Friday, April 10, 2015

How To Manage Cholesterol Level?

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is found in all cells of the body. While human body requires some cholesterol to make hormones, Vitamin-D and substances that help digest foods, high cholesterol levels can increase the chance of getting heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.

Fasting lipid blood test is one way to find out information on one’s total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or bad cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or good cholesterol, and triglycerides.

Of all the readings, LDL is the most important figure one should pay attention to. For a person without diabetes or a history of heart disease or stroke, an LDL level of above 4.0mmol/L or 160mg/dL is considered high. But if one has diabetes, heart disease, or has previously suffered a stroke, the threshold is lower, at 2.6mmol/L or 100mg/dL. LDL causes fat deposits to accumulate on blood vessel walls. This will eventually create a blockage that might lead to heart attack and stroke.

The human body can make all the cholesterol it needs but cholesterol can be added to the body in some of the foods consumed. Cholesterol is found in foods that come from animal sources, for example, egg yolks, meat, and cheese. Some foods have saturated fats and Trans fats that can also raise the cholesterol level.

Besides diet, level of physical activity, body weight, heredity (genes) and age can determine the cholesterol levels, too. People who do not have adequate physical activity tend to gain weight. Overweight would raise the LDL levels and lower the HDL levels. LDL levels appear to rise with increasing age, and sometimes, high cholesterol can run in families and this is of course uncontrollable. 

Patients with high cholesterol levels are usually advised to perform moderate aerobic exercise to improve their cholesterol levels. Regular exercise could help one lose weight, increase HDL levels and lower LDL levels.

Meanwhile, they should adopt a diet low in saturated fats and high in vegetables and fruits. Vegetables like cabbage, carrot, onion and tomato, and fruits such as blueberries, avocado, grapefruit, grape, and soybeans are rich in cholesterol-lowering antioxidants. In addition, one should try to have a diet contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to lower one’s triglyceride levels.

However, if one’s cholesterol levels do not reduce after 3 to 6 months, he or she should see the doctor who might prescribe cholesterol-lowering medications like statins.

People are mostly not aware of the high blood cholesterol levels in their body because there is no signs or symptoms. It is advised that adults aged 20 and above should have their cholesterol levels checked at least once every 5 years. 

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:41 AM

    Individuals who are well educated on the sources of cholesterol should have the knowledge on how to manage their blood cholesterol level, but what about those who are not educated? Seminars & blogs reach only some people it seems, but in today's society, social networks and video games seem to take precedence over reading about ways to manage one's cholesterol level. Is there a way to leverage peoples smart mobile devices to educate them more about managing cholesterol? Maybe something like a smart phone App "Words with Friends" could be a solution, a social game that competes on getting the best game score for cholesterol, blood pressure & weight. Why not take a look at it and provide your comment on whether such a game could influence people's educational level on cholesterol?