Cholesterol and Heart health
Medihope Super Speciality Hospital
Malleshpalya, Bengaluru Feb 13, 2017
Cholesterol is the substance your body needs to produce essentials like Vitamin D and hormones. It is also important for digestion and cholesterol is synthesized by the liver for all the functions. But, the body gets addition cholesterol from the foods you eat like meat and dairy products.
Cholesterol is of two types
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL)
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
Lipoproteins are basically made of fats and proteins and cholesterol moves through your body from within these lipoproteins.
HDL is considered as good cholesterol because it moves the cholesterol to the liver from where the body gets rid of it. This ensures that it does not settle in the arteries blocking the flow of blood. So, the higher these numbers are the better it is for you. For females, the minimum is 55mg/dl and 45mg/dl for males.
LDL takes the cholesterol to the arteries causing a condition called atherosclerosis hence it is considered bad. The cholesterol collects on the walls of the arteries resulting in blood clotting which is the main reason for strokes and heart attacks. These levels should be well within 130 mg/dl and if you have a heart condition or high total blood cholesterol then it needs to below 100 mg/dl.
Total blood cholesterol
Apart from HDL and LDL, triglycerides also contribute to your cholesterol levels. Triglycerides are a common fat and its levels should be within 150 md/dl. High levels of triglycerides combine with high LDL or HDL also results in atherosclerosis.
Controlling cholesterol levels
There are certain factors that increase your cholesterol levels
- Low fitness levels
- High red meat and dairy intake
- Very high-stress levels can be a possible factor
Switch to a healthy diet and quit smoking. Managing stress levels with the help of yoga or cardio exercises will also help in weight management. It is important to keep a check on cholesterol as every high level leads to strokes and heart attacks which results in permanent damage to one’s functioning or even death.