Friday, 25 January 2013

Lower Your LDL Cholesterol For A Healthy Life

By Terry Howser

Define Cholesterol

Beside coming from food source such as eggs, dairy products, and meats , our livers produce cholesterol that we would ever need to keep our bodies function normally. Although it is important to have cholesterol in order for the body to perform properly, too much of it can cause major health problems, including cardiovascular disease , and hardening of the arteries which is known as atherosclerosis.

The body uses cholesterol to produce Vitamin D, hormones, and many of the bile acids that are required to digest fat in the stomach and intestines. However, to function properly, the body requires only a small amount of cholesterol to perform all of its duties.

Cardiovascular Disease and Cholesterol

When there are too much cholesterol in the blood, plaque starts to build-up against the artery walls. Over time, the accumulation of plague slows down the circulation of blood flow to the heart. Hardening of arteries or atherosclerosis will be developed when plaque continues to buildup which will eventually lead to heart disease, or at the worse case, even death if left untreated.

With the buildup of cholesterol on the inside of the arteries, and the restriction of oxygen-carrying blood, the individual might experience heart chest pain (angina). Anytime the flow of blood has been completely cut off to the heart, a heart attack could result. This is usually a result of a sudden closure in the artery caused by a blood clot that has been formed from the plaque.

Bad Cholesterol Foods, Behaviors & Conditions

Cholesterol levels in the body can be affected by various factors. Individuals may experience various levels of cholesterol throughout the course of their life. Here are the factors:

An Unhealthy Diet - Consuming foods high in saturated fat tends to generate high levels of cholesterol. These foods include meats, animal organs (liver, kidneys, sweetbreads, and others), cheeses, dairy products, and eggs.

Overweight - Being overweight can be a major cause of high blood cholesterol. It has been proven that losing up to 10% of your body weight has been shown to lower harmful LDL cholesterol levels while increasing the good HDL cholesterol.

Lack of Regular Exercise - It has been proven that regular physical exercise can help raise good cholesterol level, HDL, and at the same time lower the bad cholesterol level, LDL.

Age and Gender- Part of the aging process plays a significant role in raising cholesterol levels when men and women after age 20. For women, cholesterol levels tend to lower then men until menopause, then their cholesterol level rises to about the same level as men.

Part of understanding how to lower bad cholesterol to live a healthier life requires taking a positive approach to life-style change such as eliminating bad cholesterol foods, quitting smoking, and maintaining an physically active life-style. Individuals with family background of having high blood cholesterol, it is best to have their cholesterol levels screened in a regular basis as high blood cholesterol can be developed without any symptoms so preventive measure is the best approach before problem arise.

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