What Causes High Cholesterol
Some causes of high cholesterol include:
- High intake of foods containing unhealthy fats such as fatty meats and deli-style meats, butter, cream, ice cream, coconut oil, palm oil and most deep-fried takeaway foods and commercially baked products .
- Low intake of foods containing healthy fats healthy fats tend to increase the good cholesterol. Foods containing healthy fats include avocado, nuts, seeds, olives, cooking oils made from plants or seeds, and fish.
- Low intake of foods containing fibre foods that are high in dietary fibre, particularly soluble fibre, can reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in your blood. Include fibre-containing foods in your diet by choosing vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, legumes, nuts and seeds every day.
- Low levels of physical activity and exercise.
- Being overweight or obese and having too much body fat around your middle.
- Smoking can lead to high cholesterol levels.
- Genetics your family history may affect your cholesterol level. In some families, several people might be diagnosed with high cholesterol or heart disease at a relatively young age . This type of pattern can be caused by genetics, including a genetic condition called familial hypercholesterolaemia. Its best to speak to your doctor as soon as possible if you think you might be affected.
How Long Does It Take To Lower Triglycerides
Depending on whats causing your high triglyceride levels, you may be able to lower them in just a few days. A night out drinking or eating foods high in sugar can cause a spike in your triglyceride levels. Limiting alcohol and sugar intake can bring your levels back to normal within a few days.
If you have consistently high triglycerides, it may take a few months for them to return to a healthy range. How fast they lower depends on the lifestyle changes, diet, and medications youre taking.
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What Are Unsaturated Fats
Unsaturated fats are considered the healthiest fats because they improve cholesterol, help reduce inflammation , and help decrease the overall risk of developing heart disease. The main source of unsaturated fats are plant-based foods. These fats are usually liquid at room temperature. There are two types of unsaturated fat: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
Monounsaturated fats are considered one of the healthiest sources of fat in the diet. These fats should make up most of your daily fat intake. Good sources of monounsaturated fats include:
- Olive, canola and peanut oils.
- Most nuts, nut oils and nut butters .
Good sources of Polyunsaturated Fats include:
- Safflower oil.
- Flax oil and flax seeds.
- Sunflower oil.
- Canola Oil.
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Too Much Of A Good Thing
No doubt: Fruit is good for you, especially if you’re having a piece of fruit instead of a rich dessert. But when you have high triglycerides, you may need to limit yourself to 2-3 pieces of fruit a day. That way, you won’t get too much of the natural sugars that are in fruit. If you’re having dried fruit, remember that the serving size is much smaller: 4 tablespoons of raisins , for example.
What Health Problems Can High Cholesterol Cause
If you have large deposits of plaque in your arteries, an area of plaque can rupture . This can cause a blood clot to form on the surface of the plaque. If the clot becomes large enough, it can mostly or completely block blood flow in a coronary artery.
Plaque also can build up in other arteries in your body, including the arteries that bring oxygen-rich blood to your brain and limbs. This can lead to problems such as carotid artery disease, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease.
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When To Seek Treatment
Deciding on whether you ought to be treated for high cholesterol or high triglyceride levels, whether that treatment ought to include drug therapy, and which drugs ought to be used is not always entirely straightforward. Still, if your cardiovascular risk is elevated, the right treatment aimed at your lipid levels can substantially reduce your chances of having a heart attack, or even of dying prematurely. So when it comes to treating cholesterol and triglycerides, it is important to get it right. You can read about current thinking on when and how treatment for blood lipids should be chosen.
How Is Cholesterol Measured
Most people with high cholesterol feel perfectly well and often have no symptoms.
Visit your GP to find out your cholesterol level and to find out what you need to do if your levels of bad cholesterol are high.
For people aged 45 years and over, you can have your cholesterol checked as part of a Heart Health Check with your GP.
If you identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, you should have your cholesterol checked from age 18 years.
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Who Is Most At Risk For Fh
Familial hypercholesterolemia can affect anyone whose family carries the genetic mutation. However, its found more frequently in those who are of French Canadian, Ashkenazi Jewish, Lebanese or Afrikaner descent. The biggest problem with FH is that more than 90% of people who have it havent been diagnosed, which means you should pay careful attention to your family history,
Seth Martin, M.D., M.H.S., associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Advanced Lipid Disorders Center.
If people in your family have had heart attacks, needed stents or had bypass surgery earlier in life before age 55 in men and before 65 in women those are signals that theres something causing your family to be at higher risk for heart disease, he explains. It could be familial hypercholesterolemia.
Feeding Your Heart: Foods To Help Lower Cholesterol
Fruits like avocados and apples, and citrus fruits like oranges and bananas can help lower cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a material produced in the liver that your body needs to make hormones, vitamin D and other substances. Two types are in the body: Good and bad.
Bad cholesterol is called LDL cholesterol and too much of it in the body can increase risk of heart disease, says Paula McIntyre, a Marshfield Clinic registered dietitian.
Higher levels of LDL cholesterol can be deposited in the arteries, which narrows them and increases heart disease risk, she said.
Cholesterol also can come from foods we eat, so feeding your heart the right foods is an important way to lower bad cholesterol levels.
You can break down LDL cholesterol eating healthy fats and soluble fiber.
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What Are Hdl And Ldl
HDL and LDL are two types of 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. HDL and LDL have different purposes:
- HDL stands for high-density lipoproteins. It is sometimes called the 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 lipoproteins. It is sometimes called the bad cholesterol because a high LDL level leads to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries.
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What Are Your Numbers Hdl Ldl Triglycerides And Why They Matter
Your risk for cardiovascular disease is determined by a lipid panel, which is a blood test that measures your high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides. High cholesterol is defined as 200 milligrams per deciliter , according to the CDC.
When coupled with high LDL cholesterol or low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides can lead to a buildup of fat in the artery walls and increase your risk of heart attack and stroke, according to the AHA. Knowing these numbers is an important part of managing your cardiovascular disease risk.
Ader was diagnosed with high cholesterol and prescribed statins when he was in his early 30s, despite a fairly healthy lifestyle he ran, ate healthy, and didnt smoke prior to diagnosis. When he was in his early 40s, Ader, who has a family history of heart disease, had angina, or chest pains that occur when your heart muscles dont get enough oxygen-rich blood, and had to have a stent put into his heart.
He continued to stay physically active and tried to make his diet even healthier by cutting out red meat, limiting cheese, and switching to soy milk. Despite his efforts, Ader, who had a relatively stressful job working for an investment bank, had a heart attack when he was 49, on an international flight in the midst of an intensely busy business trip.
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How To Lower Cholesterol And Triglycerides
Triglycerides are a type of lipid, or fat, your body produces to store extra calories and provide energy. Cholesterol is another lipid that circulates in your blood. Your body uses cholesterol to build cells and produce hormones.
Both triglycerides and cholesterol are essential for your health but having levels that are too high puts your health at risk. Living a healthy lifestyle helps to keep your cholesterol and triglyceride levels within a normal range.
What Is Insoluble Fiber
Insoluble fiber is generally referred to as “roughage.” Insoluble fiber promotes regularity, adds bulk and softness to stools, helps with weight regulation and helps prevent many gastrointestinal disorders. Good sources on insoluble fiber include:
- Wheat bran and whole wheat or grain bread/bread products, pasta, cereal and crackers.
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Replace Saturated Fats With Healthier Fats
Replacing foods that contain mainly saturated fats with foods that contain unsaturated fats such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats will help reduce your cholesterol level.
For example, instead of butter and cream in cooking, use olive oil, nut butters or avocado.
Healthy unsaturated fats are found in:
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Lipid Levels And Heart Health
Cholesterol and triglycerides are necessary for your body to function properly. However, if too many triglycerides or LDL particles are in the bloodstream, they can stick to the walls of arteries and clog them, causing a disease called atherosclerosis, a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. HDL cholesterol helps escort LDL particles out of the bloodstream, so an increased level of HDL lowers your risk of coronary diseases.
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General Information And Causes
Cholesterol is a white, waxy substance that is circulated in the blood. It is essential for your good health as it helps to build cell walls and is used in the manufacture of some hormones.
However, when there is more cholesterol circulating in the blood than the body needs, it can build up on your artery walls, eventually leading to narrowing and hardening of the arteries. This process is known as atherosclerosis and increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. More than half of New Zealanders admitted to hospital with a heart attack have high cholesterol levels.
This risk of a cardiovascular health event increases when high blood cholesterol is accompanied by other risk factors such as high blood pressure and a family history of heart disease.
Your liver produces most of the cholesterol circulating in your blood. A diet high in saturated fat stimulates the liver to produce more cholesterol so the saturated fat content of the food you eat is likely to have a strong influence on your blood cholesterol levels.
A small proportion of your blood cholesterol is derived from dietary cholesterol i.e. cholesterol that is already present in animal foods you might consume .
Other factors that may influence your blood cholesterol levels include:
- Genetic susceptibility to high cholesterol
Controlling High Triglycerides: Medical Treatment
People with heart disease and high triglycerides may need medication to bring down their levels.
- Fibrates can lower triglycerides. They modestly improve cholesterol levels, too.
- Fish oilwith omega-3 fatty acids can help keep triglycerides under control. Ask your doctor whether you should use prescription fish oil. Omega-3 acids from plant sources like flaxseed may help.
- Niacin can lower triglycerides by up to 50%. It’s available as a non-prescription supplement and as a prescription drug.
Remember that to stay healthy and keep your triglycerides down, you still have to focus on improving your lifestyle.
When you talk to your doctor, discuss all of the medicines, supplements, and vitamins you take. Some common drugs — like beta-blockers, birth control pills, and diuretics — can cause high triglycerides as a side effect. It’s possible that one of them could be causing your problem.
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High Cholesterol And High Triglycerides What Does That Even Mean
If you have ever gone to the doctor and had lab work that revealed you have high cholesterol or high triglycerides you are usually given a sheet of paper with information on how to reduce these numbers. Most of us have a minimal level of knowledge of what this means and advised what to do. This blog will educate you and inform you of what exactly happens in the body, what body parts are affected, symptoms, and natural ways to reverse your levels in the blood.
First, what is high cholesterol and what are the levels? Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is found in all the cells in the body. Cholesterol is made by the liver and is also in some foods, such as meat and dairy products. In order for our bodies to function properly some cholesterol is necessary. Cholesterol has what is called good and bad cholesterol. There is a total cholesterol level, then there is HDL which is the good and LDL which is the bad. Total cholesterol is just what it says, a total amount of HDL and LDL. HDL is called the good because it helps to remove cholesterol from your arteries LDL is the bad cholesterol it is the culprit of cholesterol buildup and blocks the arteries.
Like cholesterol, changes in lifestyle will assist in lowering triglycerides, so it is safe to say you can kill two birds with one stone. Losing weight, reducing your intake of saturated fats, cutting back on alcohol, eating more foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, avoid sugar, and of course exercise.
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.
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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.
Can I Pass Fh To My Kids
If you inherited FH from one parent, theres a 50% chance youll pass it on to your children. If both of your parents passed the FH trait to you, your children will definitely have FH. Thats why its crucial to get children with a family history tested at an early age and begin cholesterol-reducing treatment for those with FH.
People with FH are usually not diagnosed until their 30s or 40s or later. Unfortunately, far too few are diagnosed as children. But early treatment can significantly impact a persons lifetime cardiovascular health by lowering their long-term exposure to high cholesterol levels, Martin advises. The treatment keeps their arteries healthier and prevents premature heart attacks and strokes.
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