Cholesterol is synthesized in the liver and needed by your body in order to function properly. For instance, cholesterol is required to help maintain the flexibility of the cell wall and also to manufacture several body hormones. However, excess cholesterol in the blood can stick to artery walls and reduce the lumen or narrow them, or in worst cases, block them completely. That puts you at very high risk of developing coronary artery and other diseases of the heart.
Forms of cholesterol
Cholesterol exists in two forms. There is the low-density lipoprotein kind of cholesterol and the high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
Same to lipids, cholesterol is highly insoluble in water. Its transport in the body and is aided by lipoproteins that transport fats, cholesterol, and other fat-soluble vitamins in the blood. Lipoproteins have varying effects on an
individual’s health. For example, increased levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) causes the deposit of cholesterol in the walls of blood vessels.
This can lead to a clogged artery heart attack and even strokes. On the other hand, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) aids in carrying cholesterol away from the blood vessels hence helps prevent the associated diseases.
The liver packages cholesterol in very-low-density lipoproteins together with fats.
Certain behaviors can negatively affect cholesterol levels in the body. These include;
Hence, lack of exercise results in increased levels of blood cholesterol and that may lead to the development of cholesterol-related diseases.
– Tobacco smoking or exposure to the smoke; the smoke from tobacco has been found to elevate the levels of cholesterol in the body hence posing the risk of developing heart diseases.
– An unhealthy diet; the levels of body cholesterol are directly proportional to the amount and types of foods that an individual consumes on a daily basis.
– Too much weight; excess weight means the body contains the relevant components in quantities above the normal. This translates to elevated levels of cholesterol in the body which in most instances is harmful and a health hazard.
Generally, a sedentary lifestyle is what worsens the cholesterol levels in your body. That includes, not being careful with your body weight, not having an effective diet plan, and also lack of regular exercise. Looking into those factors should help maintain the cholesterol levels at the required range that is not harmful to the body.
This should include lifestyle changes like effect diet plan and exercises. Below are ten supernatural ways to effectively manage your cholesterol levels.
Exercising is a major concern in cases of heart health. This is because it increases the levels of beneficial HDL and reduces the amounts of harmful LDL. Less intensive exercises such as jogging or even walking do just fine in moderating the cholesterol levels in the body. However, it is advisable to take activity in more intense exercises to improve the benefit.
Engaging in activities that boost your heart rate to about 85% of the heart’s rate maximum increases the levels of HDL and at the same time lowers LDL. Thus, the best effects of exercising are certainly achieved with long durations.
Putting that into practice, a 30-minute workout five times per week is considered good. Finding an exercise team helps keep you motivated throughout the sessions. Some of the exercises to consider engaging in, including bike riding, taking a daily brisk walk or even playing your favorite sport.
An effective diet plan involves heart-healthy intake in appropriate amounts. Just a few changes in your daily diet will help you regulate cholesterol and maintain good heart health. Among the basic diet plan considerations include;
– Do away with Trans fats; trans fats, also known as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil are always used in cakes, margarine, and crackers. Trans fats generally raise the levels of cholesterol in the blood hence not appropriate to be used in the daily diet.
– Reduce saturated fats intake; Saturated fats are generally found in full-fat dairy products and red meat. They take part in raising the total cholesterol levels in the body. Decreasing the consumption of fats can highly lower your harmful low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, hence helps you reduce the risk of developing cholesterol-associated diseases.
– Increase soluble fiber; soluble fiber is found in foods such as apples, oatmeal, Brussels, kidney beans, sprouts, and even pears. It helps reduce cholesterol absorption into your bloodstream.
– Consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids; Omega-3 fatty acids have heart-healthy benefits including the
reduction of blood pressure although they don’t have much effect on the LDL cholesterol. Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids include; walnuts, mackerel, herring, flaxseeds, and salmon. Other sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish like albacore and bluefin.
– Include whey proteins in the diet; whey protein is found in dairy products and has many health benefits. Among the benefits of whey protein include lowering the levels of LDL cholesterol and the overall cholesterol in the body, as well as reducing blood pressure.
Quitting smoking helps boost your HDL cholesterol levels. Smoking changes the ways in which the body handles cholesterol. The tobacco tar damages the immune cells in smokers hence the cells are unable to take back the cholesterol to the bloodstream from the blood vessels to be transported to the liver. The result, therefore, is the rapid clogging of arteries in the smoker.
Smoking thus tends to increase the levels of the harmful lipoproteins which are the LDL, lower the HDL levels, and generally hinder the ability of the body to return the cholesterol to the liver for breakdown or storage.
Effective dieting influences the ways in which your body processes and utilizes cholesterol. Poor diet planning is what leads to an increase in weight. An increase in weight by even a few extra pounds leads to cholesterol levels
Incorporating many activities into your daily routine helps cut the body weight, hence reducing cholesterol levels. In summary, weight loss reduces harmful LDL and increases the beneficial HDL.
Plant sterols and stanols show competency in managing body cholesterol levels. They have basically planted versions of cholesterol that are absorbed from the diet the same way as cholesterol. However, they do not contribute to clogged arteries due to the difference in structure from human cholesterol.
They instead function to limit cholesterol by competing with normal human cholesterol. Simply, the absorption of plant sterols from the diet takes place of cholesterol absorption. The plant stanols and sterols are found naturally in vegetable oils, though in small amounts.
Taking alcohol in moderation increases HDL through the action of ethanol, thus reducing the associated risk of heart disease. Alcohol also boosts the “reverse cholesterol transport” which entails cholesterol being taken back to the liver from the blood and the blood vessels.
The intake of alcohol should be strictly moderate since excess damages the liver.
Side effects of cholesterol medication
It has been proven that many types of cholesterol medication prescribed by doctors probably enhance Alzheimer’s disease due to the fact that cholesterol turns into fatty substances that build up in the arteries, and the medication is designed to eliminate this. However, the brain has a lot of fatty substances as well, and a lot of these medications destroy our brains as well.
The most common medications for cholesterol are statins, a class of drugs normally prescribed by doctors to help in lowering the levels of cholesterol in the blood. The most common side effects of statin are drowsiness, difficulty sleeping, rashes, headache, abdominal cramping, flushing of the skin, bloating and constipation, and other comments on the possibility of cell damage.
Cholesterol has vital roles in the body, but it can also lead to clogged arteries and even heart diseases if it goes out of control. In case your cholesterol is out of balance, the first approach to treatment should be lifestyle interventions.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is effective in returning cholesterol to the blood hence helps protect against heart diseases. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) on the other hand contributes most to heart disease since it clogs the blood vessels.
Plant stanols and sterols, soluble fiber, and unsaturated fats increase the beneficial HDL and decrease the harmful LDL. Weight loss and exercise similarly help in the same way. Smoking and trans fats are very unhealthy and should be highly avoided.
The best way to beat high cholesterol levels is through effective diet planning, exercising, and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle. Though medications might help, they always cause side effects, and therefore going natural is the best way out.
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