What Do Good And Bad Cholesterol Do
Waxy in consistency, cholesterol moves through the blood supply and is found in every cell in the body. Its useful stuff: the body needs it to build cells and to make vitamins and hormones.
But too much LDL can build up inside blood vesselswhereas high levels of HDL can move excess cholesterol from the bloodstream to the liver, where it breaks down.
Natural Ways To Increase Your Hdl Cholesterol Levels
Our body needs biomolecules like proteins, carbohydrates and fatty acids. They are crucial for maintaining the metabolic processes in the body. Good cholesterol or HDL has several vital roles in the body. First, HDL helps the liver get rid of excess cholesterol from the body. It prevents bad cholesterol from getting stored. Low levels of HDL may hinder the excretion of excess cholesterol. Therefore, we need reasonable amounts of HDL.
Cholesterol And Healthy Eating
What we eat has an impact on our cholesterol levels and can help reduce our risk of disease. The Heart Foundation recommends following a heart-healthy eating pattern, which means eating a wide variety of fresh and unprocessed foods and limiting highly processed foods including take away, baked goods, chocolate, chips, lollies and sugary drinks. Not only does this help to maintain a healthy and interesting diet, but it provides essential nutrients to the body.
A heart-healthy eating pattern includes:
- plenty of vegetables, fruit and wholegrains
- a variety of healthy protein-rich foods , legumes , nuts and seeds. Smaller amounts of eggs and lean poultry can also be included in a heart-healthy eating pattern. If choosing red meat, make sure it is lean and limit to one to three times a week
- unflavoured milk, yoghurt and cheese. People with high cholesterol should choose reduced fat varieties
- healthy fats and oils. Choose nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and their oils for cooking
- herbs and spices to flavour foods, instead of adding salt.
This way of eating is also naturally high in fibre, which is good news, because a high intake of dietary fibre can also reduce levels of bad cholesterol in the blood.
Also, be mindful of how much you are eating. Portion sizes have increased over time and many of us are eating more than we need which can increase our cholesterol and risk of heart disease.
Serving size can vary depending on age, gender and specific nutrition needs.
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Tips To Raise Hdl Numbers
Although medications can increase HDL cholesterol, research has shown they do not necessarily alter your risk of heart disease. So, we often focus on suggesting lifestyle changes that can boost HDL levels and reduce your LDL, says Dr. Wassif.
Here are ways to do that, according to recommendations from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.
Adopt a heart-healthy diet
The food you eat can help drive your cholesterol levels down, says Dr. Wassif. Trademarks of a heart-healthy diet include:
- Ample amounts of fruit and vegetables.
- Foods high in soluble fiber, such as oats, whole-grains cereals and legumes.
- Fish that are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Just as important, though, is what you shouldnt be piling on your plate. Animal fats and other saturated fats can send cholesterol levels soaring. That means its a good idea to limit your intake of:
- Fatty cuts of beef, pork, lamb and veal, plus the skin of poultry.
- Processed meats such as bacon, hot dogs and sandwich favorites such as salami, bologna and ham.
- Full-fat dairy products like whole milk, butter and sour cream.
- Tropical oils .
- Fried and fast food.
The Mediterranean diet and DASH diet are two eating plans noted for their heart-healthy approach to food.
Physical activity builds more than muscle. It can also increase HDL levels, says Dr. Wassif.
Lose extra weight
Manage blood sugar and blood pressure
Common Misconceptions About Foods And Cholesterol
Just because a food contains cholesterol does not mean it will raise cholesterol levels. In fact, the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans of 2015-2020 removed the recommendation to limit dietary cholesterol to 300 mg per day, stating that adequate evidence was not available. Extensive research does not show that eating foods that contain cholesterol causes heart disease.
However, many foods remain feared for the belief that they increase the risk for heart disease or harm overall health. Some of these foods are highlighted below:
In addition to these foods, there has been concern over the recently trending ketogenic diet and its role in cholesterol levels. This style of eating limits nearly all sources of carbohydrates and instead gets a majority of calories and other nutrients from high-fat foods and protein. This diet includes eating large amounts of meat, eggs, cheese, and other high cholesterol, high saturated fat foods.
While it may seem as though this style of eating would be harmful to cholesterol levels, current research does not support this so far.
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What Is The Difference Between Hdl And Ldl Cholesterol
Cholesterol doesnt dissolve in blood. To be transported in the bloodstream, cholesterol is packed into two types of carriers: low-density lipoproteins or high-density lipoproteins . LDL cholesterol, which is sometimes known as bad cholesterol, is necessary in limited quantities , but high LDL cholesterol levels can dramatically increase your risk of a heart attack. Thats because LDL particles can contribute to atherosclerosisor clogged arteries. HDL cholesterolsometimes called good cholesterolhelps clear LDL cholesterol from the arteries.
When doctors measure cholesterol levels, they first look at total cholesterol as a quick way to assess a persons risk. For a more exact guide, they divide the total level by the HDL level. Heart attack risk is minimized by having a lower total cholesterol and a higher proportion of HDL cholesterol. The ratio of total cholesterol to HDL should be less than 4 to 1.
Unfortunately, the average American man has a ratio of 5 to 1. Vegetarians, on the other hand, average about 3 to 1. Smoking and obesity lower HDL vigorous exercise and foods rich in vitamin C may increase it.
Prepare Your Food A Little Differently
Its not only what you eat its how you eat it. Just as you can change what you buy in the grocery store, you can also choose healthier ways to make your food that help lower your cholesterol naturally. For example:
- Consider trimming fat and removing the skin when cooking meat or fish. This helps you get the protein while reducing fat intake.
- Focus on boiling, broiling, baking, poaching or grilling. These are better methods of preparation than deep frying or breading, which can add extra fat.
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Eat To Lower Your Cholesterol
Cholesterol isnt all bad news. Follow these tips to lower your cholesterol, the natural way.
Chances are, youve heard a thing or two about cholesterol. Having high blood cholesterol is a risk factor for developing heart disease.
But did you know that you can reduce your cholesterol level by making smart food choices? Its true!
Before we get to the details, lets be clear on what were talking about. For years, cholesterol has had a bad rep that it doesnt really deserve. The truth is, we need cholesterol to function. Your body makes most of the cholesterol it needs. The rest comes from foods you eat.
Heres the important thing: Dietary cholesterol found in meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products has less impact on increasing your blood cholesterol level. Foods that contain lots of saturated fat are the true culprits.
Now heres how to make nutritious choices to lower your blood cholesterol.
Keep eating simple
In the last 20 years, the rules on healthy eating have shifted. Super restrictive diets arent sustainable or the healthiest choice. Rather than zeroing in on a single nutrient, nutrition research shows the quality of your diet matters more. A diet filled with the right portions of whole, unprocessed foods can help decrease heart disease and stroke. What does that look like? For a healthy, balanced eating plan:
Cook at home
Choose more fibre
Each of these options will provide you with two grams:
Myth: All Cholesterol Is Bad For You
Fact: Some types of cholesterol are essential for good health. Your body needs cholesterol to perform important jobs, such as making hormones and building cells. Cholesterol travels through the blood on proteins called lipoproteins. Two types of lipoproteins carry cholesterol throughout the body:
- LDL ,sometimes called badcholesterol, makes up most of your bodys cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol raise your risk for heart disease and stroke.
- HDL ,or goodcholesterol, carries cholesterol back to the liver. The liver then flushes it from the body. High levels of HDL cholesterol can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.
When your body has too much LDL cholesterol, it can build up in the walls of your blood vessels. This buildup is called plaque. As your blood vessels build up plaque over time, the insides of the vessels narrow. This narrowing can restrict and eventually block blood flow to and from your heart and other organs. When blood flow to the heart is blocked, it can cause angina or a heart attack.
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Hdl Cholesterol Vs Ldl Cholesterol
As we know, HDL cholesterol is the good cholesterol while LDL is the bad type. Heres how the two stack up:
- levels increase with a healthy diet
- smoking lowers HDL levels
- is the main source of cholesterol buildup and blockage in the arteries
- higher levels mean an increases risk for serious heart problems and stroke
- being overweight is associated with a higher LDL level and a lower HDL level.
Work With Your Doctor On A Lower Cholesterol Plan
Lowering your cholesterol doesnt mean going it alone. Your primary care doctor is a helpful partner along your journey.
Your doctor can work with you to create an action plan just for you one that combines diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes to help you lower and manage your cholesterol.
For example, losing weight and quitting smoking can be big helpers for lowering cholesterol. Quitting smoking can raise your good HDL cholesterol levels, and losing weight can lower your bad LDL cholesterol levels significantly.
But these two tasks arent easy. Fortunately, your primary care doctor can be a great resource to help you get started and find practical ways to stick with it. Plus, help with quitting smoking and losing weight may already be covered if you have health insurance.
Whether you want to quit smoking, lose weight or just learn more about how your personal health would benefit from lower cholesterol levels, regular check-ins with your doctor are key. They can also perform cholesterol tests the only way to actually measure cholesterol to check your progress and help you make adjustments based on the results.
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Start A Regular Exercise Routine And Stick With It
Weve all heard it before. Regular exercise is important for maintaining heart health and can also increase HDL cholesterol levels. Physical activity such as running, walking, biking, and swimming, along with moderate weight training, are great choices to help boost those good cholesterol levels.
A June 2020 review in the American Journal of Physiology found that endurance training led to a significant rise in HDL. For both men and women, the review cited a number of studies that had subjects perform moderate to vigorous exercise a minimum of three days a week. This was also the case for body types ranging from overweight beginners to marathon runners.
Exercise is excellent because it may independently raise your HDL but also leads to weight loss, which may account for additional gains in your HDL, says Haitham Ahmed, MD, MPH, chair of cardiology at AdvantageCare Physicians in New York.
What Are The Types Of Cholesterol
cholesterol There are mainly three types. LDL, HDL and VLDL.
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The Risk Of Low Hdl Levels
Often, only LDL cholesterol gets attention as a cardiovascular risk, but HDL cholesterol deserves attention as well. Low levels of HDL can be just as dangerous as high LDL, because it can lead to a buildup of LDL cholesterol. For men, less than 40 milligrams of HDL per deciliter of blood is a risk factor for heart disease. For women that number is even higher, at 50 milligrams per deciliter of blood.
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Measurements Of Plasma Lipids
To measure plasma lipids, plasma was separated by centrifugation at 1200 g for 15 min . The total plasma cholesterol and TAG concentrations were determined enzymatically using a Kone Spesific Analyzer catalogue no. 114892320216 and catalogue no. 12016648 122). The HDL cholesterol concentration was determined after precipitation of the plasma sample with heparinmanganese chloride. LDL cholesterol was calculated by the Friedewald formulaReference Friedewald, Levy and Fredrickson19.
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Cholesterol Myths And Facts
Cholesterol can be confusing! Learn answers to common questions about blood cholesterol.
What do your cholesterol numbers mean? Can the foods you eat change your cholesterol levels?
Learn the difference between cholesterol myth and fact. Then commit to getting your cholesterol checked this year so you know your numbers and your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Commit to getting your cholesterol checked this year so you know your numbers and your risk for heart disease and stroke.
How Long Does It Take For Consumed Foods To Help Lower Bad Cholesterol
A 2015 study from Penn State University found that obese or overweight people had a 50% drop in LDL levels after following an avocado-rich, low-fat diet for five weeks. An earlier study from Mexico reported that a similar diet in healthy people with mild hypercholesterolemia reduced total cholesterol by 17% and bad LDL cholesterol by 22% after only seven days.
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Lose And Keep Off The Extra Pounds
If youre overweight or obese, shedding those excess pounds can help to raise HDL cholesterol. Leah Groppo, RD, CDE, a clinical dietitian at Stanford Health Care in Stanford, California, says that losing around 7 percent of your total body weight is enough to cause a metabolic shift. But, as Groppo notes, maintaining weight loss is key.
Abdominal obesity fat that accumulates around your waist rather than in the hips and thighs seems to be associated with heart disease risk and lower levels of the good cholesterol.
Effective weight loss methods include diet, exercise, and surgery. A comparative study published in December 2018 in Scielo.org found that obese participants who received sleeve gastrectomy, a type of weight loss surgery, showed a significant increase in their HDL cholesterol 12 months later.
What Are The Risks Linked To High Cholesterol
Too much LDL cholesterol in the blood can increase your risk of heart and blood vessel disease .
The excess LDL cholesterol leads to fatty deposits called plaque forming in the artery walls. Over time, the plaque causes narrowing and hardening of the arteries .
This can lead to:
- Angina when plaque builds up in the major arteries that supply your heart, known as the coronary arteries, they become narrower and are partially blocked, reducing blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart. This may cause shortness of breath and chest pain.
- Heart attack if a plaque in a coronary artery bursts , a clot may form and block the supply of blood to the heart, starving it of oxygen.
- Stroke if the blood vessels that supply the brain become narrower or blocked by plaque, blood supply to the brain can be severely reduced or cut off, causing a stroke. Strokes can also be caused when a clot from another part of the body travels through the blood and lodges in an artery in the brain.
- Peripheral vascular disease this usually affects the arteries that supply the legs and feet, causing leg pain when walking , and even pain when resting, when the circulation is more badly affected
A high level of HDL cholesterol is good because HDL cholesterol helps remove other forms of cholesterol from the blood, taking them back to the liver where they’re removed from the blood and passed out of the body.
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Reduce Your Intake Of Saturated And Trans Fats
Adopt and follow a healthy diet thats low in saturated and trans fats. A diet high in these fats can raise levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood.
Saturated fat is usually solid at room temperature. Its found in animal products such as meat and dairy, but also in palm oil, coconut oil and full-cream milk. Read more about saturated fat-rich foods here.
Trans fats are found in store-bought baked goods, snack foods and deep-fried foods. There is strong evidence that trans fats increase levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood, while decreasing levels of HDL cholesterol.
Some foods contain cholesterol . Foods that contain cholesterol include liver, pate, kidneys, prawns and egg yolks. These types of food are not usually eaten in large quantities, so its OK to include them in your diet in small amounts.
Foods that contain saturated fats have a greater effect on blood cholesterol levels than foods that contain dietary cholesterol.