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High Cholesterol - Facts You Need To Know

 High Cholesterol - Facts You Need To Know


Cholesterol is a wax like fatty substance found in cells and the blood steam. Cholesterol plays a vital role in our health by helping the human body produce cell membranes and it also contributes to the proper functioning of a number of hormones. Ok then, if cholesterol is so important why are we cautioned when cholesterol levels are high? Fair question, let's take a look.


High Cholesterol - Facts You Need To Know

Cholesterol - The Two Types


High-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol is carried in the blood stream. HDL cholesterol is considered good because it protects our heart from strokes and other cardiovascular diseases. The optimal level of good cholesterol is about 40mg/dL.


On the other hand, bad cholesterol, also known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is considered bad because if present in excessive quantities has a tendency to clog in the arteries which increases the chances of heat attacks or other heart related diseases. The optimal level of bad cholesterol is 200mg/dL or less. Higher amounts tend to increase the chance of heart problems due to an increased change of clogged arteries.


High Cholesterol - What Causes It?


The causes of high cholesterol are many but factors such as: genetics, age, gender and excessive weight play an important role and we'll take a closer look at each later in this article. However, the primary factor is food that contains saturated and trans fats which results in elevated cholesterol levels in the blood stream.


As a cause of high cholesterol obesity continues to be a key factor. When a person becomes obese their body mass is primarily made up of fat which contains cholesterol. Keeping your weight under control is clearly important because it contributes to a variety of health issues - not just elevated cholesterol levels.


Genetics also play a role as another cause of high cholesterol. If relatives suffer from high cholesterol you may also have the genetic predisposition. This can be controlled through medication so check with your doctor for guidance.


It's been shown that some men are prone to high levels of cholesterol as early as their teens while women tend to see high cholesterol levels after menopause.


Prevention


The primary of cause of high cholesterol is by our own negligence. Therefore, pay attention to what you eat, if not already getting a decent amount of exercise - start. By simply following these two very simple, common sense guidelines you'll be well on your way to reducing bad cholesterol, maintaining the good and keeping both at optimal levels over the long term.

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