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Good Cholesterol v. Bad Cholesterol

Good Cholesterol v. Bad Cholesterol

Cardiac Fitness

We hear a lot about cholesterol, whether it's during a doctor's appointment,
family reunions with grandparents, or the ubiquitous pharmaceutical
advertising. But what exactly is cholesterol, what are the many varieties,
and how can you ensure that you have adequate levels of good
While most of us understand that elevated cholesterol does not constantly
improve heart health, is it truly as horrible as it sounds? Cholesterol isn't
either healthy or harmful; it's somewhere in the middle. In truth, cholesterol
is necessary for your body — in moderation. It aids in the formation and
maintenance of cells and hormones such as estrogen, steroids, vitamin D,
and digestion.
Cholesterol, or the fatty material found in your cells, is classified into two
types: high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
Here's all you need to know about both.

What is cholesterol, and why is it important?

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like molecule that is found in blood cells all over
the body. Cholesterol, also known as a lipid, is the most common type of
fat found in your blood and bodily tissues, along with triglycerides.
High levels of lipids, particularly triglycerides and cholesterol, can cause fat
deposits or plaque build-up in your arteries. This causes the arteries to
narrow over time, raising blood pressure and increasing blood clots and
heart disease risk.

Cholesterol Types

Cholesterol travels as a passenger on proteins known as "lipoproteins,"
which work as a bicycle courier for cholesterol, allowing it to travel from one
zip code in your body to another. Lipoproteins are classified into two
categories and understanding the distinctions between "good" and "bad"
cholesterol is critical.According to the American Heart Association, HDL is known as "good"
cholesterol because it removes LDL cholesterol from the arteries and
transports it to the liver. It may be broken down and removed from the
When there is too much LDL cholesterol circulating in the blood, more than
the excellent HDL scavengers can scoop up and ferry away, it might
eventually build up in the form of plaque on the walls of your arteries. This
is known as atherosclerosis. According to the AHA, this narrows the
arteries over time, increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and peripheral
arterial disease.
According to the AHA, a high level of triglycerides — the most common
type of fat in your body — can lead to fatty build-ups in your arteries and
raise your risk of heart attack and stroke when combined with high LDL or
low HDL cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol Levels

The lower your LDL cholesterol level, the less risk you face. If you do not
currently have atherosclerotic disease or diabetes, a suitable target is
fewer than 130 milligrams per deciliter. Remember that LDL cholesterol
levels tend to rise with age, so it's essential to monitor them with fairly
frequent blood tests as the decades pass.
Lipoprotein(a), or Lp(a), is a troublesome buddy of LDL that appears to
enjoy adhering to our arterial walls. Healthy activities, such as eating a
nutritious diet, seem to have little effect on Lp(a), mainly determined by
hereditary factors. So, you can blame your parents if you have this type of
Higher HDL cholesterol levels are encouraged since they reduce your risk
of cardiovascular disease, and doctors recommend aiming for 60
milligrams per deciliter or higher.
You should be aware that numbers alone do not accurately indicate your
risk of heart disease with all of that stated. They are, instead, one
component of a more significant equation that incorporates a variety of
other variables such as age, smoking status, and stress. If a person hashigh cholesterol, they might attempt making lifestyle adjustments for three
to six months before having their levels examined again.

Why are some people more likely than others to develop high cholesterol?

Understanding why some people have high cholesterol levels while others
do not is not as straightforward as it may appear. According to the AHA,
while overweight persons are more likely to have high cholesterol, skinny
people might also.
The following are some of the things that influence your cholesterol levels:


Some persons may be genetically predisposed to high harmful cholesterol
levels due to a disorder known as familial hypercholesterolemia (FH).
There are two forms of FH: heterozygous, where a person inherits the gene
from just one parent, and homozygous, where a person inherits two copies
of the abdominal gene, one from each parent. Homozygous FH is more
infrequent as well as more hazardous. People with FH do not recycle LDL
cholesterol as efficiently, resulting in high levels of this kind of cholesterol,
making them more susceptible to atherosclerosis, which often begins at a
much younger age. According to the AHA, approximately one in every 200
persons has the FH genetic variant. If left untreated, these people have a
20-fold increased chance of getting heart disease.
If you have a parent, sibling, or kid who has FH or who had a heart attack
when they were young, you should be tested for the condition. To keep
their cholesterol levels in a healthy range, most FH patients require
cholesterol-lowering medicines such as statins.


While smoking may not cause high cholesterol, it is a major known risk
factor for heart disease and stroke. If you also have high LDL cholesterol
levels, your risk increases. According to the AHA, one reason is that
smoking lowers HDL levels, which helps to diminish or eliminate the
protective effect of that type of cholesterol.Quitting smoking has an immediate positive impact on your heart health.
According to a study published in the journal Biomarker Research, their
HDL levels rise virtually immediately when people stop smoking.


According to the AHA, the best strategy to lower your cholesterol is to limit
your saturated fat and trans-fat intake. The AHA recommends limiting
saturated fat to fewer than 6 percent of daily calories and limiting trans-fat
to less than 1 percent daily calories. This includes red meat, tropical oils,
fried foods, and full-fat dairy.
Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products, fruits and vegetables, whole
grains, chicken, fish, nuts, and non tropical vegetable oils instead.
According to the AHA, healthier cooking oils include canola, corn, olive,
peanut, soybean, sunflower, vegetable oil, and other specialty oils.
According to Dr. Gutierrez, as a general rule, "consume a diet that is
focused largely on the whole, plant-based foods and is low in saturated and
animal fats."

How do you keep your cholesterol under control?

There are two crucial things you can do to keep your cholesterol levels in a
reasonable range.

Eat Well

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association
discovered that a diet focusing on recognized cholesterol-lowering foods
resulted in a more considerable decline in LDL values than a diet focused
solely on reducing saturated fat intake. While there is no single superfood
that may dramatically increase your good-to-bad cholesterol ratio and help
you avoid cardiovascular troubles, there are certain eating habits that can
pay off big time.

Exercise Regularly

The good news is that you can ride your way to conquering your
cholesterol. An experiment published in the American Heart Journal
discovered that regular exercise could improve LDL and HDL counts, LDL
size, and triglycerides regardless of diet. Regular sweat exercises can helpimprove cholesterol numbers since they keep your body weight in check:
overweight people have higher cholesterol and triglycerides. However,
include some intervals in your training regimen because research shows
that HIIT exercise might be very beneficial in lowering cholesterol levels.
Furthermore, consider picking up the dumbbells a few times a week
because resistance exercise, which improves our muscle-to-fat ratio, is part
of the workout equation for healthier cholesterol readings in both men and

Chill Out

Not many people know this, but did you know that if you are stressed, your
cholesterol can go through the roof? So go ahead and have a day of
walking in a park with your family or friends. It will keep your cholesterol in
check. Releasing your stress will not only lower your Cholesterol level, but
this would also keep you out of any kinds of disease.
Last but not the least is something you can easily do everyday.

Laugh More

Laughter as what they always say, is the best medicine. According to a
small study of patients with high cholesterol. Those who spent 30 minutes
of laughing each day lowered their HDL by 26 percent at the end of one
year. Enjoy every moment of your life and live always with laughter.

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