Know Your Cholesterol: Good Vs Bad
Written and reviewed by
General Physician (AM)
Alternative Medicine Specialist, Chandigarh
Know Your Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all cells of the body. The term cholesterol is often directly related to a heart condition. But the truth is that not all types of cholesterols are harmful for your body. It is important that one knows about the different types of cholesterol, having healthy levels of both types of lipoproteins is important, deal with them appropriately and lower the chances of having a stroke or getting a heart disease. Bad cholesterol levels can be high in people irrespective of them being thin, if it is genetic or if they are smokers.
Types of Cholesterol.
The Bad One:
LDL cholesterol sometimes is called “bad” cholesterol. A high LDL level leads to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries. Lowering your cholesterol may slow down, reduce, or even stop the buildup of plaque in your arteries. It also may reduce the risk of plaque rupturing and causing dangerous blood clots.
The Good One:
HDL cholesterol sometimes is called “good” cholesterol. This is because it carries cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver. Your liver removes the cholesterol from your body and is important for the body as it reduces the risk of heart attack, disease and strokes.
Cholesterol count of the body is counted by adding the two types of cholesterols (LDL and HDL) along with body's triglyceride level. Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood. Too much of this type of fat may raise the risk of coronary artery disease.
The level of your cholesterol shows the level of risk your body is in, to have a stroke or a heart condition. Other factors which determine the risk are whether the person is a smoker, diabetic, has high blood pressure along with their age, sex and race.
Cholesterol levels are affected by:
1. Genetics: Genetics have a direct effect on your cholesterol level. If the levels have been high in the previous generations, you are automatically at higher risk of this condition.An inherited condition called familial hypercholesterolemia causes very high LDL cholesterol.
2. Age and Weight: Once we cross the age of 20, our cholesterol level starts to rise. Being overweight however is also a high risk factor of increased levels of bad cholesterol in the body as well as developing heart disease.
3. Lifestyle: Less or no exercise is another reason which reduces the good cholesterol in the body, as does being overweight. Regular exercise however reduces LDL and increases HDL in the body. Also a diet rich in saturated fats makes your LDL levels shoot up and puts you to higher risk.
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