Cholesterol is a thick fatty substance that is produced by the liver and is also found in various foods. The main types of cholesterol are
• LDL (low -density lipoprotein): also called as bad cholesterol. High level of LDL cholesterol can clog your arteries and can cause heart attack and stroke.
• HDL (high-density lipoprotein): also known as good cholesterol as it removes excess bad cholesterol from your blood by bringing it back to your liver where it’s broken down and is eliminated from your body.
• Triglycerides: are a type of fat found in your blood and our body store these fats and use them for energy. High triglycerides also increase the risk for heart disease and diabetes.
High cholesterol is a silent problem that has no symptoms, a blood test is the only way to detect your high cholesterol level.
Main causes of high cholesterol are
a) Full fat cheese, milk, cream and Margarine and Ghee
b) Fried items like French fries, fried chicken etc.
c) Red meat, Egg Yolk, shrimps
d) Bakery items like cakes, muffins etc.
High cholesterol can be genetic in many cases in which your genes instruct your liver to produce more cholesterol and fat. This problem runs in families
Diabetes and hypothyroidism (low thyroid level) also contribute to high cholesterol level.
Following healthy lifestyle changes can lower your cholesterol level.
· Eat a diet high in fiber and low in fat like vegetables, fruits, and whole grain.
· Eat fish, almond, and walnuts as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which helps to lower your LDL cholesterol.
· Do exercise regularly and manage your weight.
· Quit smoking as it can injure blood vessels and increase the risk of heart attack.
· Some herbs like garlic, green tea extract, and olive seeds can also be very beneficial.
· Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
· Instead of butter or ghee use olive oil or canola oil.
• Statins drugs (such as Pravastatin, Atorvastatin etc.) are most commonly prescribed medications to treat high cholesterol as they help to slow the liver’s production of cholesterol and hence decrease cholesterol(LDL) level in blood.
• Fish oil (Omega-3 fatty acid supplements) may lower triglyceride levels.
• Ask your doctor which medicine is recommended for you.
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