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Cholesterol

Abnormal cholesterol or its related fats, HDL and LDL, will cause premature heart disease and death. Know about it, treat it, and live longer.

Cholesterol is a type of a soft, fat like substance that acts as a source of fuel for our body and contributes to cell structure and helps to manufacture hormones. It is manufactured by the liver. Did you know that you did not need to eat any cholesterol to survive. Cholesterol can be made from other fats consumed by you.

Cholesterol is in animal foods, such as meat, eggs and dairy products as a natural component. You will also get cholesterol in most yummy desserts. Cholesterol is one of many fats that are in our bodies. There are good and bad forms of cholesterol as well.

Types of Cholesterol

The good form is known as HDL (high density lipoprotein). The bad form is LDL, (yes, low density lipoprotein). Humans do much better with higher levels of HDL and lower levels of LDL.

Fat Type Normal Value
Cholesterol less than 200 mg
(probably below 170mg in the future)
HDL higher than 45mg
LDL less than 130mg (with no heart risk factors)
less than 100mg (with any risk factors see below)

Where Does Cholesterol Come From

Let’s take a look at why we have levels which are higher than normal. Well, you guessed it, it can be a reflection of what we eat. Yes, if we eat too many desserts or meats that are high in saturated fats or too many eggs (or foods made with eggs – desserts)

The other big factor is we. Yes, we inherit some of the traits from our relatives, mostly parents and grand parents. So, it is true we are where we come from.

We can make a difference with the food we eat, which is a significant factor. We cannot change our parents or grand parents and what we have inherited. It is very important that we make changes if our levels are abnormal.

Risk Factors That Can Increase Your Chances of Heart Attacks

The risk factors that make us more of a risk of a heart attack? They include:

age > 50 yrs. old and male or post menopausal female family history of heart disease
(esp. parents, grandparents)
high blood pressure (best is 120/80)
but 140/90 should be treated.
diabetes
over weight
greater than 20% above ideal weight
smoking
history of irregular heart beat race; Black or Mexican American
physical inactivity chronic stress or anger

Here’s What Can Be Done

Let’s continue to concentrate on the abnormal cholesterol problem and what can be done to lower it.

Diet which reduces saturated fats and cholesterol foods. this means to cut down red meats to about 2-3 meals per week. try to eliminate most desserts excepts fruits and sorbets decrease the yellow of eggs to about 2 per week

Foods rich in antioxidants (green leafy vegetable, tomatoes, red wine, vitamin c) role of vitamin e is not effective is recent studies to prevent heart disease.

Good control of diabetes

Weight loss

Increase in physical activity

Medications especially the ones known as “statins”.

What About Genetics?

What can be done about genetics? It is known that parents pass on the genetic material that help reduce the LDL levels. This condition is known as Familial Hypercholesterolemia. The effect from inheriting one gene (heterozygote) is abnormal heasrt risk in early age (40-60y.o.). If two genes are inherited than it is homozygote and the heart risk is in the 20′s.

If you have a family history of abnormal cholesterol, HDL, or LDL have your fats checks in the early 20′s. With anyone who has abnormal fats you should take serious this fact and work vigorously at reducing your levels into the normal range. If there is a cardiac risk factor associated with this work on this too.

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