[Good Pharm NOWㅣPopular] The Truth About Cholesterol: What You Need to Know

[Good Pharm NOWㅣPopular] The Truth About Cholesterol: What You Need to Know

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What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is found in all cells of the body. It is essential for many bodily functions, including hormone production, vitamin D synthesis, and cell membrane formation.

There are two types of cholesterol:

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as "bad cholesterol," is the type of cholesterol that can build up in the arteries and cause plaque, which can lead to heart disease and stroke.
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as "good cholesterol," is the type of cholesterol that helps to remove LDL cholesterol from the arteries and transport it to the liver, where it is broken down and removed from the body.
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Cholesterol and Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. High levels of LDL cholesterol are a major risk factor for heart disease. When LDL cholesterol builds up in the arteries, it can form plaque, which narrows the arteries and reduces blood flow to the heart. This can lead to angina (chest pain), heart attack, and stroke.

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Cholesterol and Stroke

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. High levels of LDL cholesterol are a major risk factor for stroke. When LDL cholesterol builds up in the arteries that supply blood to the brain, it can form plaque, which can narrow the arteries and reduce blood flow to the brain. This can lead to a stroke.

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Cholesterol and Other Health Problems

High levels of LDL cholesterol can also increase the risk of other health problems, including:

  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is a narrowing of the arteries in the legs and feet
  • Carotid artery disease, which is a narrowing of the arteries in the neck
  • Kidney disease
  • Eye problems, including macular degeneration and cataracts
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What Causes High Cholesterol?

There are a number of factors that can contribute to high cholesterol, including:

  • Diet
    • Eating a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol can raise LDL cholesterol levels. Saturated fat is found in animal products, such as meat, poultry, and dairy products. Cholesterol is also found in animal products.
  • Obesity
    • Being overweight or obese can increase LDL cholesterol levels. Excess weight can also lead to insulin resistance, which can further increase LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Physical inactivity
    • Regular physical activity can help to lower LDL cholesterol levels and raise HDL cholesterol levels.
  • Smoking
    • Smoking can lower HDL cholesterol levels and increase LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Age
    • LDL cholesterol levels tend to increase with age. This is because the body becomes less efficient at removing LDL cholesterol from the blood as we age.
  • Genetics
    • Some people are more likely to have high cholesterol than others due to their genes.
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How to Lower Cholesterol

There are a number of things you can do to lower your cholesterol, including:

  • Eat a healthy diet
    • A healthy diet for lowering cholesterol is one that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in fiber. Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
  • Get regular physical activity
    • Regular physical activity can help to lower LDL cholesterol levels and raise HDL cholesterol levels. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity most days of the week.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight or obese
    • Losing weight can help to lower LDL cholesterol levels and raise HDL cholesterol levels.
  • Quit smoking
    • Smoking can lower HDL cholesterol levels and increase LDL cholesterol levels. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your heart health.
  • Talk to your doctor about medication
    • If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may recommend medication to help lower your cholesterol levels.

Conclusion

Cholesterol is an essential substance for the body, but high levels of LDL cholesterol can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. By following the tips in this blog post, you can help to lower your cholesterol levels and improve your overall health.

*This post is part of the iHerb Parters program, which means we receive a small commission. The content may not match the product information, so please check before purchasing.

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