Keeping Your Cholesterol in Check

Nutrition and Fitness Management

This article presents the very latest information on cholesterol awareness. If you have a particular interest in keeping your cholesterol in check, then this informative article is required reading.

I trust that what you’ve read so far has been informative. The following section should go a long way toward clearing up any uncertainty that may remain.

Do you ever think that you don’t’ have to worry about certain health concerns until later in life? Most of the health issues we experience later in life are the results of habits we form at a much younger age. That’s why it is important to keep your cholesterol levels in check so that you can reduce the chances of developing heart disease or stroke later in life. Keep reading to find out what cholesterol is and how too much of the wrong type can adversely affect your body.

Cholesterol is a lipid (fat) that makes up the membranes of all cells within the body. Cholesterol comes from two sources: the food we eat and that which is manufactured in the liver. While we can’t control the amount of cholesterol produced by the body, we can, however, control what we take into our bodies. Meats, fish, and dairy products contain cholesterol naturally. Processed foods also contain cholesterol.

When cholesterol is released from food, it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Here, it becomes a substance called “chylomicron” when it acquires a protein coating. The liver absorbs these chylomicrons from the blood. The liver also has the capability of producing cholesterol and secreting it back into the bloodstream between meals. Cholesterol in and of itself is not dangerous until there is too much of it circulating throughout the body.

Because the liver produces cholesterol, not much more is needed from outside sources. Eating lean meats and low-fat or skim milk and cheeses reduces the amount of cholesterol that enters the body through food. Food full of saturated fats increases the levels of cholesterol in the blood. Conversely, foods that contain mostly unsaturated fats leave less cholesterol in the body. Eating all of those fast food hamburgers, fries, and milkshakes is a surefire way to increase the cholesterol level in the blood.

There are two main types of cholesterol to be concerned about: high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). Which is better? High levels of LDL in the blood are considered “bad”. These lipoproteins leave cholesterol deposits on arterial walls. The cholesterol hardens into a waxy substance called plaque. Over time, the plaques narrow the lumen (opening) of the affected vessel leaving blood less space to flow freely. Those cholesterol plaques could break free from the walls of the arteries and lodge in a smaller vessel causing a stroke, heart attack, or pulmonary embolism.

High levels of HDL in the blood are considered “good”. These lipoproteins remove cholesterol from arterial walls before they can form life-threatening plaques. The cholesterol is returned to the liver. The arteries are kept free from anything that would hinder blood flow to the organs of the body.

The next time you have a physical (which should be once a year), make sure to have your blood drawn for a cholesterol panel. Keeping your cholesterol in check is important.

When word gets around about your command of cholesterol facts, others who need to know about cholesterol awareness will start to actively seek you out.

One Response to “Keeping Your Cholesterol in Check”

  1. San Diego Yoga Classes Says:

    You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.

Leave a Reply