Cholesterol is a lipid molecule. It is an important part of all the animal cells. Cell walls in the animals’ cells contain cholesterol. Cholesterol is also a building block of many hormones like steroids. This cholesterol formation in the body is essential for life. It should be included in our day to day life diet plan. The recommended daily intake of cholesterol is 307 mg for an average individual.
This cholesterol is important in many physiological processes of the body. It is found in the nervous tissue of the body helping in impulse transmission. The hormones like cortisol and aldosterone cannot be formed in the body without the cholesterol. It is also required to form sex hormones like oestrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. It is also important the formation of the Vit D. Some research also states that cholesterol may work as an antioxidant. Bile acids cannot be synthesized without cholesterol as the pre cursor.
Cholesterol can move through the body only if carried by a protein entity. The cholesterol and the protein together are called as Lipoproteins Out of many types of lipoproteins we will look at the most beneficial and the most hazardous lipoproteins.
LDL i.e. Low density lipoprotein contains higher amount of cholesterol as compared to proteins. Hence they are also called as “bad” cholesterol. If they are present in more amount in the blood there is formation of atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries leading to cardio vascular complications like hypertension and heart attack (myocardial infarction) and stroke.
HDL i.e. High density lipoprotein contains more amount of protein than cholesterol. They are also known as “good cholesterol” as they remove the cholesterol from the walls of the arteries and transport them to liver. Hence this lipoprotein is protective against the heart disease and hardening of the arteries.
Here are some of the ways to control your cholesterol:
Know your Cholesterol Levels
First and foremost, getting a blood test done of your lipid profile is advisable. Knowing your cholesterol allows you to form a plan to lower its levels. The total cholesterol levels should be less than 200 mg. The Total/HDL ratio should be less than 4.
Diet for Cholesterol
Diets having high content of saturated fatty acids are known to cause increased cholesterol levels in the body. The American heart association says that fats should be less 30% of your daily calorie consumption. The maximum amount of fat consumed should be polyunsaturated. Certain foods have anti cholesterol actions and they overall improve the health of the consumer. These foods include broccoli, fish oil, green leafy vegetables, oranges, carrots, and garlic and oat meals. Food having high fibre content is also good for lowering cholesterol.
Weight loss is very necessary to decrease the cholesterol levels. Being obese means having a high level of LDL in your body. It is not good for the health of the heart. Hence exercise is very necessary in order to lose weight. It is also necessary even if you are not in the obese category. Exercising everyday for 45 minutes is good to lose cholesterol from your body. Y keeps the blood pumping and keeps your heart healthy.
Life Style Management
Stress is a very important factor in the causation of cardio vascular diseases. Living a life which is stress free is very important to maintain a good health. Also avoiding junk food and binge eating, alcohol consumption is required to control the cholesterol levels. Smoking also causes the cholesterol in the body to increase. Quitting smoking is must to control the hypertension.
Many times doctors prescribe HMG co-A inhibitors or more popularly known as statins to decrease the levels of cholesterol. These drugs inhibit the formation of cholesterol in the body. Many times tablets are also prescribe which increase the rate of metabolism in your body to lose the already present fat in your body.
Know your opposition to fight it better!! Control your cholesterol to lead a healthy and disease free life!!