Featured Posts
    • peppers
    • 10 Healthy Snacks Under 100 Calories
    • Best Habits To Start Your Day Right!
Sign up for our newsletter to receive tips delivered straight to your inbox.

Cholesterol 101

Something all of us have heard of but we might not fully grasp how it affects our health and wellness.

Cholesterol.

We’re here to give you the basics on the what, why, and how of cholesterol. So what is cholesterol? Cholesterol is a lipid (fat) which is only found in animal products. The production of blood cholesterol derives from two sources:our body (mainly the liver) produces 75 percent of blood cholesterol and the remaining 25 percent comes from our diet:

Here are some functions of cholesterol:

  •  builds and maintains cell membranes
  • • determines which molecules can or cannot pass into the cell
  • • involved in the production of sex hormones
  • • aids in the production of bile
  • • important for the metabolism of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K)
  • • insulates nerve fibers

Cholesterol is transported by compound molecules called lipoproteins. There are three main types of lipoproteins:

  • LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) – often referred to as bad cholesterol. LDL carries cholesterol from the liver to cells. Too much LDL may lead to plaque buildup within the arteries (a.k.a. atherosclerosis) and may trigger heart disease
  • HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) – commonly referred to as good cholesterol. It functions opposite of LDL, taking cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver to be broken down or expelled from the body.
  • Triglycerides – are the form in which most fat exists in the body and in food. Calories we consume but are not used immediately by our tissues are converted into triglycerides and stored in fat cells.

So the next important question is, how exactly does this affect us? High cholesterol levels have been associated with a host of cardiovascular conditions, angina (chest pain), strokes, coronary heart diseases and heart attacks. Here is breakdown of cholesterol levels that most doctors would recommend to keep in check:

What’s important to note is to also keep HDL, LDL and triglyceride levels in check.

Lastly, how can we keep our cholesterol in check and prevent the associated health hazards of unhealthy cholesterol levels? Here are a few simple suggestions:

  • • Schedule regular check-ups and cholesterol screening with your doctor – People who have a family history of early coronary artery disease, men aged 35 to 65 and women aged 45 to 65 should have more frequent cholesterol screens.
  • • Engaging in regular exercise – hiring a personal trainer will not only help guide you with proper exercise but also help you stick to your health goals
  • • Eating a clean diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, oats, good quality fats and avoiding foods with saturated fats.
  • • Getting adequate sleep every night (6.5 to 7 hours).
  • • Avoid alcohol
  • • Stop smoking

There you have it! The basic information about cholesterol that you can easily share with your family and friends. Stay tuned for Cholesterol 102!

Sources:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com

http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-blood-cholesterol/

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/AboutCholesterol/

 

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*