Cholesterol is a fatty substance that your body needs and it plays an important role because it is involved in the manufacture of our cell membranes. It is also involved in the production of vitamin D and some hormones. It is transported throughout the body by the bloodstream. A small amount of cholesterol is sufficient to meet the body’s needs.
What is high cholesterol?
When there is too much cholesterol in your blood, you have high cholesterol. High cholesterol usually does not trigger any obvious symptoms. It is a “silent” disorder just like high blood pressure shows no signs warning. Most people discover the problem after a blood test completing a routine physical examination. Cholesterol generally increases with age and may increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Much cholesterol in your body (about 80%) is synthesized in the liver. The association between cholesterol and proteins gives rise to so-called lipoproteins. These, rather, are able to travel throughout the body via the bloodstream. There are two main types of cholesterol according to the lipoproteins that transport.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – The majority of LDL or “bad” cholesterol circulates in the blood, unused. Normally, the liver removes the cholesterol “extra”, but many people have more LDL cholesterol than the liver can convert. LDL cholesterol facilitates the accumulation of plaque (fatty deposits) harmful to the arteries.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol – HDL cholesterol is considered “good” because it removes LDL cholesterol from the arteries and tissues and transports it to the liver, where it can decompose.
Whether high or low, the values of your LDL cholesterol levels are determined by many factors, including:
- Age (cholesterol increases with age)
- Alcohol consumption
- Gender (men have higher cholesterol)
- The level of physical activity
What is a normal cholesterol level?
When do we judge that cholesterol is too high? It depends on your risk of heart disease. To determine the appropriate cholesterol for your health and what treatment is best for you, your doctor will consider a number of factors that affect your risk of heart disease, including your age, your health and if you smoke.
If your risk of heart disease is low, your doctor will recommend treatment if your cholesterol levels exceed 194 mg / dL in U.S. units.
If your risk of heart disease is particularly high, your doctor may recommend treatment even if your cholesterol levels are lower. Do you have questions about your cholesterol? Ask your doctor if your cholesterol levels are at a desirable level for your health. If your cholesterol is high, ask your doctor whether you should seek treatment.
Researches have proven that good cholesterol (HDL) removes cholesterol from cells and facilitates its removal from the body. It is therefore beneficial. Already bad cholesterol (LDL) is the reverse: it helps cholesterol into cells, causing the excess is accumulated in the arteries in the form of plaques. Rightfully so, it brings several injuries.
Foods high in cholesterol, such as red meat and dairy products “fatty” increase your cholesterol levels. Eating saturated fat, found in animal products, and trans fats, found in some cakes and biscuits marketed, can also climb those same levels.
The saturated fat is one type of fat that, when ingested, increases the amount of cholesterol in the body. It is present mainly in foods of animal origin. Red meat, even when apparently “slim” has cholesterol molecules between the fibers and should be avoided. The light or diet margarine should be chosen to replace the butter.
Unsaturated fats are present mainly in foods of plant origin. They are essential to the body, but the human body can not afford to produce them. That is why it is necessary to consume the feed. The substitution of saturated fats with unsaturated fats in the diet can help reduce blood cholesterol. When you want to prepare a more flavorful bread, prefer light or diet margarine to butter.