We often hear the word cholesterol and immediately think of heart disease. But there are many things you may not know about cholesterol and how it impacts your health.
Do you have a firm grasp of what cholesterol is? Cholesterol is a type of fat that is found in the blood. This fat is responsible for the heart’s ability to pump blood around your body. The more cholesterol you have, the less oxygen and nutrients are available to your cells. This means that when you eat too much cholesterol, your cells will die.
What does cholesterol do?
Cholesterol is responsible for pumping blood around your body. As time passes and more cholesterol builds up in your bloodstream, fewer nutrients and oxygen are available to reach your cells, causing cell death. The more cholesterol you have, the higher your risk for developing cardiovascular disease.
How do I reduce my risk for cardiovascular disease?:
There are plenty of ways to decrease cardiovascular disease risks by cutting back on dietary intake of trans fats as well as lowering LDL cholesterol with medications such as statins or low-dose aspirin.
What doesn’t cause high cholesterol?
There are many things people believe will cause an increase in cholesterol levels. None of these things is true for most people, but it’s best to check with your doctor before starting any new medications or treatments. Alcohol will not contribute to your risk of getting high cholesterol and can even lower your risk if you drink moderately (one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men). Too much sodium may make you more prone to having heart disease; however, not enough sodium can also be dangerous. Skipping breakfast may make you more likely to have elevated levels of bad cholesterol. Eating too much sugar can raise your levels of triglycerides; however, not having enough fructose could result in high blood pressure due to fewer antioxidants available in the body from fruit juice or soda instead.
What can raise my cholesterol levels?
You may be wondering what can raise your cholesterol levels. There are many ways that you can raise your cholesterol levels through your diet. Some of these foods include meat, eggs, shellfish, cheese, milk, yogurt and whole-fat dairy products. These foods are high in saturated fat and if you eat too much of them, they can increase your total cholesterol levels. Processed foods such as cookies or cakes that contain saturated fats also increase your LDL cholesterol levels. Foods with excess sugar or starch like white bread and potatoes will not only cause an increase in cholesterol but will also cause an increase in triglycerides.
How can I lower my cholesterol levels?
A common question people ask is how they can reduce their cholesterol. Many things contribute to cholesterol levels like genetics, gender, age, weight, smoking status, diet and exercise. The National Institutes of Health suggest adjusting your diet with whole grains instead of refined grains and decreasing intake of high-cholesterol foods such as red meat or egg yolks if possible. It’s also important not to completely eliminate fats from your diet because some essential vitamins can only be obtained from them.