High Cholesterol Count? This Is How You Bring Down LDL.

There are many advanced studies and progressive guidelines available about various diseases and disorders that help us to prevent and manage health anomalies such as diabetes, heart ailments, cancer, stroke, arthritis, chronic kidney disease, and many more. However, many doubts cross our minds every day, and while we do plan to make changes in diet and lifestyle, we also keep pondering on what to eat and what not to eat, which is a zillion-dollar question with so much information hovering around us.

Amongst all, one chronic health problem that has engulfed the planet more so in the last few decades is cholesterol imbalance. In layman’s terms, high cholesterol is bad and needs to be addressed at the earliest. However, this may not always be true. There is a bigger picture involved with this health problem, and what may be considered too high for your body could be in the normal range for someone else. While measuring the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood can help predict your risk of blocked arteries and a lot more, let us acknowledge the fact that cholesterol, the most talked about health issue, is a tad bit complex to understand.

What Is Cholesterol?

First things first, what exactly is cholesterol? In simple words, cholesterol is nothing but a waxy, fat-like substance found in all the cells of the body. An essential substance to make hormones, while it is found in some forms of fats, it is found in foods too. The following are 4 types of cholesterol that are found in the human body:

  • LDL- Low-density lipoprotein, also known as bad cholesterol, LDL is the main source of blockages in the arteries.
  • HDL-High-density lipoprotein, HDL is considered good cholesterol and helps get rid of LDL or bad cholesterol.
  • Triglyceride- 60% percent of a VLDL particle is triglyceride. This is the reason why VLDL cholesterol is frequently valued as a percentage of triglyceride value.
  • VLDL-Very-low-density lipoprotein VLDL cholesterol is produced in the liver and released into the bloodstream to supply body tissues with triglycerides.

A common notion that imbalanced cholesterols are only found in men is indeed a myth. Dyslipidemia is the leading cause of heart disease in men as well as in women. Poorly managed cholesterol could lead to heart attacks, stroke, and other health problems. The most effective way of lowering VLDL cholesterol levels is to lower triglycerides. This can be done by eating foods that can reduce lower triglycerides in the body, such as garlic, tofu, oatmeal, almonds, walnuts, cocoa, brussels sprouts, apples, pears, and citrus fruits. It is crucial to add these to the daily diet while you are trying to improve cholesterol ratios.

The bottom line

Cholesterol has important functions in the body but can cause clogged arteries and heart disease when it gets out of control.

LDL is prone to free radical damage and contributes most to heart disease. In contrast, HDL protects against heart disease by carrying cholesterol away from vessel walls and back to the liver.

If your cholesterol is out of balance, lifestyle interventions are the first line of treatment.

Unsaturated fats, soluble fibre, plant sterols and stanols can increase good HDL and decrease bad LDL. Exercise and weight loss can also help.

Eating trans fats and smoking is harmful and should be avoided.

The CDC recommends that you have your cholesterol levels checked every 5 years starting at age 20. Ask your doctor about any concerns you have. A simple blood draw, taken after an overnight fast, is all that’s required.

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