or reduced for healthy adults
- 4mmol/L or reduced for those at high risk
According to a general guide, LDL levels should be:
- 3mmol/L or lower for healthy adults
- 2mmol/L or lower for those at high risk
- An ideal HDL level is over 1mmol/L. A lower HDL level can raise your heart disease risk.
Your ratio of whole cholesterol to HDL may also be measured. It is your total cholesterol level distributed by HDL level. Generally, this ratio should be smaller than four, as a higher ratio raise your risk for heart disease.
Surviving with High Cholesterol
If you are surviving with high cholesterol, you are 2-times more likely to improve heart disease. That is why it is inevitable to have a check-up of cholesterol levels, especially if you have a history of heart problems in the family. Reducing your bad cholesterol by good diet, workout, and medicine can provide a positive influence on complete health.