Cholesterol is a kind of body fat that can lead to various health issues such as coronary artery disease and other heart disorders as well. The fat travels through your bloodstream line and is created by your body through the food and supplements you intake.
Does Good Cholesterol Affect Heart Disease Risk?
Cholesterol majorly consists of two types- good cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein and bad cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein. Fat travels through the narrow arteries which can lead it to prevent blood from reaching the brain, heart, or any other organ. This can cause heart attack, stroke, or heart failure.
Is there any relation between cholesterol and heart disease?
Too much low-density lipoprotein or too little high-density lipoprotein is not good for your body. Cholesterol is a natural substance that is found in the human body naturally in the blood. A healthy liver is known to make your overall cholesterol. Extra cholesterol is created from food items.
Cholesterol is built up in the walls of the arteries when there is too much of it. This process is known as atherosclerosis which is a kind of heart disease. After building up the walls, the passage becomes narrow and the blood that flows to the muscles of your heart slows its pace or gets blocked. The blood is responsible for carrying oxygen to your heart and if it does not complete the process and make oxygen reach your heart, you will suffer chest pain. This may lead to a heart attack if the blood supply to any part of the entire heart is blocked.
What are the sources of cholesterol?
Additional cholesterol is created in the body by the food items whereas natural cholesterol is created by the liver. Here is a list of items that are a source of cholesterol-
- Fat- Any food item that contains high amounts of fat can cause higher levels of cholesterol in your body. The intake of too much fat can have a negative effect on the fatty acids that are bound to liver cells. It also regulates the production of cholesterol. It includes saturated fat, unsaturated fat, as well as a trans fat.
Some of the trans fat items include the following-
- Poultry with skin
- Dairy products that are made from reduced-fat milk
- Saturated vegetable oils like palm kernel oil and coconut oil
- Fatty beef
- Packaged cookies, doughnuts, cakes, pastries
- Packaged frosting
- Buttered popcorn
- Potato chips
- Hydrogenated vegetable oils
- Commercially fried foods, etc.
Others- There are other food items that are a great source of cholesterol other than fat. It includes the following-
- Fast food
- Fried food
- Processed meat
- Egg yolks
- Organ meats
Best healthy diet options for cholesterol
A good diet can change your cholesterol levels drastically. It can lower the levels of bad cholesterol and maintain good cholesterol. The addition of the following food items to your diet can help you lower cholesterol levels and ease your body.
Oats– Oats are a good source of fiber. You can have it for your breakfast. It lowers the level of your cholesterol. You can have cold oat-based cereal or a bowl full of oatmeal.
Eggplant– Eggplants can lower the bad cholesterol in your body since it is rich in fiber. It is the same with okra.
Beans– Beans are also rich in high soluble fiber and it takes a little time for your body to digest. This makes you feel fuller for a long time. It includes kidney beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, etc.
Nuts– Nuts such as peanuts, almonds, and walnuts are good for your heart. It directly has an effect on your bad cholesterol or LDL.
Vegetable oil– Vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, canola oil, etc. instead of butter or lard can be useful to maintain the levels of your cholesterol.
Citrus fruits– Fruits such as apples, strawberries, grapes, and citrus fruits are rich in pectin which is a kind of soluble fiber and decreases the level of LDL.
What are the risk factors for heart disease?
Heart diseases can be very risky for obvious reasons. Sometimes, the symptoms are silent and do not let you know whether you have them or not. It only occurs to you when it’s too late. There are various factors of heart diseases that can be controlled and others that cannot be controlled. Some of the factors of heart diseases are as follows-
- Family history or hereditary disease
- Being a male
- Older age
- After menopause
Some of the factors that can cause heart disease and cannot be controlled by you are given as follows-
- High blood pressure
- High c- reactive protein
- Poor diet
- High level of bad cholesterol
- Lack of physical activity
- Having a body mass index higher than 25
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Any other mental illness
- Too much consumption of alcohol
Cholesterol could be a bit tricky. Your body needs good cholesterol but puts your health at risk if you have bad cholesterol. There are studies that claim that bad cholesterol or uncontrolled cholesterol can lead you to heart disease such as heart attacks or stroke, etc. On the other hand, there are a few studies that tell the opposite and claim that there is no relationship between high levels of cholesterol and your heart. Even if there is no relationship between the two, it is bad for your health and you must do whatever you can to control your cholesterol. You can start by making a few changes to your lifestyle such as a good diet, physical activity, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
A high level of cholesterol can cause heart attacks or stroke.
You must remove food items such as potato chips, desserts, packaged cookies, lamb, fatty beef, lard, pork, fast food, egg yolks, cheese, etc. from your diet to lower your cholesterol levels.
You can add items such as beans, okra, eggplant, oats, citrus fruits, apples, grapes, etc. to your diet to maintain your cholesterol levels.
Most common factors that can cause heart issues are depression, smoking, alcohol, high blood pressure, obesity, lack of physical activity, anger, poor diet, chronic mental illness, etc.
Yes, if lifestyle changes are not helping you control your cholesterol levels, you must opt for medications after a thorough discussion with your doctor.
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