Cholesterol High and Low

CholesterolWhat is Cholesterol?

Essentially, cholesterol is not bad. In fact, the body would need cholesterol in order to function properly, but not all cholesterol can benefit the body. There are two types of cholesterol – the high density lipoproteins or HDL, and the low density lipoproteins or the LDL. Between the two, the HDL is considered as the good cholesterol, while the LDL is considered as the bad cholesterol. The occurrence of heart disease and stroke is usually associated with having high LDL cholesterol levels.

The ideal amount of HDLs in your body is from 20%-40%. If you would undergo a cholesterol reading, your cholesterol levels must be between 3.0mmol/L – 5mmol/L. If your reading goes beyond 5.0, say 5.2 or higher, then you are at a very high risk of developing heart disease. If your reading falls really low, like below 3.0, then you might have to worry about your liver. You see, a very low cholesterol level would usually indicate that your liver may not be functioning properly or there may be some unknown food intolerances. It could also denote an imbalance in your liver, which is why it is very important that you maintain a healthy liver.

You also need to take note of your LDL cholesterol levels. An LDL of less than 2.6mmol/L would be ideal. If it would fall between 2.6 and 3.4mmol/L, it would still be considered as acceptable but it would already be a little high. If it would now be at 3.5 to 4.2mmol/L, then it is borderline high, and when you have a reading between 4.21 to 4.89mmol/L, then that would really be high and you have got to be very careful.

These are generally accepted medical principles but there are actually exceptions. For instance, you can find people or families that seem to be predisposed to manufacture cholesterol more than the average person does, and so they would need less cholesterol in their diet. There are also people who eat plenty of fatty foods yet maintain a normal level of cholesterol. But still, the safest way in controlling cholesterol levels, taken from a dietary point of view, is to reduce intake of saturated fats and to increase soluble fibres in the diet.

Two important supplements that could help control your cholesterol levels are Vitamin E and B-group vitamins. Vitamin E helps in preventing cholesterol oxidizing and the B-group vitamins prevent homocysteine levels, which also tend to oxidise cholesterol leading to the formation of plaque in the arteries.

 

Learn About Homocysteine Levels

Although for so long a time, cholesterol levels were used to predict the risk of a heart attack, it is just a part of a bigger picture since medical science is also looking at homocysteine levels as one of the contributors to a heart attack or stroke. Homocysteine is actually a toxic amino acid that is produced when proteins are metabolised. High levels of homocysteine in the body was linked to 80% increased risk for a heart disease and stroke, and this could come about even if you have been maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. One way that you can lower your homocysteine levels is by taking more B vitamins. You just need to check your homocysteine levels periodically and see whether the dosage of the B vitamins you take is sufficient or not.

High homocysteine levels actually cause damage to the artery walls, and when this happens, LDLs would stick to them easily, which would eventually lead to heart disease.

Cholesterol is Not That Bad

Cholesterol is not entirely an enemy of the body because it is also needed for a healthy production of cell membranes. It is also vital to the manufacture of hormones and to the digestions of fats. In fact, it plays an important role in the production of Vitamin D. The only thing that you need to watch out for is when cholesterol levels get really high.

Causes of High Cholesterol Levels

  • Weight. Approximately 20% of the total cholesterol in the body comes from the food that you eat, the rest are then manufactured by the body. Different studies have shown that people who are overweight tend to produce 20% more cholesterol than people who are at their normal weights. This overproduction of cholesterol is actually triggered by eating too much sugar and fat.
  • Lack of exercise. Men who exercise regularly tend to raise their HDL cholesterol levels while those who don’t engage in physical activities on a regular basis are not able to raise their HDL levels.
  • Genes. Some of the risks for high cholesterol levels are connected with heredity. If your ascendants have high levels of cholesterol, there is a big chance that you will too.
  • Age. As one gets older, one tends to have higher cholesterol levels since cholesterol oxidizes at a faster rate.
  • Stress. Certain studies have indicated that stress is one factor that could raise blood cholesterol levels.
  • Food, particularly sugar, fat, burnt foods especially meat, fried foods, hard margarines. These foods also oxidize cholesterol and when this happens, cholesterol attaches to the artery walls.

Diagnosis, Signs and Symptoms of high Cholesterol

As for the symptoms, having high cholesterol levels would not have any symptoms per se, but its manifestations would be in the form of various diseases, which are now the result of high cholesterol levels. So once you reach 20 years old, it is always best to have a cholesterol reading once every five years so that you will know that your cholesterol levels are within normal.

 

Remedies, Treatment and Cure for high Cholesterol

Foods that You Have to Avoid

  • Animal fats, full fat dairy products. Instead of eating these foods, go for foods rich in essential fats such as fish, green leafy vegetables, almonds, and olive oil.
  • Avoid foods that have hydrogenated or trans fats.
  • Avoid refined carbohydrates and pastas, as well as processed white breads, as these may lower down the production of HDLs.
  • Sugar turns to fat when it is not burnt through exercise. This would then resided in the hips and will raise LDL levels in the long run.
  • Avoid frying eggs as this will oxidise cholesterol. If you can find organic eggs, the better.
  • Steer clear of coffee and alcohol. When these are taken in excess, these shall raise cholesterol levels.

Friendly Foods for You

  • Increase fibre intake. Eat foods that are rich in fibre. You can have rice bran, wheat germ, rolled oats, and beans and peas. You can have lima beans, red kidney beans, soya beans, broad beans, chickpeas, and lentils.
  • Fruits and vegetables. These foods should be included in your diet. These could either be raw, roasted, stir fried. The most ideal would be to eat them in their freshest form. Green vegetables have lots of potassium and magnesium content. Cereals, honey, and dried fruits like dates are good too.
  • Eating raw organic apples and carrots every day can help in lowering your cholesterol levels.
  • Eating porridge for breakfast with some chopped apple and raisons to act as sweeteners. Do not use sugar.
  • Buckwheat. This is high in glycine and has been known to lower cholesterol levels.
  • Fermented soya products like natto, tempeh, miso, can help in raising HDLs. Soya lecithin granules can help in lowering LDL, as well as control the growth of gall stones and kidney.
  • Increase intake of healthy fats. You can opt for olive oil, sunflower, avocados, and linseeds, walnuts, and unrefined oils.
  • Use organic mineral-based sea salt.
  • Use dandelion root tea. This helps the liver to function really well.
  • Use green tea to lower cholesterol levels.
  • Fennel and globe artichoke could help in stimulating liver functions and lower cholesterol levels.
  • Eating low-fat and plain yoghurt that contain lactobacillus could lower blood cholesterol levels.
  • Drinking one glass of red wine everyday could also help in lowering cholesterol levels.
  • Drink at least 6 glasses of water every day.

Helpful Remedies

  • Take a good quality of multi-vitamin.
  • Hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate can help in lowering overall cholesterol, most especially LDL. 3g daily will be appropriate.
  • Grapefruit pectin fibre could also reduce LDL.
  • 1g-2g of fish oil daily.
  • Taking garlic every could also help in lowering blood cholesterol levels.
  • Include an antioxidant formula that could help in preventing cholesterol from oxidising.
  • Folic acid, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 can all help lower homocysteine levels in the body and reduces the risk of heart disease.
  • Calcium and magnesium. These minerals are helpful in lowering cholesterol levels.

More Helpful Hints

  • Check out and test your homocysteine levels to see whether they are in the acceptable levels.
  • Do exercises. Try to walk even for 30 minutes daily.
  • Avoid smoking as in could increase oxidation of LDLs.
  • Eat smaller meals every 3 to 4 hours, instead of eating 3 big meals in a day. Doing so could help in lowering cholesterol.
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