Cholesterol is a naturally occurring chemical produced by the human body. The liver produces most of the cholesterol in our circulation (75%), with the remaining 25% coming from the foods we eat. Although we all know that high blood cholesterol is bad for your health, the appropriate cholesterol levels are necessary for maintaining cell membranes and manufacturing hormones. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of Americans have high cholesterol.
LDL Cholesterol: "Bad Cholesterol"
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, sometimes known as "bad" cholesterol, is the form that tends to build up on artery walls. The LDL cholesterol combines with white blood cells to produce artery-narrowing plaque, which inhibits blood flow. For most people, an LDL cholesterol level of 100 mg/dL or less is ideal. If you have heart disease, you should keep your LDL levels below 70 mg/dL.
HDL Cholesterol: "Good" Cholesterol
Cholesterol isn't all terrible. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is referred described as "good" cholesterol because it prevents LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, from accumulating in your arteries. HDL levels should be as high as possible. HDL cholesterol levels of 60 mg/dL or above can help lower your risk of heart disease. On the other hand, HDL values of 40 mg/dL or less are considered a significant risk factor for heart disease.
How To Lower Cholesterol Level
Fiber-rich diets can help lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol. High-fiber diets may aid weight reduction, and being overweight is a risk factor for high cholesterol. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lentils, and beans are all high in fiber.
According to the American Heart Association, only 25 per cent to 35 per cent of your daily calories should come from fats like those found in fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. Saturated fat should not account for more than 7% of total calories for healthy persons. That's around 140 calories (or 16 grams) of saturated fat on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet. Limit saturated fat to 5% to 6% of calories, or 11 to 13 grams of saturated fat on a 2,000-calorie diet, if you need to decrease your LDL cholesterol. Trans fats should account for less than 1% of your total daily calories. This involves avoiding fried meals as well as a variety of other unhealthy foods.
Low-carbohydrate diets may aid in the increase of HDL ("good") cholesterol levels. According to the National Institutes of Health, while both low-fat and low-carb dieters lost weight throughout the two-year trial period, they also increased their HDL cholesterol levels. Low-carb diets have the disadvantage of being difficult to stick to. To manage your cholesterol, talk to your doctor about the best healthy eating plan.
High Cholesterol Symptoms
High cholesterol usually has no symptoms, and you may be unaware that your blood cholesterol is too high. Atherosclerosis, or artery hardening, is caused by a buildup of cholesterol in the arteries. This reduces blood flow through the arteries, resulting in significant medical issues, including heart attack or stroke.
The majority of the time, elevated cholesterol causes no symptoms. High cholesterol, on the other hand, if left untreated, can lead to significant health problems. The good news is that your doctor can assist you in managing this illness and, in many circumstances, prevent consequences. Whether you're 20 years or older, ask your doctor to test your cholesterol levels to see if you have high cholesterol. Inquire about your treatment choices if you've been diagnosed with high cholesterol.