Tag Archives for " cholesterol "

What Exactly Is Cholesterol?

Those of you who are fighting against high cholesterol and working towards lowering your cholesterol generally have many questions about your cholesterol problems. First things first, you should find out exactly what cholesterol is. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance produced in the liver and other cells. It can be found in many food products that we consume on a daily basis such as dairy products, eggs, and meats. However, cholesterol is not always bad because our body needs a certain amount to be able to function properly. Our bodies cell walls, known as membranes, need this cholesterol to produce hormones, vitamin D, and other acids that help you to digest fat. When your cholesterol intake level exceeds the amount of cholesterol needed that is when health concerns begin to develop.1050_symptoms_emotional_mental_head

As your cholesterol begins to increase, plaque begins to form in your arteries which narrows the passage way through which blood flows. Over time, plaque buildup will cause your arteries to harden which is one of the major causes of heart disease. If not enough blood and oxygen are able to reach your heart muscle then chest pains may occur. When your blood supply to the heart is completely blocked this will inevitably result in a heart attack.

Although cholesterol may seem completely negative, there is actually a “good” cholesterol among the three different types of cholesterol, also known as lipoproteins, which are present in your body. These types include high density, low density, and very low density. Each specific type depends on how much protein there is in relation to fat. Low density lipoproteins (LDL) is known as the “bad” cholesterol because it can cause plaque buildup along the walls of your arteries. As your LDL level increases so does your risk of heart disease. On the other hand, high density lipoproteins (HDL) is known as the “good” cholesterol and helps the body to dispose of LDL cholesterol. Maintaining an increased level of HDL cholesterol is a good thing because if your HDL levels are low, your risk of heart disease is increased. Lastly, very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) are very similar to LDL because they are made up of mostly fat and not much protein. VLDL carries triglycerides, another type of fat, which is more specifically the excess calories, alcohol, or sugar in your body that is then stored in fat cells in your body.

Generally speaking, there are a wide range of factors that can affect cholesterol levels. Diet is the main factor that contributes to high cholesterol levels. Saturated fat and cholesterol in the foods you eat leads to higher cholesterol levels and cutting back on saturated fats is key in reducing your cholesterol. Being overweight and not getting enough regular exercise is a risk factor for both heart disease and high cholesterol. By losing weight and exercising, most people will see a decrease in their LDL and an increase in their HDL cholesterol levels. Most doctors recommend trying to be physically active for at least 30 minutes per day. Age and gender is another factor in cholesterol levels because as you get older your cholesterol levels will begin to slowly rise. Prior to menopause, women tend to have lower cholesterol levels than men but during post menopause a women’s LDL cholesterol tends to rise. Individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetes need to be able to understand, control, and manage their diabetes in order to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. In some cases high cholesterol can run in your family and your genes may determine how much cholesterol your body naturally makes.

Simply put, becoming informed about your cholesterol is a key step in starting your fight against high cholesterol. Now that you understand what cholesterol is and how it can be caused you have the knowledge to make the necessary changes in your life to start reducing your cholesterol levels.

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Note: Dr. Tony Vercillo is NOT a medical doctor, he has a Doctorate and a Master’s degree and is a noted author and speaker.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dr._Tony_Vercillo

Top 4 Ways to Naturally Lower Cholesterol

People often request for ways to reduce high cholesterol levels and to lead a healthy life, but are unaware that the solution to their problems usually start with themselves.

Besides medication that may contain side-effects, there are some natural ways where people can reduce their cholesterol levels. In comparison to prescribed drugs, these natural ways are risk-free, do not have side effects and will almost definitely improve one’s health and life.

Something more fatal than prescribed drugs would be to totally ignore one’s cholesterol levels and with time, their worsened condition would lead to a stroke, or even a heart attack.

Here are 4 great ways to improve your life and health while maintaining a healthy cholesterol level with the use of medication.

A Healthy Diet

It sounds almost impractical for one to have a healthy lifestyle unless one becomes a vegetarian. In a modern society where fast-food has almost become the staple food for youths and where unhealthy food is available almost everywhere, even if we are watchful over our diet, one still is unable to escape the fate of ingesting more cholesterol than they should.

However, having a low fat and low cholesterol diet is often the first step to lowering one’s cholesterol level. Consumption of fiber and spices also have beneficial effects on the body to reduce cholesterol levels in the body. 

Exercise

Getting out of the couch and to start moving is often one of the best ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle! Through exercise, running, cycling, swimming, basketball, one can improve their cardiovascular health and strengthen their heart and circulatory system.

Though exercise may not directly reduce one’s cholesterol; but the strengthening of the circulatory system can help reduce stroke or heart attacks chances. Moreover, exercise can help one reduce their weight which also helps reduce the cholesterol levels in a person’s body. 

Stop Smoking

Smoking builds up the plaque in one’s arteries causes by high cholesterol much faster. As a result, a smoker’s heart has to work much harder to pump blood through those clogged up arteries to provide oxygen for the whole body.

This extra work forced onto the heart can actually cause heart failure, or when the arteries are completely blocked, there is a high chance a stroke or heart attack would occur.

Learn to relax

High levels of stress can also cause one to have high levels of cholesterol. When a person is constantly placed under stress, even when he is under a low cholesterol diet, the result of lowered cholesterol would be very limited.

To achieve a lower cholesterol level, we must first to learn to stay relaxed despite under stressful conditions, only then would the other steps to reduce cholesterol be more effective. 

You need not wait very long to observe the results of lowered cholesterol. In a few weeks, you can sense an improvement in your health and have your cholesterol level lowered significantly.

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