Cholesterol is a type of fat made in the liver and found in animal foods. Cholesterol is needed for important body functions. Such as :
* Building cell walls
* Protecting nerves
* Making hormones.
There are two type of cholesterol :
* The GOOD (HDL or High Density Lipid)
* The BAD and the UGLY!! (LDL or Low Density Lipid.)
A higher level of HDL is needed to carry LDL from the BLOOD back to the LIVER to be ELIMINATED from the body.
If there is a higher level of LDL cholesterol in the BLOOD this may:
* Cause high blood pressure!
* Raise your risk of heart attack!
* Raise your risk of stroke!
* Cause the kidneys to fail!
Cholesterol is broken down into LDL which is needed by the body cells. Once the cells are satisfied the unused LDL remains to become what is known as blood cholesterol. The main danger of high blood cholesterol is that fatty plaques may form which will decrease the diameter of blood vessels. This leads to a restriction of the flow of blood and oxygen to the tissues of the body.
* If an artery supplying blood to the HEART becomes blocked you may have a heart attack!
* If an artery supplying blood to the BRAIN becomes blocked you may have a Stroke!
* If an artery supplying blood to the kidney becomes blocked you may suffer kidney failure.
WHAT CAUSES HIGH BLOOD CHOLESTEROL?
The main causes are:
* Eating too much high saturated fat. i.e. fat found in butter and dairy products, cakes biscuits and take away foods.
* Being overweight.
* Not exercising.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO LOWER YOUR CHOLESTEROL?
YOU CAN ......eat more:
* Fruits and vegetables.
* Oily fish (tuna, mackeral and herring).
* Skinless chicken.
* Fibre rich foods, e.g. oats and wholemeal bread.
YOU CAN.... eat less:
* Fried take away fast foods.
* High fat dairy products and eggs.
* Saturated fats and oils.
* Biscuits, cakes and pastries.
YOU CAN... USE:
* Unsaturated margarine instead of butter.
* Unsaturated oils (olive oil) instead of lard.
* Low fat cooking methods: steaming, grilling and microwaving.
* Make exercise a part of your day. (Walking is good).
* Not smoke
* Drink more water.
The link between blood cholesterol levels and heart disease is clear. Studies have shown that if an average man can reduce his blood cholesterol by only 10%, he can reduce his risk of heart attack by up to 50%!! Start NOW to make the changes because.....
YOUR HEALTH AND WELL BEING ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU AND TO US...!!