What is cholesterol? Why we should watch it?


Most people know practically nothing about the functions of cholesterol in our body and its meaning, but understand that its content in the blood should be monitored, and an increase in this indicator is bad for health. But what does high cholesterol actually mean, and why is it so bad?

Cholesterol is an organic substance related to fats. By blood it moves to different parts of the body, and its main mass is concentrated in the cell membranes. For normal functioning of cells, cholesterol should always be present in the blood.

In addition, this substance is necessary for the synthesis of a number of hormones, as well as vitamin D. It forms bile salts, which help digest fat. Cholesterol has a number of other functions, but already mentioned above, I think it’s enough that you understand how important it is for us.

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How does the diet hang on the level of cholesterol in the blood?

“So,” some readers will say. “Cholesterol is very important for my body, so I must eat it as much as possible.” I hasten to disappoint such people: the content of cholesterol in our diet does not greatly affect its level in the blood.

In healthy people, the liver is most affected by this indicator. If we absorb more cholesterol, the liver will produce less, and vice versa.

By lowering the cholesterol content in your diet, we will not be able to exert a strong influence on its level in the blood. And since most natural products contain this substance in fairly large quantities, the cholesterol-free diet is a rather big problem. If we are healthy, then the liver perfectly copes with maintaining the balance of cholesterol in the body. However, the diet does matter. This does not mean that we should try to reduce the cholesterol content in it, but overeating, excess calories, trans fats and unbalanced dietary nutrients jeopardize cardiovascular and other important systems in the body. With respect to cholesterol, the risk is not in itself a substance, but certain particles in the form of which it circulates in the blood.

Although several special diets have been developed to control the level of cholesterol / LDL in the blood, but to maintain physical activity and optimal weight is more important.

If you go back to a diet, then high-fiber foods (such as brown rice, peas, raspberries), as well as omega-3 fatty acids (for example, salmon, spinach, walnuts) contribute to lowering cholesterol levels in the blood.

You may also like to read: The Mediterranean Diet Helps Prevent Diabetes and Cholesterol

What is the difference between good and bad cholesterol?

Probably readers already know that there are “bad” and “good” cholesterol, each of which has its own designation: HDL (high-density lipoprotein) – good and LDL (LDL, high-density lipoproteins) – bad. In simple terms, we can afford fairly high levels of HDL, but should control LDL.

When the content of low density lipoproteins in the blood increases, they begin to form a kind of plaque on the arteries, form so-called plaques, narrow the lumen of the vessels, this leads to an increased risk of developing diseases of the cardiovascular system. But, the more the content of “good” cholesterol in the blood, the easier it is for the body to get rid of its “bad brother”.

In fact, the epithets “bad” and “good” for cholesterol are not entirely true. It is necessary to look at what proteins transport it. After all, cholesterol alone can not be both bad and good at the same time. Most people consider LDL to be bad cholesterol, but its blood content is a weaker diagnostic sign of the risk of developing cardiovascular disease than the concentration of LDL / apoprotein B particles. It is the high level of LDL particles carrying cholesterol that is a sign of increased risk.

How can you use this information? Having analyzed cholesterol, consult with your doctor and find out how high the risk of manifestations of diseases of the cardiovascular system. If the results of the analysis are far from ideal, then you should increase the level of physical activity and try to move on to a healthier diet.

In fact, maintaining a normal level of cholesterol in the blood is not so difficult, even in the event that deviations are already detected. Everyone can begin to engage in physical education and move to a healthier diet. All in our hands.

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