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What Is The Biggest Cause Of High Cholesterol

Fried Chicken: 161 Mg 54% Dv

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Crispy fried chicken is one of the most popular fast foods in America, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for you. In one KFC fried chicken breast with skin, you’ll get 54 percent of the DV for cholesterol, as well as 45 percent DV for total fat and 38 percent DV for saturated fat.

Fried foods, especially fried chicken and fried fish, are linked with a higher risk of heart disease and stroke, according to a January 2019 study in the BMJ. The study also found that the more fried food people ate, the greater their chance of developing heart disease.

What Are The Kinds Of Cholesterol

Cholesterol in the blood doesn’t move through the body on its own. It combines with proteins to travel through the bloodstream. Cholesterol and protein traveling together are called lipoproteins.

The two main types of cholesterol are:

LDL cholesterol, or “bad cholesterol.” This type of cholesterol can combine with proteins and other substances in the blood to make plaque. Cholesterol plaques can buildup and cause blood vessels to become stiffer, narrower, or blocked.

HDL cholesterol, or “good cholesterol,” doesn’t clog arteries. HDL cholesterol removes cholesterol from the blood vessels and carries it back to the liver, where it is broken down and removed from the body.

Here’s an easy way to remember which is which: LDL starts with “L” for “lousy.” HDL starts with “H” for “healthy.”

High levels of LDL cholesterol and low levels of HDL cholesterol increase a person’s risk of having heart disease.

Can High Cholesterol Cause A Stroke

Yes, if you have high cholesterol, youre at risk of stroke due to the excess cholesterol circulating in your blood, according to the AHA.

LDL builds up in your arteries, where it slows or blocks the flow of oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to your body, including your brain. As arteries narrow and stiffen, blood clots may form a blockage, which can cause a stroke if it travels to the brain.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and one of the main causes of disability, according to the American Stroke Association. But it can be mostly preventable keeping your cholesterol levels down is one way to cut your risk.

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How Can I Lower My Cholesterol

You can lower your cholesterol through heart-healthy lifestyle changes. They include a heart-healthy eating plan, weight management, and regular physical activity.

If the lifestyle changes alone do not lower your cholesterol enough, you may also need to take medicines. There are several types of cholesterol-lowering drugs available, including statins. If you take medicines to lower your cholesterol, you still should continue with the lifestyle changes.

Some people with familial hypercholesterolemia may receive a treatment called lipoprotein apheresis. This treatment uses a filtering machine to remove LDL cholesterol from the blood. Then the machine returns the rest of the blood back to the person.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

These Risk Factors Can Also Cause High Cholesterol

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While you can make key lifestyle changes to avoid high cholesterol, some risk factors are unavoidable: genetics, pre-existing health conditions, and aging.

Inherited high cholesterol is called familial hypercholesterolemia , which happens as a result of a defect on chromosome 19. This genetic condition leads to high cholesterol levels from a young age and is most commonly found in people of French Canadian, Ashkenazi Jewish, Lebanese, or Afrikaner descent.

Besides directly inheriting FH, certain diseases like diabetes can predispose you to high cholesterol. Diabetes commonly lowers good cholesterol and raises bad cholesterol, and the condition even has a name: diabetic dyslipidemia.

In a 2016 report in Diabetes Care, researchers analyzed participants with diabetes in three major heart studies, conducted between the 1980s and 2000s. Only 32% of the study participants were at target LDL cholesterol levels, though the ones that were had a 41% lower risk of coronary heart disease.

Cholesterol levels also tend to rise with age. And while young adults may assume they don’t have to worry about heart health, research has found that high cholesterol levels in early adulthood are associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease later in life.

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Chicken Breast: 1972 Mg 66% Dv

Chicken has more cholesterol than eggs. You’ll get 66 percent of the DV for cholesterol in a 6-ounce serving of cooked chicken breast, but only 9 percent of the saturated fat DV.

The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines recommend keeping saturated fat intake below 10 percent of your daily calories. Because chicken is lower in saturated fat than red meats, the AHA recommends choosing it over beef, pork and lamb.

If you’re getting bored with the usual grilled chicken, try these healthy and creative chicken recipes.

Reduction Of A High Cholesterol Diet

A blood test can be used to determine whether you have high cholesterol. The doctor can test your cholesterol based on your medical history and age. The cholesterol level, triglycerides, and high and low-density lipoprotein levels are all measured during the test.

If your doctor discovers that you have high cholesterol, he will advise you to make some lifestyle adjustments, such as eating a lower-cholesterol diet to lower your cholesterol. If the doctors recommendations do not work, you may be prescribed medication to lower your excessive cholesterol levels.

Due to the numerous hazards associated with high cholesterol, it is critical to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a good food plan. You should stay away from high-cholesterol foods and exercise regularly. As a result, you will live a disease-free life.

Practice healthy lifestyle behaviors and stick to your doctors treatment plan to reduce your chance of high cholesterol issues. A good cholesterol level can be achieved and maintained by eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding tobacco products. It may also reduce your chance of high cholesterol problems.

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How Is Cholesterol Measured

Most people with high cholesterol feel perfectly well and often have no symptoms. The best way to find out if your cholesterol is high is to have a blood test .

Visit your GP to determine whether you need to lower your cholesterol level and what action to take.

GPs can also do a heart health check, that calculates your heart disease and stroke risk.

What To Do When High Cholesterol Runs In Your Family

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Because high cholesterol doesnt have any symptoms, its not something thats commonly on peoples radar. Even if it is, people often dont take it seriously until they have a heart attack or stroke. And while we tend to think of those events as happening to an older population, people under the age of 55 can also be affected, especially if they were born with high cholesterol.

This condition is called familial hypercholesterolemia . FH is an inherited disorder that makes it harder for your body to remove low-density lipoprotein cholesterol from your blood. The result? From childhood, cholesterol builds up along the walls of your arteries and veins, narrowing the passageways and drastically increasing your risk of heart attack or stroke at a very early age.

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What Is High Ldl

Cholesterol itself is a necessary substance in the body. Its manufactured in your liver and it can be present in certain foods, especially meats, eggs, and dairy. LDL is a lipoproteina substance that conveys cholesterol to cells, aiding in maintaining cell structure, and serving as a precursor for substances vital to human function. Everyone has some amount of this lipoprotein, but problems arise when these are elevated.

When there is an excess of LDL, plaques build up in the arteries, causing atherosclerosis and reducing blood flow. When your hearts arteries are affected, insufficient oxygen levels damage cardiac muscles and cause CAD, angina , and even heart attack. Further, arteries in other parts of the body can also be affected, leading to peripheral artery disease and stroke.

Shrimp: 3587 Mg 120% Daily Value

Shrimp and other shellfish tend to be high in cholesterol. Case in point: You’ll get 120 percent of the DV for cholesterol in 6 ounces of cooked shrimp, but it’s low in total and saturated fat.

The American Heart Association recommends lowering saturated fat intake to keep cholesterol levels at bay and supports shrimp as a healthy alternative to proteins higher in saturated fat.

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When Should High Cholesterol Be Treated With Medication

If youve had a heart attack, stroke, or have diabetes or been diagnosed with inherited high cholesterol, youll need to take one or more cholesterol-lowering medications, in addition to being careful with your diet and staying active. Statins can have a tremendous impact for lowering LDL cholesterol, says Khandwalla. Statins decrease your risk of illness and dying if youre in one of these high-risk groups.

In addition to statins, which should always be used first, other cholesterol-lowering drugs include fibrates, niacin, PCSK9 inhibitors, bile-acid sequestrants, and cholesterol absorption inhibitors, according to the CDC.

If you found out your cholesterol was high after a routine checkup, discuss your test results with your doctor. Your doctor will calculate your individual risk of heart attack or stroke to decide if you should be on a statin.

In some cases, the doctor may recommend giving a healthy diet and active lifestyle a try first. However, if your cholesterol levels remain high, you may need a heart scan to look for plaque buildup in your arteries, and your doctor may prescribe cholesterol-lowering drugs to lower your heart-disease and stroke risk.

What Causes High Cholesterol If I Eat Healthy Can It Be Genetic

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If you eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise but still have high cholesterol, your DNA may be a bigger factor than your lifestyle. About 1 in 250 people in the United States live with familial hypercholesterolemia , a life-threatening inherited disorder that causes high cholesterol.

Unfortunately, 90 percent of people who have it dont know it, according to the FH Foundation, a national nonprofit organization based in Pasadena, California. Screening for high cholesterol is the only way to identify people who have FH. Because of this, all children should have a cholesterol screening once between ages 9 and 11, recommends the American Academy of Pediatrics.

If your LDL is above 100, its already considered high. If its higher than 190, you may have FH, according to leading heart groups, such as the AHA, the American College of Cardiology, and the National Lipid Association. If a parent has FH, their child has a chance of having it, too. Finding out if you have FH and getting treated if you do is vital, because having FH means your risk of heart disease is 20 times higher than that of people who dont have inherited high cholesterol, according to the FH Foundation.

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Living With High Cholesterol

If you have high cholesterol, you are twice as likely to develop heart disease. That is why it is important to have your cholesterol levels checked, especially if you have a family history of heart disease. Reducing your LDL bad cholesterol through good diet, exercise, and medicine can make a positive impact on your overall health.

Salmon: 1037 Mg 35% Dv

Salmon is one of the healthiest proteins despite being a high-cholesterol food. A cooked 6-ounce fillet of sockeye salmon has 35 percent of the DV for cholesterol and 108 percent DV for omega-3. This fatty fish is also an excellent source of protein, vitamin D, selenium and B vitamins.

The AHA recommends eating two 3.5-ounce servings of fatty fish like salmon each week. Try it in these air-fryer salmon recipes for a quick and easy dinner.

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Whole Milk: 488 Mg 16% Dv

Whole milk is rich in cholesterol and saturated fat, providing 16 percent of the DV for cholesterol and 46 percent of the saturated fat DV per 16-ounce serving.

Whole milk can increase HDL more than skim milk, according to a February 2018 study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study also found that whole and skim milk had similar effects on LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, even though whole milk has more cholesterol and saturated fat.

Health Risks Of High Cholesterol

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The longer you live with high cholesterol, the longer you remain exposed to these associated health risks, as outlined by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Carotid artery disease
  • Sudden cardiac arrest

Getting your cholesterol checked regularly allows you to react quickly to unhealthy levels. Your cholesterol numbers are used with the American College of Cardiology’s formula for calculating your 10-year risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

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How Do I Know What My Ldl Level Is

A blood test can measure your cholesterol levels, including LDL. When and how often you should get this test depends on your age, risk factors, and family history. The general recommendations are:

For people who are age 19 or younger:

  • The first test should be between ages 9 to 11
  • Children should have the test again every 5 years
  • Some children may have this test starting at age 2 if there is a family history of high blood cholesterol, heart attack, or stroke

For people who are age 20 or older:

  • Younger adults should have the test every 5 years
  • Men ages 45 to 65 and women ages 55 to 65 should have it every 1 to 2 years

Natural Remedies And Lowering Cholesterol

Its very important to talk to your health professional before using any:

  • supplements
  • natural remedies
  • or complementary therapies.

Sometimes they can do more harm than good. They may interact with any medication that youre taking, which can be dangerous. They can also make your medication less effective. Your doctor needs to know everything that you are taking to ensure that the combination is safe.

If youve been prescribed cholesterol-lowering medication, make sure you take it as directed by your doctor. This is one of the most effective ways to keep your cholesterol levels down.

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How The Fat You Eat Affects Cholesterol Levels

The relationship between the fat we eat and our health, particularly our cardiovascular health, has been hotly debated for many years.

Heres what you need to know:

  • Not all fats are created equally.

  • The kinds of fat you eat matter more than the amount.

  • There are different types of fats in our diet:

    • Polyunsaturated fats: essential and important nutrients

    • Monounsaturated fats: can come from plant or animal products and are generally considered healthy

    • Saturated fats: less healthy than mono- and polyunsaturated fats

    • Trans fats: unhealthy fats

    What Are Hdl Ldl And Vldl

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    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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    What To Do If You Have High Cholesterol

    For people with high cholesterol, lifestyle changes are necessary. Raby says to focus on eating healthy, exercising, managing stress, and quitting tobacco.

    In addition to diet and exercise, physicians most commonly prescribe statin drugs, which slow down cholesterol production in the liver and increase cholesterol removal from the blood. Talk to your doctor about this possibility if people in your family have had heart attacks, or required stents or before age 55.

    How Can Foods Help Lower Cholesterol

    One way to help vegans keep their high cholesterol risk in check is by consuming enough vitamin B12. A vegan diet generally tends to be lower in absorbable vitamin B12 than other diets. Those with low B12 levels may also have a high homocysteine level, contributing to heart disease.

    Using a diet to lower cholesterol from plants, consuming fruit, veggies, whole grains, peas, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds can help provide dietary fiber and unsaturated fat alternatives.

    • Eating more dietary fiber helps to maintain lower cholesterol levels, as the fiber binds to the cholesterol in your digestive tract and takes them out of the body before they enter your blood system.
    • Foods high in polyunsaturated fats not only replace saturated fat options but directly lower cholesterol levels.
    • Any foods containing sterols and stanols, like margarine, directly block the body from absorbing cholesterol in the first place.

    On top of the foods mentioned, these are a few fantastic options to give your cholesterol levels a healthy “boost”:

    • Oats and barley
    • Sterol and stanol fortified foods
    • Soy
    • Fiber supplements

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    What If I Have High Cholesterol

    If a blood test shows you have high cholesterol, talk to your doctor. He or she can give you advice on what you can do to lower your cholesterol like eating less fried food and choosing low-fat or fat-free milk, cheese, and yogurt, and exercising more.

    Here are 5 things you can do:

  • Eat lots of different healthy foods, especially fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Limit drinks and foods that have a lot of fat or sugar, like sugary drinks, treats, and fried foods.
  • Get plenty of exercise. Experts recommend at least 60 minutes every day!
  • Don’t smoke.
  • People with high cholesterol might need to take medicine to if these lifestyle changes don’t lower their cholesterol.


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