Cholesterol And Healthy Eating
What we eat has an impact on our cholesterol levels and can help reduce our risk of disease. Try to eat a wide variety of foods from each of the five food groups. Not only does this help to maintain a healthy and interesting diet, but it provides essential nutrients to the body.;
The Heart Foundation recommends:;
- Plenty of vegetables, fruits and wholegrains.
- A variety of healthy protein sources , legumes , nuts and seeds. Smaller amounts of eggs and lean poultry can also be included in a heart healthy diet. If choosing red meat, make sure it ;is lean and limit to 1-3 times a week.
- Unflavoured milk, yoghurt and cheese. Those with high blood cholesterol should choose reduced fat varieties.
- Healthy fat choices ;nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and their oils for cooking
- Herbs and spices to flavour foods, instead of adding salt.
Also, be mindful on how much you are eating and whether you are filling up on unhealthy foods. Portion sizes have increased over time and many of us are eating more than we need which can lead to obesity and increase our risk of cardiovascular disease.;
Ideally, a healthy plate would include servings of ; ¼ protein, ¼ carbohydrates and ½ vegetables.
Serving size can vary depending on age, gender and specific nutrition needs.;
You Dont Need To Avoid Eggs And Seafood
Some foods are high in cholesterol but are fine to eat in moderation, as long as your overall diet is low in saturated fats. For example:
- Egg yolks a single egg yolk contains 200250 mg of cholesterol, which is almost the uppermost recommended daily intake . However, reducing egg intake is probably not important for healthy people with normal blood cholesterol levels.
- Seafood prawns and seafood contain some cholesterol, but they are low in saturated fat and also contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Seafood is a healthy food and should not be avoided just because it contains cholesterol. However, avoid fried and battered seafood.
What Are Hdl Ldl And Vldl
HDL, LDL, and VLDL are lipoproteins. They are a combination of fat and protein. The lipids need to be attached to the proteins so they can move through the blood. Different types of lipoproteins have different purposes:
- HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein. It is sometimes called “good” cholesterol because it carries cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver. Your liver then removes the cholesterol from your body.
- LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein. It is sometimes called “bad” cholesterol because a high LDL level leads to the buildup of plaque in your arteries.
- VLDL stands for very low-density lipoprotein. Some people also call VLDL a “bad” cholesterol because it too contributes to the buildup of plaque in your arteries. But VLDL and LDL are different; VLDL mainly carries triglycerides and LDL mainly carries cholesterol.
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Good Cholesterol And Bad Cholesterol
This gets into the very complicated relationship between cholesterol blood tests and heart disease risk. This is an enormous topic, but Ill summarize some basic points.
When you get your cholesterol levels checked, you will see numbers for HDL and LDL, as well as triglycerides. Triglycerides are fats, so well set them aside and just focus on HDL and LDL.
HDL particles collect extra cholesterol from around the body and carry it back to the liver to be eliminated from the body if we dont need it. It is typically thought of as good cholesterol so higher HDL levels are considered a good sign.
LDL particles carry extra cholesterol made in the liver out to the rest of the cells in the body. We used to think of LDL as bad cholesterol so lower levels of LDL were considered a good sign.
The cholesterol inside of HDL and LDL particles is exactly the same, its just that, for the most part, HDL is carrying it in one direction and LDL is carrying it in the opposite direction. The reason why LDL had been dubbed bad and HDL has been dubbed good is that numerous epidemiological studies told us that high LDL levels were associated with a higher risk of heart attack, and that high HDL levels were associated with a lower risk of heart attack.
What’s Considered As Normal Cholesterol Levels
Many factors influence what your personal cholesterol or lipid targets should be, and so cholesterol tests should be interpreted in the context of your personal risk.
Your doctor can help you understand your results and guide you on strategies to not only lower your cholesterol but lower your risk of heart disease.
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Want To Learn More About Cholesterol
If you’d like to learn more about cholesterol and heart disease, I recommend Eat Rich, Live Long by engineer Ivor Cummins and experienced low-carb family practice physician Dr. Jeff Gerber. This book explains how and why eating a low-carbohydrate diet rich in cholesterol and saturated fat is healthy for the heart and the waistline, and why you don’t need to worry about high LDL cholesterol levels. The book is cleverly divided into two halvesthe first half is written as a user-friendly guide and the second half goes more deeply into the science for those who are curious to learn more.
If you want to truly understand cholesterol, I highly recommend engineer Dave Feldman’s pioneering work, which he shares on his website Cholesterol Code. Dave’s mission is to get to the bottom of the cholesterol story by explaining how cholesterol works in the body, why some people on low-carb diets develop extremely high LDL levels , and whether these people need to worry about those high levels. He has spearheaded numerous public experiments demonstrating how to raise and lower cholesterol levels quickly, challenging conventional beliefs about what high and low cholesterol and triglyceride levels actually mean.
Firstly What Is Cholesterol
Cholesterol is an essential type of fat that’s carried in the blood.
All cells in the body need cholesterol; it’s an essential part of cell walls in our bodies and has important roles, including to produce some hormones, maintain healthy nerve cells and in the synthesis of vitamin D.
Your body needs a small amount of cholesterol to function, but an imbalance between different types of cholesterol in the blood increases the risk of heart disease, one of the leading chronic diseases in Australia today.
About ¾ of the cholesterol in your body is made in the liver and a small amount may come from the food you eat. Various factors affect blood cholesterol levels including your diet and lifestyle, body weight and genes.
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How Cholesterol Moves Around The Body
Cholesterol is a white, insoluble and waxy substance. It is carried around the body by two key transport systems in the blood, which include:
- Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol carries most of the cholesterol that is delivered to cells. It is called the bad cholesterol because when its level in the bloodstream is high, it can clog up your arteries.
- High-density lipoprotein cholesterol is called the good cholesterol, because it helps remove excess cholesterol out of the cells, including cells in the arteries.
Cholesterol Movement Between Membranes
Cholesterol can move between membranes by vesicular transport , by collision between two membrane surfaces, by cholesterol binding proteins, and through an intervening aqueous phase, though the latter is a minor mechanism because of the very low solubility of cholesterol in water. In the laboratory, cholesterol can also be moved in and out of membranes by incubation of the membranes with lipid vesicles, in which case some of the cholesterol is transferred to the vesicle membranes. Membranes can also be depleted of cholesterol by incubation with a synthetic polymer, methyl-Î²-cyclodextrin.
Studies on the kinetics of the movement of cholesterol from one membrane to another have revealed the mechanism of that movement. Several studies with small phosphatidylcholine vesicles indicated cholesterol can move between vesicles by transfer through the aqueous phase.14 Perhaps most dramatic was the observation that cholesterol could transfer between two vesicle populations separated by a membrane impermeable to the vesicles.15 The latter transfer was very slow. Transfer can be enhanced significantly by collision of donor and acceptor membranes.
It is interesting that cholesterol transfers through the aqueous phase even though the hydrophobic effect determines that the solubility of cholesterol in water is vanishingly small. Not surprisingly then agents that increase the critical micelle concentration apparently enhanced the exchange rates.16
Maryse Guerin, in, 2017
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How Is The Total Cholesterol Or Blood Cholesterol Test Done
A blood test is a routine test. A phlebotomist is the person whose job it 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.
Overview Of Cholesterol Synthesis
Cholesterol synthesis starts with acetyl-CoA, which is used to synthesize hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA . The reactions in this initial stage are the same as in ketogenesis . However, while ketogenesis occurs in the mitochondria, HMG-CoA destined for sterol synthesis is formed in the cytosol. Therefore, like the synthesis of fatty acids, cholesterol biosynthesis depends on the export of acetyl-CoA from the mitochondria. Also as with fatty acids, multiple steps in the cholesterol synthesis require NADPH. How these two requirements are met has been discussed earlier .
All steps downstream of HMG-CoA occur in the smooth endoplasmic reticulum. HMG-CoA reductase reduces HMG-CoA to mevalonate; this enzyme is the major target of regulation in the entire pathway. Mevalonate is converted to various isoprene intermediates. Several rounds of Ã¢â¬ÅpolymerizationÃ¢â¬ï¿½Ã¢â¬âIÃ¢â¬â¢m using the term looselyÃ¢â¬âproduce the linear hydrocarbon molecule squalene, which is cyclized to the first sterol intermediate. This molecule, lanosterol, is then converted to cholesterol by several successive modifications.
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What Factors Affect Cholesterol Levels
A variety of factors can affect your cholesterol levels. They include:
- Diet: Saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol in the food you eat increase cholesterol levels. Try to reduce the amount of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol in your diet. This will help lower your blood cholesterol level. Saturated and trans fat have the most impact on blood cholesterol.
- Weight: In addition to being a risk factor for heart disease, being overweight can also increase your triglycerides. Losing weight may help lower your triglyceride levels and raise your HDL.
- Exercise: Regular exercise can lower total cholesterol levels. Exercise has the most effect on lowering triglycerides and raising HDL. You should try to be physically active for 30 minutes on most days of the week.
- Age and sex: As we get older,cholesterol levels rise. Before menopause, women tend to have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. After menopause, however, womens LDL levels tend to rise and HDL can drop.
- Heredity: Your genes partly determine how much cholesterol your body makes. High blood cholesterol can run in families.
Medical History And Physical Exam
Your doctor will ask about your eating habits, physical activity, family history, medicines you are taking, and risk factors;for heart or blood vessel diseases.
During your physical exam, your doctor will check for signs of very high blood cholesterol, such as xanthomas, or signs of other health conditions that can cause high blood cholesterol.
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Your Liver And Cholesterol Over
If your liver is working properly, it will reduce its internal production of cholesterol when your diet supplies excessive amounts of cholesterol. However, if your find that your blood cholesterol levels are high, a possible problem may be that your liver does not slow its production of cholesterol in response to your diet.
In a typical diet, you eat 300 to 500 milligrams of cholesterol each day. This is less than one third of what you need. Your liver produces about 700 to 900 mg of cholesterol per day.
Introduction To Cholesterol Metabolism
Cholesterol is an extremely important biological molecule that has roles in;membrane structure;as well as being a precursor for the synthesis of the;steroid hormones, the;bile acids, and;vitamin D. Both dietary cholesterol, and that synthesized;de novo, are transported through the circulation in;lipoprotein particles. The same is true of cholesteryl esters, the form in which cholesterol is stored in cells. Due to its important role in membrane function, all cells express the enzymes of cholesterol biosynthesis.
The synthesis and utilization of cholesterol must be tightly regulated in order to prevent over-accumulation and abnormal deposition within the body. Of particular clinical importance is the abnormal deposition of cholesterol and cholesterol-rich;lipoproteins;in the coronary arteries. Such deposition, eventually leading to atherosclerosis, is the leading contributory factor in diseases of the coronary arteries.
Structure of cholesterol
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Plasma Transport And Regulation Of Absorption
As an isolated molecule, cholesterol is only minimally soluble in water, or hydrophilic. Because of this, it dissolves in blood at exceedingly small concentrations. To be transported effectively, cholesterol is instead packaged within lipoproteins, complex discoidal particles with exterior amphiphilic proteins and lipids, whose outward-facing surfaces are water-soluble and inward-facing surfaces are lipid-soluble. This allows it to travel through the blood via emulsification. Unbound cholesterol, being amphipathic, is transported in the monolayer surface of the lipoprotein particle along with phospholipids and proteins. Cholesterol esters bound to fatty acid, on the other hand, are transported within the fatty hydrophilic core of the lipoprotein, along with triglyceride.
There are several types of lipoproteins in the blood. In order of increasing density, they are chylomicrons, very-low-density lipoprotein , intermediate-density lipoprotein , low-density lipoprotein , and high-density lipoprotein . Lower protein/lipid ratios make for less dense lipoproteins. Cholesterol within different lipoproteins is identical, although some is carried as its native “free” alcohol form , while others as fatty acyl esters, known also as cholesterol esters, within the particles.
Top Usage Trends Of Herbal Medicines For Cholesterol Related Diseases
;The nature of the cholesterol is waxy, cholesterol made up bythe liver in the body, but our body gets cholesterol from food especiallyanimal sources like meat, poultry. Our body needs an adequate amount ofcholesterol in the body, excess of everything is bad for our physical andmental health both. The total value of cholesterol should be less than 200mg/dLin adults. Three types of cholesterol; high-density lipoprotein, low-densitylipoprotein, and very-low-density lipoprotein.;
There is bad and good cholesterol in our bodies, HDL is goodcholesterol and LDL is bad cholesterol. It is important to keep our focus onthe cholesterol level in the body;;
Otherwise, it can leads to chronic problems, following arethe cholesterol-related diseases:
- Cardio-vascular related disease, e.g. heart attack
- Type 2 diabetes
We need to focus on the diet to control the cholesterollevel, instead of pharmaceutical medicine, we should do changes in ourlifestyle and choose;natural ways to lower cholesterol;levelslike herbal medicines.;
Safe Blood Cholesterol Levels
Health authorities recommend that cholesterol levels should be no higher than 5.5 mmol per litre if there are no other risk factors present. If there are other cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking and high blood pressure or pre-existing cardiovascular disease, then the aim for the LDL levels would be less than 2 mmol/l. Approximately half of all adult Australians have a blood cholesterol level above 5 mmol/l. This makes high blood cholesterol a major health concern in Australia.
When Should You Contact Your Healthcare Provider About Your Cholesterol Levels
In truth, your healthcare provider will probably talk to you about your numbers first. As always, contact your provider if you have any new or worsening pain or other uncomfortable feelings. Make sure you know what medications you take and what they are expected to do. Call the provider if you have a reaction to the medicine.
Before you go to the office, and after you have had a cholesterol test, it helps to have a list of questions prepared about your test results and any proposed treatment.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
When considering cholesterol numbers, its important to remember that you really have the ability to make those numbers go in your favor. What you choose to eat, how much you are able to move and how you deal with lifes ups and downs are things that you can influence.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/31/2020.
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Why Would The Body Make More Cholesterol Than It Needs
Now heres the problem: when people eat too many sugars and starches, especially refined and high glycemic index foods, blood insulin levels can spike. When insulin spikes, it turns on HMGCoA reductase, which tells all of the bodys cells to make more cholesterol, even if they dont need any more. This is probably the most important reason why some people have too much cholesterol in their bloodstream. Sugars and starches can raise insulin levels, which fools the body into thinking it should grow when it doesnt need to. This is how low glycemic index diets and low-carbohydrate diets normalize cholesterol patternsthese diets reduce insulin levels, which in turn lower HMG-CoA reductase activity.
Statin drugs, such as Lipitor®, which are prescribed to lower cholesterol levels, work partly by interfering with the activity of HMG-CoA reductase. If your cells happen to need more cholesterol under certain circumstances, but the statin drug is blocking this critical enzyme, your cells may not be able to make cholesterol when needed. And whats worse is that the cholesterol synthesis pathway doesnt just make cholesterol; branches of this same pathway are responsible for synthesizing a wide variety of other important molecules, including: Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and Coenzyme Q. So, you may want to think twice before you artificially interfere with this pathway by taking a statin drug.