Cholesterol

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What is cholesterol ?

A waxy fat like substance found in all cells of the body .
The body makes all the cholestrol it needs for body functions.
High cholesterol is a condition in which you have too much cholesterol in your body.
By self high cholesterol usually has no warning signs.

Are there different types of cholesterol?

Higher levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol = Greater chance of getting heart disease.
LDL – “Bad cholesterol” – high levels of LDL lead to a build up of cholrsterol in your ateries.
Higher levels of HDL (Good) cholesterol = Lower chance of getting heart disease .
HDL -“Good cholesterol”-  Carries cholestrrol back from other parts of your body to your liver. The liver then removes cholestetol from the body. Acts as a “Cholesterol sponge”.

Cholesterol Level and Risk

Total cholestrtol level in mg/dl
200 240 High
LDL cholestetol level
< 100 Desirable
100 – < 130 Near Desirable
130 – 160 – 190 High
190 Very High

HDL cholesterol level
60 Less Risk

What are triglycerides

Type of fat found in the body. The body used it for energy.
Normal levels < 150

What causes high triglycerides?

Obesity
Poor controlled diabetes
Hypothyroidism
Kidney disease
Caloric excess
Excessive alcohol consumption

How to control triglycerides

Limit fats and suger
Stay at a healthy weight
Be active
Quit smoking
Limit alcohol condumption

Metabolic Syndrome

High triglycerides may be a high of metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is combination of high BP , high blood suger, too much fat arround waist, low HDL , high triglycerides.
Increase your risk for heart disease , diabetes and stroke.

Associated risks of cholesterol

Coronary Heatt Disease
Stroke
Periveral Vascular Disease
Diabetes
Hypertension

Why High Cholesterol Matters

High cholesterol is one of the major risk facktor to coronary artery disease , heart attacks, and stroke.
It also appears to boost the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. As we saw earler, high cholesterol leads to build up of plaque that narrows the arteries. This is dangerous because it can restrict blood flow. If the blood supply to a part of the heart or brain is completely cut of, the result is a heart attack or stroke.

Cholesterol Buster :

Eat More Fiber
Diet changes offer a powerful way to figh high cholesterol. If you’ve ever wondered why some cereals claim to be heart-healthy, it’s the fiber. The soluble fiber found in many foods helps reduce LDL, the bad cholesterol. Good sources of soluble fiber include whole-grain breads and cereals, oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, and legumes such as kidney beans.

Know Your Fats
No more than 35% of your daily calories should come from fat. But not all fat are equal. Saturated fats from animal producs and tropical oils raise LDL cholesterol. Trans fats carry a double-whammy, boosting bad cholesterol, while lowering the good kind. These two bad fats are found in many baked goods, fried foods ( doughnuts, french fries, chips ), stick margarine and cookies. Unsaturated fats may lower LDL when combinated with other healthy diet changes. They’re found in avocados, olive oil and peanut oil.

Smart Protein
Meat and full-fat milk offer plenty of protein, but they are also major sources of cholesterol. You may be able to reduce LDL cholesterol by switching to soy protein, such as tofu, at some meals. Fish is another great choice. It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve cholestrrol levels. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week.

Low-Carb Diet
There’s growing evidence that low-carb diets may be beter than low-fat diets for improving cholesterol levels.

Lose Weight
Losing weight can help you reduce your level of triglycerides, LDL, and totsl cholesterol.

Quit Smoking
Giving up tobacco is tough, but here’s one more reason to try. When you stop smoking, your good cholesterol is likely to improve by as much as 10%. You may be succesful if you combine several smoking cessation strategies.

Exercise
If you’re healthy but not very active, starting an aerobic exercise program could increase your good cholesterol by 5% in the first to months. Regular exercise also lowers bad cholesterol. Choose an activity that boosts your heart rate, such as ranning, swimming, or walking briskly, and aim for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. It doesn’t have to be 30 continous minutes, two 15 minutes walks works just well.

TREATMENT

Medications
If high cholesterol runs in your family, diet and exercise may not be enough to get your numbers where you want them. In the case medication can give your cholesterol levels an extra nudge. Statins are ususally the first choice. They block the production of cholesterol in the liver. Other options include cholesterol absotption inhibitors, bile acid resins, and fibrates.Supplements
Certain dietary supplements may also improve cholesterol levels. These include flaxseed oil, fish oil, and plant sterols, such as beta-sitosterol. Prescription niacin, a-b complex vitamin, has been found to raise good cholestrrol while reducing bad cholesterol. Niacin found in ordinary supplements should not be used to lower cholesterol.

HERBAL REMEDIES

Some studies suggest garlic can knock a few precentage point of total cholesterol. But garlic pills can have side effects and may intrract with medications. Other herbs that may reduce cholesterol include : Fenugreek seeds, Artichoke leaf extract, Holy basil.

( aemxx )

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