Understanding Your Cholesterol
Understanding your Cholesterol is essential for the body’s metabolic processes, including hormone’s and bile production, and to help the body with vitamin D. But, unmanaged levels of bad cholesterol can lead to clogged arteries and increase the odds of getting a stroke or heart attack.
In fact, stroke and heart disease is the number one cause of death for men and women in the U.S. More than a million people in the U.S have heart attacks and stroke every year, and about a half million people die from stroke and heart disease. Most of the population don’t understand what cholesterol is and how it works, that there good cholesterol and bad cholesterol that your body control.
Cholesterol is produced by the liver & also made by more of the cells in the body, and blood carries it by small couriers called by doctors “Lipoprotein.”
One of the reasons that the body need cholesterol in the blood is:
• Build the structure of cells membrane
• Make hormones like testosterone, estrogen, adrenaline and more
• Help your metabolism work efficiently; example, cholesterol is essential to produce vitamin D in your body
• By produce bile acids, which help the body digest fat and absorb vital nutrients.
There are two types of cholesterol :
1. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol – called the ‘bad’ cholesterol because it goes into the bloodstream and clogs up your arteries.
2. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol – called the ‘good’ cholesterol because it helps to take the ‘bad’ cholesterol out of the bloodstream.
How Does Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease and Stroke?
When there is too much cholesterol (a fat-like substance) in your blood, it builds up in your arteries. Over time, this buildup causes
‘arteries’ and blood flow to the heart is blocked and slowed down. So blood carries oxygen, and if oxygen reaches the center, you may suffer chest pain.
Understanding your Cholesterol Cholesterol Numbers?
Everyone age 20 or older should measure their cholesterol at least once every five years. This blood test is done after a 9- to 12-hour fast and gives information about your:
• Total cholesterol. Less than 200 mg/dL is best
• LDL (bad) cholesterol – LDL should be less than 100mg/dL
• HDL (good) cholesterol – HDL should be more than 40mg/dL
Diet tips to help reduce your cholesterol. You should try to:
• Limit the number of cholesterol-rich foods
• Increase the amount and variety of wholegrain, fresh fruit, and vegetables
• Choose low or reduced fat milk, yogurt, and have ‘added calcium’ soy drinks other dairy products
• Choose lean meat, (labeled as ‘meat trimmed of fat’)
• Limit fatty meat, choose leaner sandwich meats like turkey breast and cooked lean chicken including sausages and salami
• Have fish at least twice a week
• Replace butter and dairy blends with margarine
• Include rich foods insoluble fiber and healthy fats, such as nuts
• Limit cheese and ice cream
• Consider a supplement to regulate cholesterol and Exercise
For some people, diet is a lifestyle change.