Thanks to the media whenever you hear cholesterol mentioned it’s only ever painted in a negative light when in fact your body needs cholesterol to produce two very important hormones – estroge and testosterone as well as the production of Vimtamin D and bile to digest the fat you eat as part of your diet. Plus there are actually two types of cholesterol – one is very good for you and one is very bad. So having cholesterol in your body isn’t the issue – the issue is having too much of the wrong type of cholesterol in your body.
Cholesterol is a substance that actually looks like fat but is made in the liver naturally by your body but can also be created by eating meat, eggs and dairy products, which are rich in cholesterol. So if cholesterol made naturally by the body how can it possibly cause you harm? After all the human body is not in the habit of creating substances that will cause it actual harm. The problem with cholesterol comes from people misunderstanding what cholesterol actually does in the first place and then not being aware that there are two different types of cholesterol
This type of cholesterol is also referred to as LDL (Low density liporotein) is what can cause the buildup of a substance called plaque in your arteries – the same plaque that causes your arteries to narrow and cause either angina or heart attacks. In the most severe cases the plaque deposits can rupture which can cause blood clots and then you’re running the risk of a stroke happening. High LDL cholesterol levels can be caused by genetics (an inherited trait) but are most commonly caused by a diet rich in saturated and trans fats. This inludes junk food, processed food, roast dinners, takeaways and fried food; these are all good ways of rocketing your high LDL cholesterol levels
Your liver produces the good cholesterol, or HDL cholesterol (High density lipoprotein) that your body needs to stay healthy. In fact what HDL cholesterol does is tracks down the bad cholesterol in your body and then attaches itself to it and “transports” it to your liver where it can be processed safely, without affecting your arteries. You can raise your HDL cholesterol levels by eating eggs in moderation, using olive oil as part of your diet and also eating more fish rich in Omega-3 oils. Also adding fruits and vegetables like avocado and cranberries to your diet can help raise your HDL levels too.
How To Lower Your Cholesterol
As important as it is to increase your HDL cholesterol level your focus should be on lowering your LDL cholesterol level at the same time. The good news is that lowering your bad cholestrol level is actually quite easy. You simply need to stop smoking, cut down on boozing and avoid all kinds of saturated and trans fats in foods – a simple change to grilling, boiled or baking your food can knock a couple of points off your cholesterol score. Just 30-minutes of light exercise, such as walking, each day is enough to signigifcantly reduce your LDL cholesterol levels.
Testing Your Cholesterol Level
You should be visiting your GP for a checkup at least once per year and that’s a perfect opportunity for them to check your cholesterol levels. But if, for whatever reason, you can’t get to your GP or doctors make you nervous then you can get a cholesterol home testing kit manufactured by companies liek AccuCheck adn BeneCheck.
Just remember that high levels of bad cholesterol leave you with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Have your cholesterol checked folks – it could save your life!