High Cholesterol and Cardiovascular diseases. The cardiovascular diseases could be prevented with proper control of cholesterol intake
Cholesterol is a fatty substance normally found in the blood. Whereas cholesterol is useful in human life, when it is in excess, it becomes chronic and can cause very devastating health conditions. Therefore if you have too much cholesterol in your blood, you stand a greater risk of contracting heart diseases and other cardiovascular diseases. To help us understand better the impact of high cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases, we spoke to doctor Dalal Akoury the MD and founder of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center and she is going to help us bring certain health matters into perspective. To begin with, let us first of all understand what cholesterol is in human life. Cholesterol is a fatty substance carried around the body by proteins. A combination of cholesterol and proteins will make a substance known as lipoproteins. With this combination come two types of lipoproteins:
- Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are known as the bad type of cholesterol. LDL carries cholesterol from your liver to the cells that need it.
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as the good type of cholesterol. HDL carry cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver to be broken down.
Doctor Akoury says that too much bad cholesterol (LDL) in your blood can cause fatty material to build up in your artery walls. This becomes even more risky if the concentration of bad of bad cholesterol is higher than that of the good cholesterol. It must be noted that cholesterol is measured in millimols per liter of blood (mmol/l) and the recommended levels is always under 4mmol/l, this is particularly necessary if you are at risk of or even if you already have heart and circulatory disease. With that done, it is also important that you aim to have your LDL under 2mmol/l and your HDL above 1 mmol/l.
Triglycerides are another type of fatty substance in the blood. Like LDL cholesterol (the bad type), triglycerides are also bad. They’re found in foods such as dairy products, meat and cooking oils. They can also be produced in the body, either by the body’s fat stores or in the liver. Ideally, your triglyceride level should be less than 1.7mmol/l. If you have high triglyceride levels, you may have a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease than people with lower levels. If you are very overweight, eat a lot of fatty and sugary foods, or drink too much alcohol, you are more likely to have a high triglyceride level.
There is no one single cause for high cholesterol. Many different factors can contribute to high cholesterol such as:
Having an inherited condition known as familial hyper-cholesterolaemia (FH) can also cause exceptionally high cholesterol even if you have a healthy lifestyle.
Eat a healthy balanced diet – Eating lots of fruit, vegetables, and wholegrain is better than eating foods high in saturated or Tran’s fats. You can replace saturated fats with the healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as olive, rapeseed or sunflower oils and spreads. It is interesting to note that food stuff that people often ignore is actually the best in keeping the good health we all desire. Therefore only settle for foods that are high in soluble fiber like the beans, oats, lentils, nuts, fruits and vegetables. Soluble fibers are very effective and can help in lowering the levels of cholesterol.
Regular exercise – Regular physical activity can help increase your HDL cholesterol (the good type of cholesterol). Staying active is great way to keep your heart healthy. While this can be very simple to do, many have failed in maintaining the consistency of exercise. If you too is a candidate of inconsistency, then scheduling for an appointment with the experts at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center will be very helpful to you. This facility was established by doctor Dalal Akoury primarily to help people with such difficulties.
Quit smoking – Quitting smoking can help to lower your cholesterol and improve your heart health. Actually there is nothing good about smoking when it comes to your health. Even if it was not about cholesterol smoking generally is harmful and life threatening in all dimensions.
Patients who visit my office in relation to cholesterol often ask this question, “Will I need to take medication?” medication is necessary; however whether yes or no taking cholesterol medication is not a matter to decide on the street. It will depend on your overall risk of cardiovascular disease. Like for instance, cholesterol medications like statins are only prescribed to patients who are at greatest overall risk of cardiovascular disease.
When it comes to the roles of sterol-enriched foods in helping in the reduction of cholesterol level the effect varies between individuals, there is evidence to show that plant sterols and stanols can help to reduce LDL cholesterol by levels up to 10-15% when 2g per day is regularly consumed as part of a healthy balanced diet. It must be noted that even though there is an expectation that this would lead to fewer heart attacks, scientifically no clinical trials have been undertaken to show this. Nonetheless sterols and stanols is a common ingredients in several food products we use some of which may include margarines, spreads, soft cheeses and yoghurts.
For most people, the amount of saturated fat they eat has much more of an impact on their cholesterol than eating foods that contain cholesterol, like eggs, liver, kidneys and shellfish. Unless you have been told otherwise by your doctor or dietician, if you like eggs, they can be included as part of a balanced and varied diet. Finally in whatever you chose to do always make wide consultations with the experts before you proceed with the action. The experts opinion will help you avoid mistakes before they happen. Remember that with health there is no trial and error, everything has to be done well to perfection. This perfection you can only get at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center only if you can make that very important call today.