By James Hundson

A waxy fat like substance that is present in the body and travels through the blood stream is called Cholesterol. This is usually obtained through the diet that we follow and is also produced by the liver. Cholesterol is an important component of the cell membrane. Thus, the presence of Cholesterol is important for the cellular functions in a body. The human body also makes use of cholesterol to produce adequate amounts of hormones and Vitamin D.

The cholesterol is attached to two different kinds of compounds called as lipoproteins while being carried across the bloodstream. The two types of Lipoproteins are Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) and High Density Lipoprotein (HDL). The LDL is called as the “bad cholesterol” as it carries the cholesterol through the bloodstream in the body and allows it to get deposited on the walls of the arteries. The HDL is called as the “Good Cholesterol”. The HDL picks the cholesterol from the blood and supplies it to the cells that use it or return it back to the liver where it is either recycled of eliminated. Although Cholesterol is an important compound that has to be present in the body, too much of the wrong type gives rise to heart diseases. It is thus important to make a note of the causes, symptoms and preventive measures for high cholesterol.

Causes and Symptoms:
High Levels of LDL: High cholesterol with high levels of LDL contribute together to result into higher risk of heart diseases. Although lifestyle and food may help control the cholesterol levels, high cholesterol can also be a result of a genetic cause. Having a Diet that can help maintain the levels can be helpful. Medication can prove to be a faster and a more effective method to prevent or eliminate high cholesterol levels.

Low levels of HDL with High amounts of triglycerides: This pattern is called Syndrome X. It is observed in 30% of the population and is related to insulin resistance. This kind of a syndrome is found to be a major cause for diabetes, high blood pressure and heart diseases. This is usually caused by the lifestyle followed also by the food we eat. It may also be genetic in some cases.

Diets that will help keep cholesterol levels lower:
A few minor changes in lifestyle and in the food we eat will help us maintain the appropriate amount of cholesterol that is needed for the body. A few things that we need to consider in our daily lives are:

  • Nuts: Nuts are said to be high sources of nutrients that are necessary for our body to function well. Nuts such as almonds, cashews and walnuts are said to be very good for health since they contain a lot of monounsaturated fats that are good for the heart.
  • Garlic: Freshly cut Garlic when used in food not only makes it take wonderful, but also helps lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
  • Soybeans: Soybeans are said to contain a lot of beneficial cholesterol. People are usually advised to switch to soy products instead of animal meat. This results in the intake of healthy proteins and also increases amount of good cholesterol in the body.
  • Green Tea: Green Tea contains higher amounts of antioxidants as compared to the normal tea. These antioxidants in green tea will help reduce the cholesterol levels and will also prevent the cholesterol from oxidizing.
  • Consume lots of Fiber Rich Food: Fiber rich foods are good for digestion. When we consume a lot of soluble fiber, it helps in lowering the cholesterol levels. Foods that are rich in these soluble fibers are apples, lentils, peas, oats, carrots and many more.
  • Fish: Fish oil is said to be an excellent source for HDL (good cholesterol). Consumption of good amounts of fish oil helps prevent heart diseases.

Things to do in Order to Control Cholesterol Levels:

  • Exercise: Regular exercise is a proven method to stay healthy and fit. Exercises such as Aerobics have been helping in increasing the HDL levels thus keeping bad cholesterol levels lower.
  • Don’t Smoke: Smoking has been known to be a dangerous habit that affects the heart. It is said to have adverse effects on the heart. Apart from this, it is also responsible to lower the HDL level in the body.
  • Live Stress free: The daily stress and tension are among the main causes that have been increasing the levels of cholesterol in human beings. People should indulge themselves in a few breathing exercises and workouts that help to manage stress.

With an increase in the number of premature deaths, it has become more important to concentrate on our eating habits and also the daily lifestyle that we may be following. “Prevention is Better than Cure”. Thus, it is better to be sure of what we are eating is good for us. This, along with a few exercises will help in maintaining appropriate cholesterol levels that will help you stay healthy for a longer time.

Author: This post written by James Hundson. He strongly believes in proper exercise routine can help you achieve a happier and more balanced life.