Cholesterol – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Cholesterol – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Cholesterol is a fatty substance (technically a lipid) found in the bloodstream, which is essential for cell maintenance. The liver produces most of the cholesterol you need, while the rest is found in your diet in foods, like egg yolk and cheese. Cholesterol offers protection to skin cells against sunburn, and is involved in the production of hormones and the synthesis of vitamin D. However, too much cholesterol in the body is dangerous since it can accumulate around the heart, eventually leading to heart disease. Besides, cholesterol combines with other substances within the body, causing an accumulation on the walls of arteries, making blood circulation more difficult.

Causes of Cholesterol Increase in the Body

Cholesterol will increase in your body as a result of an unhealthy diet, lack of physical exercise, smoking, particular medicines, and genetic inheritance. Eating foods with saturated fats and trans-fat, like dairy, chocolate, processed foods, and so on, will cause an increase in cholesterol levels in your body too.

Furthermore, smoking and a lack of physical exercise reduces high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (so-called ‘good’ cholesterol) in the bloodstream, which is essential in the removal of low-density lipoprotein (‘bad’) cholesterol from the body through the liver. Also, some medication and medical conditions may cause an increase in cholesterol levels.

Further, some factors can cause a high risk of cholesterol accumulation even after observing a healthy diet and active lifestyle. For example, your age and race may cause a greater risk of high cholesterol.

How to Maintain Good Cholesterol Level in the Body?

For you to maintain proper levels in your body, you need to undergo cholesterol check-ups frequently to know your level and how to work on it. Consult your doctor and be sure to follow the recommended treatment plan.

Working on eating a nutritious diet works well too since some meals have a lot of cholesterol and other low cholesterol. Reducing your consumption of red meat, fast foods, desserts, and processed food will be useful for you since they contain a lot of fat. Their use will continue to raise your cholesterol levels; hence you should reduce their intake if you can’t avoid them altogether.

Besides, increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, grains, and fish is often associated with a cholesterol reduction since they have little LDL cholesterol content. These foods also help you to reduce body weight, which is a risk factor for high cholesterol levels in your system. These foods also contain high-density lipoproteins, which helps in the transfer of cholesterol from your bloodstream to the liver, before being removed from the body.

Harmful Effects of Foods with A lot of Fat

Cholesterol attaches itself to protein molecules for transfer in the blood, which forms different components of lipoproteins. The excess fat combines with protein to build low-density lipoprotein, which forms plaques that attach themselves to your blood vessels, resulting in high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, or even blood clots. The severity of the cholesterol effect depends on the vessel where it clots since some veins may rupture and release blood to the tissues, which may cause stroke and even death.

In conclusion, cholesterol has both positive and negative effects on your body, and its level needs to be monitored in order to maintain good health. Besides, ensuring you don’t consume a lot of fat and take plenty of green vegetables will improve your health in many other areas as well as lowering your cholesterol levels. Also, physical exercise helps to breakdown a lot of cholesterol in your body, and is greatly beneficial to your general well-being too.

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