Overview – High Cholesterol

Overview – High Cholesterol

Nowadays, you might have noticed that all marketers are trying to sell their food products with the label ‘low cholesterol’ written on them. Ever wondered what exactly is cholesterol and why should you maintain a low cholesterol level?

If yes, then read this article and find out everything you need to know about your cholesterol level and what will happen if you have a high cholesterol level.

What should you know about high cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a type of fat that is present in your blood. Your liver produces cholesterol and having the right amount of cholesterol is vital for the growth of healthy cells. But the emphasis here is on the right amount.

The moment your cholesterol level rises higher than normal, you are vulnerable to many severe life-threatening ailments.

This is what happens if you have a high cholesterol level. The cholesterol will start accumulating in the walls of the blood vessels and soon it would obstruct or interfere the smooth flow of blood to different parts of your body. If because of the blocked passageway your heart does not get its much-needed oxygen-rich blood, then you might suffer from a heart attack. Similarly, if sufficient blood does not reach your brain, you might experience a fatal stroke.

Types of Cholesterol
You need to remember that there are two primary types of cholesterol-

  • Low – Density lipoprotein(LDL)
    Low – density lipoprotein is the bad cholesterol that takes the cholesterol from the liver and it deposits on the walls of blood vessels, making the passageway narrow.
  • High – Density lipoprotein(HDL)
    High-Density lipoprotein is the good cholesterol that you need in your body. The HDL takes the excess of cholesterol in your blood to the liver, where it is then broken down.

Common risk factors of High Cholesterol
There is no one single cause that may lead to a rise in your cholesterol level. But some of the common risk factors that make you vulnerable to suffering from high cholesterol are-

  • Unhealthy food items
    If you eat an excess of food items that have saturated fat, trans fat, and high cholesterol, then you are risking yourself to developing high cholesterol. It is best to hence limit your dietary intake of food items like red meat and full fat dairy, both of which are high in cholesterol.
  • Obesity
    It is observed that in obese people, the HDL or the good cholesterol level is low.
  • Sedentary lifestyle
    If you do not exercise regularly, then you will probably have a low level of the good cholesterol in your blood.
  • Smoking
    Smoking is bad in case of cholesterol in two ways. Firstly, smoking damages the walls of the blood vessels and makes them more prone to accumulating cholesterol. Secondly, your good cholesterol level will be lowered if you are a chain-smoker.
  • Diabetes
    Diabetes again will damage the linings of your arteries and will increase the LDL level and lower the HDL level in your blood.
  • Family history of the disease
    Yes, you are more likely to develop high cholesterol problem if you have a close relative who suffers from this disorder.

With a well – balanced healthy diet and conscious positive changes in your lifestyle, you can control and manage a high cholesterol condition.