What are we dealing with, when we are talking about lowering cholesterol? We do need to define and know what it is, in order to deal with it appropriately and responsibly.
Here are some quick-facts about cholesterol that you need to know and be aware of:
- Cholesterol is a fat-like and waxy substance, produced by the liver.
- It has its place and function in the human body and system and too much of it puts your health at risk.
- Cholesterol forms part of every cell within the body.
- When the cholesterol level is appropriate, all is well
- It plays a life-giving role in many functions of the body.
- When cholesterol is at a good level, you are healthy and in top shape
- It works to build and repair cells
- It produces hormones such as estrogen and testosterone
- Produces bile acids which are proven to aid in the digestion of fat
- With too much cholesterol in the body, build up occurs
- Damage to and clogging of your arteries result.This is how the problem oftentimes gets its start:
- A diet high in saturated foods (including dairy, meat and eggs) heightens and elevates your cholesterol levels in the body.
Eating FRESH is GREAT! Fruit, vegetables, and grains will help you maintain optimal health. These foods typically have 0% cholesterol.
Therefore, it is possible to NOT fall into the trap of high levels of cholesterol and you have a role to play, by choosing the right kind of foods to pass from fork to mouth. If you do opt for a healthier diet and lifestyle you have already made a giant leap in taking control of not only your cholesterol, but your heart health, life and future!
If you do eat right and better, you are in a better position to get your health back and lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.
SIMPLY LOWERING YOUR CHOLESTEROL BY 1% CAN MAKE A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE AND IS WORTH THE EFFORT!
Monitor your levels regularly and discuss them with your doctor. YOU DO NOT ONLY HAVE TO RELY ON MEDICATIONS, there are healthier choices, options, lifestyle changes, and supplements such as the ones on this website that you can have a great lowering effect too.
Again understanding more about cholesterol, the different types and manifestations of it as well as the effects and risks it carries, is of importance. We will pause to reflect on them briefly. There is more than ONE ‘type’ of cholesterol, although we just refer to them as cholesterol. They have different functions in the body and are even different types of ‘substances’, with their own characteristics and qualities.
Like other fats, cholesterol CANNOT be absorbed or dissolved in your blood. They are carried in your system from cell to cell. Transported if you will. They consist mainly of an outer layer of protein and an inner core of both cholesterol and triglycerides – another form of fat and highly dangerous, as we will continue to discover. Here is a summary on what these different types of cholesterol are and do in the body.
The two main types of lipo-proteins are: High density and Low density lipo-proteins When we refer to our cholesterol ‘levels’ and test results, we imply all/both of the above. These are also referred to in the common language as good and bad cholesterol.
BUT, WHAT CAUSES CHOLESTEROL EXACTLY? WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?
In a continued attempt to understand and handle cholesterol effectively, we need to know and probe more. You could have extremely high levels of bad cholesterol, despite the fact that you are healthy and thin. Due to heart risk and health factors, some individuals will require a very aggressive approach, which includes medical treatment and cholesterol lowing medication. More on this a little later. It is a serious condition and intervention and action has to be immediate!Lifestyle issues, diet and high cholesterol:
FAST-FOOD high in saturated fats and opting deliberately for convenience meals above nutrition are some of the bad choices and habits we will have to take up and change quickly to turn the tide in our favor and get rid of our cholesterol-inducing habits a priority!
TIP # 2:
When we opt for convenience in eating over nutrition, we are setting ourselves up for problems. Eating fast foods and convenience foods results in eating too many fats and salts, which can raise our bad cholesterol levels.
If you are not active regularly, it gets worse. This build-up is inevitable. YOU CANNOT LIVE SUCCESSFULLY ON THIS TYPE OF FOOD! The movie “Super Size Me” Documents a failed attempt at doing so and is quite an eye-opener. It is how to go wrong with cholesterol in 30 days or less! Getting good advice on nutrition and healthy eating, choices to lower your cholesterol is always time and effort well spent.
Nutrition, Diet and Food choices – WHAT IS ON THE MENU AND GROCERY LIST?
Here is a list of things you can start changing right away , if you have not been doing it…
- START BY CHOOSING healthier and preferable LOW-FAT foods
- Buying unsaturated fats and oils as the BEST alternative!
- Cooking-sprays (low-fat) to replace oils and cut fat from our diet MORE!
- Kitchen habits and food preparation techniques that do not require oil (stir fry, steam, boil etc.)
- No deep-frying or foods baked/prepared in heavy oils
- Heritage and Genetics
Thank your genes and DNA for some of your cholesterol levels and bodily dynamics! IT does have a role to play here. Ask and answer: Is there anyone in your family that suffers from high cholesterol? Alert your physician of this as well, especially with a family history that includes heart disease and high cholesterol levels.
You cannot fight or deny genetics and the role that it plays/can play, BUT you can choose actively to live differently!
Age and Gender
It is an undeniable fact of aging that the older you get the higher you cholesterol levels will get. It is however also a question of reality and maintenance. Especially when menopause hits for women. We tend to see a higher occurrence of cholesterol issues when this sets in. Women easily surpass men at this point and have to do a great deal to manage and lower their cholesterol and risk of disease. Ensure that your age does not threaten your heart health. Stay active and eat right and monitor your cholesterol levels regularly.