What is good cholestrol and how does it affect our bodies?

Before we can answer what good cholestrol is we must define cholestrol. cholestrol is made in the body and can be found in the foods we eat. It is a fatty wax like substance that the body uses for various functions; some of these functions include producing cell membranes and hormones. There are two types of cholestrol the “good” and the “bad”.
The “bad” cholestrol is called LDL which stands for low density lipoproteins. cholestrol moves through the bloodstream by way of lipoproteins. When too much LDL is in your body, plaque can build up on the walls of arteries. Once this happens blood flow slows down and in sever cases can cause a stroke or heart attack. Since there are no known symptoms of having high cholestrol, some people don’t find out until after they have a heart attack.

What is good cholestrol called?

The “good” cholestrol is called HDL which stands for high density lipoproteins. HDL is responsible for removing LDL from the bloodstream. HDL transports LDL to the liver where it is broken down into bile and then finally removed from the body. A normal HDL level is between 40-60mg/dl a high level would be considered anything above 60mg/dl. Having a high cholestrol can lower your risk of heart disease, which can be life threatening.

Certain foods contain cholestrol, such as fish, chicken, meat, eggs and dairy. There are some foods that fall into this group that contain good cholestrol. Shrimp for example is high in cholestrol, but low in fat. Years ago scientists believed that shrimp was not good for someone who had high cholestrol, those facts have now changed. Studies show that shrimp has been known to increase HDL levels. This could be due to the fact shrimp is full of omega oils and other nutrients that are very healthy for you.

Since HDL is important in removing LDL from the system, you want to try and raise your HDL cholestrol levels. You can raise HDL by changing some lifestyle habits such as: exercising more, begin to drink 1 glass of red wine a day, quit smoking, begin to eat the right kind of fats (olive oil, nuts and avocadoes) increase your fiber intake (have a bowl of fiber one cereal in the morning) eat low calorie foods and add some soy protein to your diet (soy milk or tofu).

There are few alternative methods to raising your HDL cholestrol. You can take certain medications, herbal supplements and vitamins. Omega-3 and Niacin have been known to increase HDL, and royal jelly has been known to help maintain your current HDL.

Sometimes having high cholestrol is hereditary, in that case speak with your doctor for more information on the correct treatment for you.