Aug 28

What Is High Cholesterol And What Causes It?

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Cholesterol is a waxy oil based substance that is carried around in our body by lipoproteins. There are 2 kinds of cholesterol in our body which are carried by 2 different lipoproteins- the LDL (low density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol) and the HDL (high density lipoproteins or good cholesterol). While normal cholesterol levels are vital for our body’s sustenance, a higher concentration of cholesterol in the blood is a menace and puts our body at the risk of a heart attack.

If you have borderline or high cholesterol level then make sure to make an appointment with the physicians at Trinity Medical Group. Our doctor would work out the best possible treatment plan to help you bring your cholesterol level under check.

What Causes High Cholesterol?

The 3 primary causes of high cholesterol are obesity, unhealthy diet and inactivity. Apart from these factors one’s genetic makeup can also have a role to play in excess cholesterol production in the liver.

Risk Factors

Given below are the factors which enhance the risk of high cholesterol in our body

1. Unhealthy Diet

Excessive intake of saturated fat and trans fat can increase the level of cholesterol. Saturated fat is found in red meat, chocolate, baked items, deep fried items, certain dairy products and processed food. Trans fats are present in many processed and deep fried food.

2. Obesity

Being obese can lead to higher LDL (bad cholesterol) level in our blood and therefore puts us at the risk of high cholesterol.

3. Inactivity

Exercise helps to lower the bad cholesterol level in our body while boosting the HDL or good cholesterol levels. It also helps in losing weight which in turn has a role to play in controlling high cholesterol.

4. Smoking

Smoking causes damage in the walls of our blood vessels making them prone to accumulate the fats. Smoking is also linked with lowering the good cholesterol level in our body.

5. Diabetes

High level of sugar in the blood can lead to higher level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower level of good cholesterol (HDL).

Foods Which Can Lead To High Cholesterol

Some of the foods which should be avoided by any person with high cholesterol include:

• Red Meat
• Margarine
• Hydrogenated oils
• Baked items
• Full fat dairy products

Foods That Lower Cholesterol Triglyceride Levels

The following foods are known to actively lower the level of bad cholesterol in the body-

• Nuts
• Eggplants
• Beans
• Barley
• Whole grains
• Oats
• Fruits like apples, strawberries, grapes and other citrus fruits
• Soy based foods
• Fiber rich food
• Tuna, salmon and sardines
• Canola oil or sunflower oil

Adding these items to your regular diet is going to keep your cholesterol level at check.