Keep Your Cholesterol Down!

By: infocus
Everybody knows that cholesterol has much to do with heart disease. Do not worry too much about the dangers of high cholesterol. Knowing what cholesterol is and how it affects you will undoubtedly help you avoid high cholesterol.

1. Cholesterol And Heart Disease

Your blood cholesterol is a major factor in the risk of suffering from heart disease. In fact, the higher your cholesterol level, the greater the chances you have of getting a heart attack. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States. Every year more than a million Americans suffer heart attacks, and half of that number die from heart disease.

2. How Does Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease?

When your body has too much cholesterol, it builds up in the walls of your arteries. This causes your arteries to harden. Your arteries, as a result of this, narrow down or get blocked. This reduces the flow of blood through your body. Oxygen is carried throughout your body by blood. If an inadequate supply of oxygen to your heart occurs because of reduced blood flow, you may experience chest pains. And if the blood supply is completely cut off, the result is a heart attack.

Unfortunately, high blood cholesterol has no symptoms. So it is hard to gauge the status of your arteries. Whether or not you suffer from heart disease, lowering your cholesterol is important to maintain good health.

3. What Affects Cholesterol Levels?

I. Diet

- Oils, Eggs, Margarine and Butter
- Saturated fat
- Fatty foods

II. Weight

Being overweight is also a factor for heart disease. There is a correlation between weight and cholesterol levels. Following that, losing weight can help lower cholesterol levels.

III. Physical Activity

If you are not physically active and have a sedementary lifestyle, you have a greater risk for heart disease. Regular exercise can help lower cholesterol level, and has many untold physical benefits. Consult a doctor about a training regimen that suits you. Overexertion is equally bad for the health.

IV. Age and Gender

Cholesterol levels rise as men and women get older. Before menopause, women have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. After menopause these levels have been observed to rise.

V. Heredity

High cholesterol levels are sometimes inherited from your ancestors. If your family has a history of heart disease you may want to consult a doctor regarding possible preventive medicine.

4. Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC)

You can lower your cholesterol through the help of TLC. It is a set of activities that can help lower your LDL (the bad part of cholesterol). The main parts of TLC are:

I. Diet

- Eat low-fat, low-cholesterol meals
- Eat fruits, vegetables and high-fiber grains
- High fiber foods are very effective at 'sweeping' away cholesterol

II. Weight Management

- Don't be overweight
- Consult a chart to see the recommended weight value for your height, gender, and age
- Scan your body to determine its fat percentage. Healthy bodies will contain fat!

III. Physical Activity

- Exercise for 30 minutes per day
- Always consult a medical professional regarding this regimen
- Health is wealth
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