What is High Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a type of lipid found in the blood of the human body. It can be synthesized from endogenous compounds by our cells, although one can also get it from the foods we eat.
Contrary to popular belief, not all cholesterol is harmful. The two cholesterol types are distinguished by how they work with fat in the body:
High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) is considered to be good as it is responsible for transporting the fatty substances from the rest of your body into the liver. In the liver, it is metabolized into a usable form, or it is stored for future purposes. In that sense, it takes away the fat from your heart and blood vessels, thereby reducing your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
LDL, or Low-Density Lipoprotein, on the other hand, is the “bad” cholesterol. It works in the exact opposite way – it transports fat from your liver into everywhere else in your body. Just think of all that fat clogging up your arteries and other tissues. This is why having high levels of LDL is directly linked to a person developing a heart attack or stroke.
To make matters simpler, only the “bad” cholesterol will be talked about from this point onwards. What are the effects of having high cholesterol in your body?
Having high levels of cholesterol makes the fats prone to being deposited in places it’s not supposed to. Take your blood vessels, for instance. They are normally smooth, pliable, with minimal resistance in blood flow. With high cholesterol levels, however, some of the fat gets stored on the blood vessels (where they are called atherosclerotic plaques). Having fat there distorts the normal smooth architecture of the blood vessels, making the blood flow very turbulent. To make matters worse, the excess fat makes the blood vessels stiff, so that the heart needs to exert more effort in pumping blood through the body.
There are more serious consequences in having all that fat in your arteries. They can get dislodged from where they’re deposited. Imagine that piece of fat flowing freely inside your body. It can embed itself in a blood vessel that’s supplying a vital organ: such as the brain, or your heart. In fact, that’s one of the most common reasons why people suffer from a heart attack or stroke. The piece of fat implants itself in a major blood vessel, cutting off the blood supply for that tissue.
High Cholesterol Cure
Knowing all this, how can one decrease the levels of bad cholesterol in the body? The first step is having a healthy lifestyle. It always helps to keep your body in shape, and avoid being overweight and obese. Furthermore, you have to eat right: have lots of fruits and vegetables, and fish, and stay away from fatty, processed, and fried foods.
Moreover, it helps to engage in moderate exercise, around 30 minutes per day, about three to four times per week. By sticking to this healthy regimen, you’re guaranteed to decrease the risk of having these serious conditions due to high cholesterol.