Cholesterol may be a common household word, but people don’t really know much about it. Cholesterol is actually a fat-like substance found in animal cells- including human cells. Cholesterol is a must for life. Humans can live without eating anything that will raise their cholesterol level because our bodies are designed to produce all the cholesterol it requires for health and survival. At the same time high blood cholesterol is a risk factor for heart attack.Cholesterol is attached to lipoproteins. These get collected in the liver and then circulate through our bloodstream. Two known lipoproteins types are, HDL, i.e. high-density lipoprotein and LDL – low-density lipoprotein. They are “good” type that carries cholesterol out of the system; and the “bad” type, which does just the opposite respectively. Low-Density Lipoprotein deposits cholesterol in artery walls, which as it builds, narrows the arteries.
The ideal Cholesterol level in human body is less than 200 mg/dl (5.2 mmol/L). Borderline towards high 200-239 mg/dl (5.2 -6.19 mmol/L). And High Cholesterol level is 240 mg/dl or anything more than it (6.2 mmol/L or more).
Fit and healthy people should get their Cholesterol checked every five years. But if they are diagnosed with high level they should visit the doctor every year. If left unattended it can be a major risk factor for cardiac complications including heart attack.
For women during menopause, estrogen production declines, and with that HDL also declines. Sex hormones also tend to raise HDL amongst women. Depending on how low one’s HDL is, women might consider starting hormone replacement therapy. There are alternate measures also though.
To lower the Cholesterol level one should drink and eat in moderation and exercise. Eating a diet rich in fruits, grains, vegetables, and nonfat dairy products is considered ideal. Cholesterol-lowering drugs also raise HDL but they should be taken after consulting your doctor. Don’t get into self-medication or go for a prescription from a friend. Every body has a different metabolism and may react differently to the same drug.
The cholesterol one consumes affects the amount one’s body produces. Saturated fats, found chiefly in animal products, affect blood cholesterol levels. The recommended cholesterol daily is 300 milligram maximum. One egg contains 251 mg so if you eat one egg you will have to make sure you are going low on other high cholesterol foods. To remain healthy The American Heart Association suggests a weekly maximum of four eggs. If you are eating more than that it is advisable you get your cholesterol level under check by visiting the doctor regularly.
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