High and low Cholesterol are having equivalent adverse effects. But more often high levels in blood become a silent danger that puts people at risk of heart attack. In our body specifically the liver – produces as much cholesterol as needed. When a diet is high in fat and Trans fats, the liver increases cholesterol levels. People who eat animal products will be having high cholesterol more often. Having high cholesterol does not usually produce any symptoms.
Cholesterol levels shouldn’t be ignored entirely.The greatest risk factors for high cholesterol are modifiable lifestyle choices – diet and exercise. Presence of more cholesterol doesn’t show symptoms as such, so doing blood test is the only way to know the cholesterol levels
There are three kinds of cholesterol. They are low-density lipoproteins (LDL), high-density lipoproteins (HDL), and very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL).
All three types of cholesterol contain triglycerides, although about half of VLDL is made up of triglycerides.
1) LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) :The optimal LDL cholesterol level is 100-129mg/dl
2) HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol): The optimal HDL cholesterol level for men is 35-65mg/dl and 35-80 mg/dl for women.
3) VLDL cholesterol: The VLDL levels should be less than 30 mg/dL.
4) Total cholesterol levels: The total cholesterol level should be less than 200 mg/dL
But it’s not just about cholesterol, those levels plus others help in calculating certain risks. These include
- blood pressure.
- whether the person has Diabetes or not.
- age, sex, and race.
- whether the person smokes.
Factors that affect cholesterol:
- Estrogen: As estrogen maintains HDL levels it increases in childbearing age and decreases in menopause age
- Diet: Foods that are high in saturated fat, trans fat and carbohydrates are known to increase cholesterol levels.
- Weight: There are many risks associated with being overweight or obese, such as increased triglycerides.
- Exercise: Being active for at least 30 minutes per day helps maintain weight and lowers LDL cholesterol levels, while increasing HDL cholesterol levels.
- Heredity: Unfortunately unchangeable, high cholesterol can run in families.
High cholesterol contributes to the following conditions
- Heart diseases
- Peripheral heart diseases
Preventing high cholesterol:
Four changes to life style are recommended for the people with high cholesterol and these below mentioned changes will help in reducing coronary heart diseases and heart attacks.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet
- Regular exercises
- Avoid smoking
- Achieve and maintain healthy weight
Consult your doctor if your cholesterol is still high.