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Managing Cholesterol Is The Way To Good Health

Managing Cholesterol Is The Way To Good Health

It is a commonly held strong belief amongst laymen that cholesterol is bad for health. This stems from the constant bombardment of ideas and images that paint cholesterol in a bad light by showing advertisements that pitch it as a direct cause of heart ailments. Scratching the surface beyond the media spotlight may reveal some insights that provide a better understanding of this oily, waxy substance called cholesterol.

Most people may not know the fact that the body produces cholesterol as a natural process. It is deemed that a normal body function cannot be deemed bad for one's health. Intrinsically created cholesterol aids in digestion, hormonal balance and vitamin D production, making it an essential element of the overall physical well-being. 

So, how does it become a problem that is highlighted in the media? The problem lies in overly high levels of cholesterol. Naturally generated cholesterol is balanced to the needs of the body. But, cholesterol circulation in our bodies is not restricted to just the naturally produced levels; it goes well beyond that. 

We regularly consume cholesterol in our food via cooking mediums like oil, butter, and fats, as well as foods like meat, dairy items and poultry products. A sedentary lifestyle and unbalanced diet lead to a higher than the required concentration of cholesterol in our bodies. These are the reasons for an increase in cholesterol levels. This excessiveness has to be effectively checked so that cholesterol does not become a much-abused life-threatening substance.

Further, cholesterol circulates in the bloodstream in the form of lipoproteins. Here, lipo means fat. Notably, total cholesterol comprises: 

  • Low density lipoproteins (LDL) and very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) or "bad" cholesterol
  • High density lipoproteins (HDL) or “good” cholesterol

The ratio of HDL to total cholesterol provides a sign of proclivity to heart disease. A higher ratio indicates an enhanced risk. The basic sense to be derived is to reduce LDL, which forms artery plaque and increases HDL in total cholesterol.

Cholesterol doesn't have any apparent symptoms. And, it is through a blood test that one can know the cholesterol levels. However, some symptoms that can be pointers to possible cholesterol-related afflictions should be on the watch. 

Possible low cholesterol symptoms include:

  • Depression and anxiety 
  • Hopelessness
  • Personality disorders
  • Nervousness
  • Impulsive and aggressive behaviour 

Possible high cholesterol symptoms are:

  • Sore hands and feet
  • Frequent tingling
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent headache
  • Body lumps
  • Fatty deposits and tags
  • Depression 
  • Memory loss 

Managing bad cholesterol and keeping it within the low-risk metrics call for a combination of medically prescribed drugs and lifestyle changes. Long-term diet changes are helpful in making lasting improvements. Reducing intake of fat, saturated foods like red meat and full-fat dairy products, eliminating trans fat usually in junk food and deep fried eatables, eating foods rich in omega-3 like fish and nuts, increasing soluble fibre rich foods like fruits, sprouts, beans, and oatmeal, will be healthy choices for a beneficial result on cholesterol levels.

Besides, the diet should be supplemented with regular exercise and physical activities, avoiding smoking and having a healthy weight.

 

Being aware of cholesterol and its effects is a first step in being health conscious. Of course, any effort to reduce cholesterol should be taken only in consultation with medical experts who are the best judges and guides for a healthy life.

By: 1Tab Desk | on 2021-08-03

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