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Learn About Cholesterol and How to Lower It

what is high cholesterol

Cholesterol definitely has a negative connotation to it, and that means people regard it as one of those ‘bad words’ when it comes to health. But that’s not entirely fair, because cholesterol in the right amount is important for human function. What does cholesterol do? It is essential as it promotes fluidity and stability for cell membranes in the body and that’s why intaking some cholesterol is needed and there is cholesterol in nearly all food matter we eat. Eating an improper diet that leads high cholesterol is increasingly common in North America, and the risk of coronary disease goes with it.

What is high cholesterol? It’s when you have too many fatty deposits in your blood vessels, and as they build up more and more the risk is the vessels become blocked and it’s more difficult for blood to move into your arteries. There are two kinds of cholesterol, but only one of the two are going to be contributing to this problem. HDL cholesterol is okay, but LDL cholesterol is not and eating too much fatty food is the number one reason why people (and men especially) have dangerously high cholesterol levels.

It can be managed with cholesterol medication, but it is definitely one of the conditions where diet changes must be incorporated as well to mean the person isn’t getting a large cholesterol intake from what they eat. What is high cholesterol? It’s a slow-growing health risk that people should be more aware of and we’re going to look at it along with ways to lower cholesterol.

Different Kind of Plaque

Speaking of bad words, plaque is one of them that comes to dental health and here we have an example of one where there’s no upside. All plaque is bad when it comes to your teeth, and a different type of plaque is also bad when it comes to your blood vessels and arteries. They may have the same spelling, but plaque in your blood is a mix of fats, calcium, and cholesterol. We all know how calcium is essential for bone health, and so here again we have 3 helpful nutritional components that just happen to be coming together here to start a problematic chain of events.

Anyone who will be inclined to ask what high cholesterol is will want to be aware of the difference between HDL (good) and LDL (bad) cholesterol if they are ever looking at the results of a blood lipid test. You may want to give some thought to your liver as well, because even thought that’s an organ that’s more related to eliminating waste and impurities from the body it also factors into keeping your cholesterol levels down.

The right balance is key though, because too little HDL and too much LDL cholesterol means there won’t be enough HDL cholesterol to keep the balance in check. Not only because of the deficiency itself, but also because HDL cholesterol counters LDL cholesterol by moving as much of it as possible into the liver for elimination from the body. What does cholesterol do? In this case the one type works to keep the other type from running amok and building up plaque in the arteries. If that doesn’t happen, the person is going to be at risk of heart attack or stroke as they get older. Lipitor can be a very good choice for blasting bad cholesterol too.

Smarter Choices

The next thing to go along with a discussion of what is high cholesterol is to talk about the different diet and lifestyle choices you should make to get as much of out of your efforts to lower your cholesterol. Here are the two biggest and best things anyone with high cholesterol can do as it relates to food:

  1. Cut way back on trans fats, if not eliminating them entirely
    1. Eating greasy fast food burgers occasionally, is okay
    2. Eating them any more than that is not if you have high cholesterol
  2. Cut back on saturated fats too, and this one is not as simple as saying stop eating greasy fast food so often
    1. Saturated fats are found in larger quantities in fatty beef, lamb, pork, poultry (and especially the skin), cream, butter, cheese and other dairy products

The next smart choice is to get more plant sterols into your diet by eating more bright fruits and vegetables. Eating fish with high Omega-3 levels or taking an Omega-3 supplement is also a good idea as Omega-3s lower you LDL cholesterol naturally and there are leaner types of fish that are still high in Omega 3s.

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IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.


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