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Cholesterol Health

Cholesterol Health

As we get older it’s important to keep track of our cholesterol levels.  We all know that having too much cholesterol is bad, and can lead to serious health issues like having a stroke or heart disease, but how much is too much?  Well before we get into appropriate cholesterol levels it’s important to know a little background info on cholesterol.
 
What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol forms part of the outer membrane that surrounds every cell. It's used to insulate nerve fibres (and so make nerve signals travel properly) and make hormones, which carry chemical signals around the body. To define cholesterol, it is a waxy, sticky fat like substance, which we rely on keeping our body function normally. Our livers produce most of the cholesterol that we need for our every day live. The rest of them come from food, such as shellfish, meats, dairy products. Sufficient level of cholesterol is needed for digestion process and to produce vitamin D and hormones.

Without cholesterol, your body wouldn't work - it's vital to ensure the body's normal function. Too much cholesterol in the blood, however, increases the risk of coronary heart disease and disease of the arteries.

Knowing your cholesterol level isn't, on its own, enough to tell you your personal risk of heart disease. You also need to know about lipoproteins. These are special molecules that carry or transport cholesterol around the body. Cholesterol is a form of lipoprotein that serves to emulsify lipid or commonly known as fat. There are  three types of lipoproteins levels that make up cholesterol in our body:

There are three main types:
  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), often known as bad cholesterol - this carries cholesterol from the liver to the cells and, if supply exceeds demand, can cause harmful build-up of cholesterol.
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL), or good cholesterol - this takes cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver, where it's either broken down or excreted
  • Triglycerides
The greatest danger is when someone has high levels of LDL cholesterol and trigylcerides, and low levels of HDL cholester.

Cholesterol itself is not harmful until it reaches a certain level. Excessive LDL can build up in the artery walls as plaque causing the artery walls to become narrow slowing down blood flow or causing it to stop completely. Excessive of LDL can also lead to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

High level of LDL cholesterol is the major cause of heart disease. Since persons with high levels of cholesterol have no warning signs or symptoms, it can easily be neglected until the damage is done. Individuals who are obese, having unhealthy diet, or family members having medical history of high cholesterol are at high risk for coronary artery disease.

High cholesterol can be very dangerous for a person and they normally will not know their cholesterol is high without specific testing. It is therefore very important that a person take steps to maintain a normal cholesterol level through proper diet and exercise. Making a few changes in your daily life can help you to stay healthy.

Treatments for high cholesterol

Diet plays an important role in a person's overall health. In additional to getting important vitamins and nutrients that help the body to function effectively, the diet can be used to maintain cholesterol at normal levels. There are some foods that are more effective in reducing cholesterol than others. Besides making a person gain weight, fatty foods also cause many other physical issues including high cholesterol.

People who are overweight often have a greater risk of having high cholesterol. If a person loses five to ten pounds, they will not only feel better but also reduce or eliminate high cholesterol. Adding some type of exercise, such as walking, to your diet program will also work to tone and condition your body as you gain health. Eating ten grams of soluble fiber each day reduces bad cholesterol better than many other efforts you may take. Soluble fiber is found in fruit, oatmeal, oat bran and other foods. When you eat 1 1/2 cups of cooked oatmeal each day, you are getting six of the ten grams of fiber that you need. By adding bananas or other fruit, you are going to add four grams of fiber which will give you the total ten grams needed for health.

Other sources of soluble fiber are Apples, pears, psyllium, prunes and kidney beans. There are many other foods that also are high in soluble fiber. Eating these foods reduces absorption of cholesterol in your intestines and is a great way to eat healthy. Walnuts, almonds, and other nuts are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Nuts have a lot of calories in them but eating just 1.5 ounces, about a handful of nuts a day, reduces cholesterol and also the risk of heart disease. One way to be sure that you are getting the amount of nuts you need without over eating is to get the small packages like those used on airlines. These make a great morning snack instead of the usual donut that people have.

Sterols and Stanols have been found to reduce cholesterol by as much as 10%. Many juices and yogurts now have these plant extracts in them. Drinking two 8oz glasses of orange juice fortified with Sterols or Stanols per day is all you need to block the absorption of cholesterol in your system.

There are many other healthy ways to maintain a normal cholesterol level. Planning your diet around healthy foods that are low in saturated and transfat oils, and high in healthy foods, will help you to maintain a healthy lifestyle and low cholesterol.

 

The first steps in treating high cholesterol levels are:
  • Regular physical activity
  • Healthy eating
The latter means cutting down on fats, especially a type called trans fats, and replacing saturated fats with unsaturated alternatives. There are also some foods that may help to lower cholesterol levels, particularly garlic, soya, oats, corn and selenium-enriched cereals.

"Good" HDL Cholesterol Level:
  • Less than 40 mg/dL for men and less than 50 mg/dL for women usually indicates high risk of heart disease.
  • Borderline is 40 mg/dL to 49 mg/dL for men and 50 mg/dL to 59 mg/dL for women.
  • Optimal is over 49 ml/dL and 59 ml/dL for men and women respectively.
"Bad" LDL Cholesterol Level
  • Optimal is less than 100 mg/dL.
  • Near optimal is 100 to 129 mg/dL.
  • Borderline is 130 to 159 mg/dL.
  • High cholesterol is 160 to 189 mg/dL.
  • Very high cholesterol is 190 mg/dL and up.
Total Cholesterol Level;
  • Optimal is below 200mg/dL.
  • Near optimal is 200 to 239 mg/dL.
  • High cholesterol is over 240mg/dL.
For those who are over thirty, it is recommended to have your cholesterol tested once a year. Be sure to fast at least 9 hours before your blood test for the most accurate result.

Other Related Products:

Futurebiotics Cholesterol balance fiber complex capsules - 90 ea

Nat-Rul Garlic Softgels 1500 mg - 100 ea

Niacin CRT 500 mg controlled release technology tablets - 60 ea

Organic RYR red yeast rice capsules - 180 ea

Source Naturals Cholesterol rescue tablets - 90 ea

Vitafusion platinum 50 plus gummy multi vitamins - 50 ea

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