As most of us may have read about, cholesterol is the fatty, wax like substance present in our cells and blood steam. Cholesterol has an important part in our body. This is because it produces cell membrane and contributes to a number of hormones as well. However, cholesterol can be dangerous to us if it is present in large amounts in our body.
The Two Types of Cholesterol
There are two types of cholesterol, one is the good cholesterol known as HDL or high density cholesterol and the other is the bad cholesterol known as LDL or low density cholesterol. The good cholesterol HDL, should be in levels of minimum 40md/dL or more and the bad cholesterol should be less than 200mg/dL.
The bad cholesterol is the cholesterol responsible for causing dieses including clogged arteries and can provoke a coronary heart disease.
What Causes High Cholesterol In Your Body?
High cholesterol level in your body is primarily due to the food products you consume which contain trans fat, saturated fats and cholesterol. This is the major cause of raising cholesterol levels in the blood stream. However, there is more than one cause of high cholesterol. Besides the foods you consume, excess weight, genes, gender and age all can cause high cholesterol levels.
Obesity is one of the major cause of high cholesterol as it occurs when the body mass is mostly made up of fat. Fat in turn, contain cholesterol. That is why, it is important to keep an ideal weight at all times.
Family’s health history transmitted through the genes is also a cause of high cholesterol levels. So, if anyone in your family has suffered from high cholesterol, you may have a tendency to suffer from it too. High cholesterol caused by heredity can be controlled with medication under a doctor’s supervision.
Men are found to be more prone to high levels of cholesterol in their teens while women become more prone to high cholesterol after menopause. Both men and women can control their cholesterol levels and maintain a normal level of cholesterol with proper health care and diet and with the right medication.
How To Prevent High Cholesterol
As most of the causes of high cholesterol are our own negligence in our diet and physical activities, we could easily manage our cholesterol level by modifying our diet and daily activities. We should pay more attention to the food we consume everyday and the amount of exercise we do everyday. This will help prevent and improve the levels of bad cholesterol in our body and maintain it at the right level.
Another factor that causes high cholesterol levels is triglyceride, which is a form of fat. It comes from food and is also made in your body. People with high triglycerides will often have a high total cholesterol level too.
The Importance of Understanding Your Cholesterol Level
It is extremely important to know your cholesterol levels. This is because having untreated high cholesterol can make you very prone to heart attacks and strokes. Although obesity is one of the most obvious causes of high cholesterol, just because you have an ideal weight does not mean that you have the right cholesterol level.
Basically your level of cholesterol can be categorized in one of three categories of cholesterol levels, which are: desirable, borderline risk, or high risk. You are considered as being in the desirable category if your total cholesterol is less than 200mg/dL, and the risk of getting a heart attack is relatively low, unless if you have other risk factors for the condition.
If your cholesterol is between 200 and 239mg/dL, you are considered in the borderline risk category. About a third of all people are in this category. If you are in the borderline category, you should check your cholesterol level at least once a year, especially if your HDL is less than 40mg/dL and/or you don’t have other risk factors for heart disease.
Lastly, if your cholesterol level is at 240mg/dL or more, you are in the high risk category. This means your risk of heart attack and stroke is very high. You will also have twice the risk of other coronary problems. If you are in this category, you must be more careful and start taking steps to improve your condition.
The most important to remember is lower LDL cholesterol, means lower total cholesterol level. Take all of the possible measures to keep your LDL cholesterol as low as possible. If you still are not able to lower your cholesterol, you can ask your doctor to prescribe medications to assist you in this process.