If Cholesterol Is Necessary Why Do We Have To Worry About How Much We Have
Having enough cholesterol to meet your needs is important. Having too much cholesterol can cause problems. If your cholesterol levels are high, the condition is called hypercholesterolemia. If your cholesterol levels are low, the condition is called hypocholesterolemia. It is not common to have cholesterol levels that are too low, but it can happen.
Why Cholesterol Affects Women Differently
In general, women have higher levels of HDL cholesterol than men because the female sex hormone estrogen seems to boost this good cholesterol. But, like so much else, everything changes at menopause. At this point, many women experience a change in their cholesterol levels total and LDL cholesterol rise and HDL cholesterol falls. This is why women who had favorable cholesterol values during their childbearing years might end up with elevated cholesterol later in life. Of course, genetics and lifestyle factors can play big roles, too.
Some People May Respond Best To A Low
For those with severely elevated triglycerides , there is a case for low-fat diets being equally good if not better than low carb in some situations.
One study finds that those with triglycerides below 400 mg/dL respond best to low-carb diets, but those with triglycerides greater than 400 mg/dL respond best to low-fat diets.24
However, case reports document a decrease in severely elevated triglycerides with low-carb, high-fat diets.25
Its important to understand the cause of elevated triglycerides, as that may impact the proposed dietary treatment. If someone has a genetic cause, such as familial chylomicronemia or lipoprotein lipase deficiency, a low-fat diet may be more effective.26
Aside from these extreme examples, there is no evidence to support a low-fat diet as being better than a low-carb diet for reducing elevated triglycerides.
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Current Goal Attainment For Non
Although LDL-C goal attainment has improved, non-HDL-C goal attainment remains poor. In a 2003 survey by the National Cholesterol Education Program , 62% of CAD patients achieved the LDL-C goal of < 100 mg/dL, but only 33% achieved both LDL-C and non-HDL-C goals. Our recent analyses have shown that although goal attainment of LDL-C < 100 mg/dL was seen in 80% of CAD patients, the combined goal attainment for LDL-C and non-HDL-C remained low, at 51%. Under stringent criteria for LDL-C and non-HDL-C , this goal attainment fell to 13%.
You Want The Good Cholesterol
The problem with going on a low fat low cholesterol diet is that your body would still keep producing its own cholesterol. Arguably youd be making more of it because of not getting it from the diet.
In fact, a lot of people suffer from low levels of HDL cholesterol, which prevents their body from clearing out cholesterol from the blood. Most Americans dont have enough HDL to decrease their risk of cardiovascular disease. Crazy enough, low cholesterol levels are actually associated with increased mortality from stroke and heart disease.
Low Carbohydrate ketogenic diets with less than 50 g of carbs a day have been found to be better for long-term cardiovascular risk factor management compared to low-fat diets with less than 30% of calories coming from fat. They can also raise HDL 4x times as much as a low-fat diet.
Long-term ketogenic diets reduce body weight, decrease triglycerides, lower LDL and blood glucose, and increase HDL cholesterol without any side-effects.
Thats why you cant make the conclusion that well-formulated low carb high fat ketogenic diets are bad for you because youre trying to focus on cholesterol. In reality, the cause of heart disease isnt the cholesterol its the inflammation and high sugar diet combined with oxidized fats.
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The Basics: What Is Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is essential for the life of all animals, including humans.2 Cholesterol is found in virtually every cell of your body and is necessary for many bodily functions, including:
- Cell integrity: As an integral part of every cell membrane in the body, cholesterol is required for maintaining cell structure and fluidity.
- Hormone synthesis: Cholesterol is needed to make steroid hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, and other related hormones, such as vitamin D3.
- Creation of bile acids: Your liver converts cholesterol into bile acids, which help you absorb fats and the essential fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
- Myelin formation: The myelin sheath that surrounds and protects nerve cells contains plenty of cholesterol.3
Your body makes most of the cholesterol that is found in your bloodstream. Its primarily produced in the liver.
Dietary cholesterol found in animal foods like eggs, shellfish, cheese, and organ meat makes up a smaller portion of your blood cholesterol pool.
Unlike fat, which contains nine calories per gram, cholesterol has no calories. Because its present in foods in very small amounts, its measured in milligrams instead of grams. Most fatty meats and whole-milk dairy products contain just a little cholesterol, whereas some shellfish and organ meats are high in cholesterol, yet low in fat.
Anything Greater Than 39 Mg/dl Is Considered Good
Doctors believe the HDL proteins carry away the LDL proteins to the liver, where it is broken down and exits the body.
Triglycerides are the most common type of fat in the body they store excess energy from your diet.
A high triglyceride level combined with low HDL cholesterol or high LDL cholesterol is linked with fatty buildups in artery walls therefore, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
My husbands Triglyceride level was 282 mg/dL, whereas, 150 should be highest.
HDL level 35 mg/dL, whereas 39 mg/dL should be the lowest
LDL level 146 mg/dl, wheras 100 mg/dL is optimal
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How Do I Know If I Have High Cholesterol
Many Australians don’t know they have high cholesterol, because there are no symptoms. High cholesterol can only be detected through a blood test.
Some people have a condition called familial hypercholesterolaemia where a genetic problem leads to high cholesterol. About one in 500 Australians has this condition and many dont know they have it. If you have a family history of high cholesterol or of heart disease at a young age, ask your doctor about your risk.
Understand The Difference Between Ldl
Most cholesterol blood tests measure LDL-C, the total amount of cholesterol carried in our LDL particles. However, LDL-P, or the total number of LDL particles in our blood, is an even better marker of cardiovascular risk.3 Some studies on low-carb diets have shown an increase in LDL-C with either no change or a decrease in LDL-P .4
How does this happen? Studies show that carbohydrate restriction can change small LDL particles into larger ones.5Therefore, there may be more overall cholesterol, but fewer LDL particles. In theory, this may not indicate a substantially increased cardiovascular risk and may not require corrective action. However, it is unclear if there is a threshold level beyond which this hypothesis may not hold.6
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How Can I Lower My Cholesterol With Medicines
As well as making lifestyle changes, some people will need to take cholesterol-lowering medicines to reduce their risk of heart and blood vessel disease, known as cardiovascular disease. The medicines most commonly used are called statins.
Your doctor will consider all your risk factors for cardiovascular disease before suggesting medication not just your cholesterol and lipid results. If youve already had a heart attack or stroke, taking statins can substantially lower your risk of having another one.
Statins work by slowing the amount of cholesterol made in your liver. In response, your liver uses the cholesterol already in your blood to make up for the deficit. This lowers the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood.
If statins alone do not lower your cholesterol enough, you may need additional medicines.
Contact your doctor if your medicines are causing any side effects.
Fasting Before A Lipid Test
Although a lipid test can be done with or without fasting, you are more likely to get accurate results by fasting, especially if your triglycerides are going to be measured. This means you can have nothing but water for nine to 12 hours before the test.
Once your lipid levels are calculated, a simple mathematical calculation is used to determine your non-HDL levels.
Non-HDL-C is calculated by subtracting total cholesterol from HDL cholesterol. Total cholesterol is made up of triglycerides plus the combination of cholesterol from atherogenic lipoproteins which includes LDL, VLDL, IDL , and lipoprotein-a cholesterol.
Optimal non-HDL levels are below 130 mg/dL for both adult men and women.
Optimal HDL levels are 40 mg/dL for adult men and 50 mg/dL for adult women. Levels below this increase your risk of heart disease.
Optimum triglyceride levels are below 150 mg/dL. Triglyceride levels above 200 mg/dL are especially concerning, as studies show this greatly increases an individuals risk of developing atherosclerosis and heart disease.
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Two Myths Related To Low Carb Diets & Cholesterol
Myth 1: Foods high in cholesterol raise your blood cholesterol.
Your dietary intake of cholesterol determines the level of cholesterol in your blood, so cholesterol could muck up the works by clogging blood vessels. For this reason, we were all advised that consuming less dietary cholesterol would keep blood cholesterol under control. Reality: It is commonly accepted in the medical community that the majority of the cholesterol that ends up in your blood is produced in your liver only about 25 percent is absorbed from food1. This means that there is not a significant relationship between the amount of cholesterol a person consumes and their blood-cholesterol levels.The advice to avoid high-cholesterol foods has been moderated and with good reason. Visit our list of approved low carb foods for additional information and suggestions on what to eat. Egg yolks, for example, contain a lot of cholesterol, but they also are rich in important nutrients that may lower heart-disease risk, such as vitamins D and B12, riboflavin and folate. Shrimp and lobster, also notorious for high cholesterol contents, contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and are rich in selenium and vitamin B12. Consuming a diet made up of nutrient-dense, whole foods and maintaining a physically active lifestyle are the best things you can do to keep cholesterol levels in check.
Some Factors That Could Increase Cholesterol
One of the major factors that increase cholesterol is a poor diet. DASH diet plan can help to reduce cholesterol. Factors that could increase your cholesterol include:
· Lack of exercise
To control or lower your non-HDL cholesterol level, do the following:
· Eat heart-healthy foods like dash diet
· Exercise more often
· Reduce the intake of animal fats
· If you must, take alcohol in moderation
· Control your stress
· Control your blood sugar and pressure
· Control your weight
· Keep positive emotions
· Take more vegetables, fruits, and grains.
Putting your non-HDL Cholesterol under control is one of the ways to live a healthier life. Remember that your heart is involved, thats more reason why you should put your heart at it. We previously wrote about how eating Fiber help lowers blood sugar and cholesterol, please check it out!
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Improving All Risk Factors For Heart Disease
Thats why, when all is said and done, it is vital to shift the question from What is the optimal non-HDL cholesterol goal? to What is the optimal way to improve all modifiable risk factors for heart disease?
The answer is embracing a healthy lifestyle like the Pritikin Program.
With Pritikin living, taught at the Pritikin Longevity Center, you are not only lowering cholesterol levels like non-HDL and LDL, you are also lowering virtually all lifestyle-based risk factors for cardiovascular disease. This is heart-health care at its very best.
Lower Your Cholesterol at the Pritikin Health Resort
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Guide For Lowering Cholesterol Naturally
The complete Pritikin Program for lowering cholesterol with little or no medication. Includes recipes and 5-day meal plan. The Ultimate Guide for Lowering LDL Cholesterol Naturally
If your LDL levels are still too high after trying these 6 nutrition-based approaches, talk to your doctor about cholesterol-lowering medications like statins, but give these 6 tips your best shot, encourages Dr. Danine Fruge, MD, ABFP, Medical Director at the Pritikin Longevity Center. The right eating plan, like Pritikin, can be powerfully beneficial and there are no adverse side effects.
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Healthy Fats Can Help Lower Cholesterol
Replace unhealthy fats, such as saturated and trans fats, with monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. To eat more omega-3 fats, include fatty fish, flaxseed or ground flax, and walnuts in your eating plan. The oils that contain omega-3 fats are olive and canola oils. The ADA recommends eating two servings of omega-3-rich fish per week as part of a heart-healthy diet. The oils high in omega-6 fats are corn, soybean, and sunflower oils.
Eat less of these unhealthful fats:
Saturated fat: The biggest food contributor to elevated LDL cholesterol is saturated fat. To remedy the cause-and-effect relationship between saturated fat and LDL, the ADA recommends limiting saturated-fat intake to less than 7 percent of your daily calories. So if youre trying to eat no more than 2,000 calories a day, that would mean eating no more than 140 calories from saturated fat daily, or 15 grams of saturated fat.
Trans fat: The ADA also recommends avoiding foods that contain trans fat. Although many restaurants and manufacturers advertise products as having zero trans fat, if the ingredients include shortening, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, or hydrogenated vegetable oil, the food likely contains trans fat. Labels are not required to list trans fat if the total is less than 0.5 grams per serving. Eating multiple servings of such foods means trans-fat intake can add up.
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Does Eating Cholesterol Clog Your Arteries
You can get cholesterol from eating animal foods like eggs, cheese, meat, and dairy but your body can also produce its own. An average 150 lb weighing male can synthesize 1000 mg of cholesterol a day. One single egg has 200 mg of cholesterol. The typical US dietary intake of cholesterol is about 307 mg. In that case, about 75% of your bodys cholesterol gets produced by the body internally and 25% gets ingested externally.
Most of the cholesterol you eat gets esterified and is poorly absorbed. In the short term, cholesterol levels will rise as fats are being distributed around. The body also reduces its own cholesterol synthesis when you consume it from food. Therefore, eating more cholesterol will not raise your cholesterol in the long run.
When you look at the mechanism of cholesterol transportation, then higher cholesterol in your blood also means that youre burning more fat for fuel as well.
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Natural Ways To Lower Your Cholesterol Levels
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Cholesterol is made in your liver and has many important functions. For example, it helps keep the walls of your cells flexible and is needed to make several hormones.
However, like anything in the body, too much cholesterol creates concerns.
Like fat, cholesterol does not dissolve in water. Instead, to move around the body, it depends on molecules called lipoproteins. These carry cholesterol, fat, and fat-soluble vitamins in your blood.
Different kinds of lipoproteins have different effects on health. For example, high levels of low-density lipoprotein results in cholesterol deposits in blood vessel walls, which can lead to (
- heart attack
- kidney failure
In contrast, high-density lipoprotein helps carry cholesterol away from vessel walls and helps prevent these conditions (
How Is The Total Cholesterol Or Blood Cholesterol Test Done
A blood test is a routine test. A phlebotomist is a person whose job is to draw blood. Blood is usually drawn from the vein in your arm. You will sit down and the phlebotomist will wrap a rubber band around your upper arm so that the vein in your elbow sticks out. Then they will use a needle to puncture the vein and remove blood. The blood is sent to the lab to be examined.
Youve probably been at health fairs where testing is offered. In that case, the person performing the test takes a drop of blood from your finger. The finger-stick test uses a small blade to poke a hole in the tip of your finger to get the blood.
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Consider Plant Sterols And Stanols
Multiple types of supplements show promise for managing cholesterol.
Plant stanols and sterols are plant versions of cholesterol. Because they resemble cholesterol, they are absorbed from the diet like cholesterol.
However, because parts of their chemistry are different from human cholesterol, they do not contribute to clogged arteries.
Instead, they reduce cholesterol levels by competing with human cholesterol. When plant sterols are absorbed from the diet, this replaces the absorption of cholesterol.
Small amounts of plant stanols and sterols are naturally found in vegetable oils and are added to certain oils and butter substitutes.
A research review reported that clinical studies show that taking 1.53 grams of plant sterols/stanols daily can reduce LDL concentration by 7.512%. Researchers said taking it with a main meal twice per day allows for optimal cholesterol-lowering .
Although research has established the cholesterol-lowering benefit of plant stanols and sterols, it has not yet proved that they decrease the risk of heart disease. Numerous clinical trials have suggested that plant sterols supplements and enriched foods may lower heart disease risk, but hard data is still lacking .
Plant stanols and sterols in vegetable oil or margarines compete with cholesterol absorption and reduce LDL by up to 20%. They are not proven to reduce heart disease.