High cholesterol level is one of the main causes of heart disease in men and women all over the world. Almost half of all men and third of all women suffering from heart disease in the west is due to high cholesterol levels.
What is cholesterol ?
Cholesterol is a fatty compound of the sterol type produced by the liver.It is generally known as lipid.They can be acquired through diet and this is where the problem starts.Cholesterol is hydrophobic in nature and so they do not mix with blood which is hydrophilic.This lets cholesterol not mix with blood and easily transported throughout the body as lipoproteins.They are of two types, Low density lipoproteins (LDL) and High density lipoproteins (HDL).It is their ratio in the body which should be maintained.LDLs are made up of saturated hydrocarbons and so they are hard to breakdown.LDLs are therefore problematic.HDLs on the other hand are made up of unsaturated hydrocarbons, they are easily broken down and are widely known as the good cholesterol.
Our body requires a balanced amount of cholesterol to function properly. The human cell membrane are made up of lipids.They are essential for the cells` stability, and permeability to vital compounds and even medicine.Cholesterols are an important part of our nerve fibers which transmit signal.Cholesterol insulates the nerves.The human body uses cholesterol to make bile acids that help digest fat ! They are required to make important hormones and Vitamin D.
Our body requires only a limited amount of cholesterol.Over Consumption of cholesterol rich foods can cause many health problems.The most common health problem is Atherosclerosis.HDLs carry cholesterol from the cells to the liver to be broken down.While on the other hand the bad cholesterol LDLs carry cholesterol to the other body parts from the liver and deposits them.This can cause serious problem as when the lining of the arteries are damaged these cholesterol deposits there and hardens. The many occurrences that occur as an aftermath are fatal.Plaques are formed as calcium deposits which can lead to atherosclerosis , stroke and heart attack as the blood pressure in the arteries increases drastically.Regular exercise, sports increases the amount of HDL in the body while smoking, obesity and alcohol consumption decreases it.Foods such as oily fish, seeds, nuts and vegetable oils are huge source of unsaturated fats or good fats.Avoid processed food, meat, butter, lard, ghee as they contain saturated fats or bad fats.
High cholesterol level can be hereditary. Genes determines how much cholesterol your body will produce.There are certain disorders that makes the body make abnormal amount of cholesterol and lead to diseases such as hypercholesterolemia.Most people do not suffer from hereditary problems.Their health issues are regarding high cholesterol are due to an unbalanced diet.People who are frequent consumers of junk foods suffer from high cholesterol level the most.One should also reduce work load and stress as these were also found to be associated with increasing LDLs.