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The Facts on High Cholesterol
When there’s too much cholesterol in your bloodstream, you have high cholesterol. This is quite a common condition. Cholesterol levels generally rise with age. High cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.
Most of your body’s cholesterol (about 80%) is made in your liver. The rest comes from your diet. Dietary cholesterol is found in foods from animal sources, such as eggs, meats, and dairy products. There are two important types of cholesterol you should know about:
- low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol
- high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol
Most of the LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol circulates in the blood and remains unused. Normally, the liver removes this “extra” cholesterol, but many people have more LDL cholesterol than the liver can handle. LDL cholesterol promotes buildup of harmful plaque (fatty deposits) in the walls of the arteries.
HDL gets its “good” name by picking up LDL cholesterol from the arteries and tissues and carrying it back to the liver, where it can be broken down.
Top 10 causes of high cholesterol
Consumption of saturated fat can cause high cholesterol. Saturated fat is found in food that is high in cholesterol and fat. These are foods like red fatty meat, butter, cheese, cakes, ghee etc. Avoid or limit the intake of food items with saturated fat.
2. Hereditary Factors
If there is a family history of high cholesterol, then maybe it is a reason for you to start worrying. The inherited form of high cholesterol may lead to early blockages or stroke.
3. Being Over-Weight
Obesity or even simply being overweight is another cause of high cholesterol. Besides, damaging your social life, it increases triglycerides which further cause blockages. Hence, maintain your weight to ward off the risk of high cholesterol.
People who spend their life sitting or lying the whole day are at a huge risk of high cholesterol. An active life can lower triglycerides and also help you maintain your weight.
Cigarette smoking plays a significant role in your cholesterol level. It lowers the level of good cholesterolas well as your lifespan. Therefore, quit smoking to maintain your cholesterol level and live healthily.
6. Age and Gender
The level of cholesterol naturally begins to rise, as you turn 20. Level of cholesterol usually increases until the age of 60-65 years, in both genders.
Females generally have low cholesterol level before menopause.
But after menopause, women can have higher level of cholesterol than men. Hence as, you age maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet.
Some medicines can increase the level of triglycerides. Thus, before popping a pill, consult your doctor.
Consuming alcohol regularly can damage liver and heart muscles, which leads to high blood pressure and causes the level of cholesterol in the body to rise.
When people are stressed they usually console themselves by smoking, drinking alcohol or eating fatty food items. Hence, prolonged stress may cause blood cholesterol to increase.
Certain diseases like diabetes and hypothyroidism increase the level of cholesterol in the body.
For this reason, carry out a medical examination regularly, to keep your cholesterol level under control.