The purpose of this article is to give you cholestrol information and to inform you about how you can improve your health and reduce your cholestrol and triglyceride levels through exercise and a healthy diet.
What is cholestrol?
Here is some brief cholestrol information.
cholestrol is a fat that is found all over the body and is carried in the blood. cholestrol is produced in the body and also found in our diet. Some cholestrol is needed but an oversupply of cholestrol can be dangerous as high levels of cholestrol put us at a higher risk of suffering from heart disease.
Like cholestrol, triglyceride is a type of fat (lipid) that is needed by the body. The body uses triglycerides to provide energy for the proper functioning of cells. Calories from food, which are not immediately used by the body, are converted to triglycerides and transported in the blood for storage in the fat cells.
Sources of cholestrol and triglycerides
The body is able to manufacture its own cholestrol and triglyceride but we also get these two fats from our diet.
Sources of these fats are:-
– animal products like meat, butter, whole milk and eggs
– vegetable oils
Too much cholestrol
Excess cholestrol is deposited on the walls of the arteries and these deposits gradually build up to narrow the arteries reducing blood flow to vital organs. This is called atherosclerosis. This narrowing of the arteries is a cause of coronary heart disease.
Excess triglycerides are stored in body fat and are transported in the blood just like cholestrol. A high level of triglyceride (hypertriglyceridemia)in the blood has also been linked to atherosclerosis and a greater risk of coronary heart disease.
Symptoms of high cholestrol or hypertriglyceridemia
The symptoms of atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries) are:
– Leg pain
– yellowing of the skin around the eyes and on other parts of the skin
More serious symptoms can be:-
– suffering a mini stroke
– Coronary thrombosis
There are not normally any symptoms associated with hypertriglyceridemia although you may develop the disease pancreatitis.
Healthy levels of cholestrol and triglycerides
Latest cholestrol information says that 190-210mg/dl or 4.9-5.4mmol/l is seen as a healthy total cholestrol level and a healthy triglyceride level is less than 150mg/dl.
Doctors can gather your cholestrol information by performing a simple blood test.
How to reduce cholestrol and triglyceride levels
After gathering triglyceride and cholestrol information your doctor may be concerned. Before prescribing any cholestrol lowering drugs your doctor will recommend making some changes to your lifestyle:-
– If you are overweight you should reduce your calorie intake and lose weight.
– Reduce your intake of saturated fat, which is found in animal products, and trans fats which are found in fast food and commercially baked foods like biscuits and pastries.
– Follow a low fat diet.
– Reduce the amount of sugar in your diet.
– Reduce your consumption of alcohol as it is known to raise triglyceride levels.
– Start to exercise regularly. Aerobic or cardiovascular exercises help lower cholestrol and triglyceride levels.
– Take supplements – Vitamin B3 (Niacin)can help increase HDL or “good” cholestrol levels, Omega 3 fatty acids increase HDL levels and reduce LDL (“bad”) levels, Antioxidants vitamins A, C and E help protect against damage from free radicals.
– Eat more oily fish like salmon, tuna, herrings, mackerel, sardines and fresh water trout which are natural sources of Omega 3 fatty acids.
– Consume wheatgrass and oats
Just changing your diet and starting to exercise can reduce your cholestrol within 2-3 weeks!
Treatment for high cholestrol
If your cholestrol level is very high and you have already tried changing your lifestyle, your doctor may prescribe cholestrol lowering drugs.
Some drugs reduce the amount of cholestrol produced by the liver while other drugs reduce the amount of cholestrol that the body absorbs from food.
Your doctor will advise you on the drugs which will suit you the best. The best thing you can do for yourself is to gather as much cholestrol information as you can.