Cholesterol – is a soft waxy substance in human cells, blood and food. Dietary cholesterol is found in animal based food, such as meat and dairy products. Plant based food such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains do not have the waxy substance.
“Good” and “bad” cholesterol. On its own, cholesterol unable to reach areas where it is needed. It hitches on lipoproteins to travel to the body.
Good lipoproteins are known as high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and bad lipoprotein are called low-density lipoproteins (LDL). The LDL is packed with cholesterol.
Similar in name, HDLand LDL they differ as they traverse the bloodstream. When LDL gets too much, they deposit along the artery walls as fatty clumps. These lumps, clots the blood, cut off the blood supply to the heart triggers a heart attack and that of the brain, a stroke occurs.
HDL, on the other hand, is a cardiovascular hero. It patrols the arteries, hauls cholesterol away to the liver for dumping.
The other fatty substance Triglycerides floats around our blood used by the body for energy derived from food we eat. Niacin seems to be beneficial for development and progression of heart related diseases such as heart attacks and strokes, as well as lowering of LDL.
In the last decade, scientists have developed an understanding of (HDL and LDL cholesterol, and that size matters. It seems larger lipoproteins (HDL and LDL) are preferred. Large LDL less likely to embed themselves in the artery walls, they are the ones that cause heart disease. Likewise, a large DHL is likely to grab onto harmful particles and dispose them out of the body. As such, the small particles of LDL cholesterol are more dangerous than larger particles. Niacin causes the shift of small LDL to large HDL, decreases inflammation of the arteries, due to the increase of HDL.
Risks of high cholesterol
Atherosclerosis – Hardening of coronary arteries by plague. This artery carries oxygen-rich blood to the heart. If untreated, the blockage chokes of the heart’s supply of blood, resulting in chest pain (angina) heart attack or even death.
Like heart attack and stroke, having identical causes: instead of restricted blood to the heart, a stroke occurs due to restricted blood to the brain. Cholesterol reduction prevents stroke just at it prevents a heart attack.
Defence against high cholesterol
Diets should include asparagus, beans, figs, fruits, vegetables sweet potato and soluble fibre.
Regular physical activity reduces stress, cope stress effectively, increase strength and stamina. In turn heart related ailment and obesity are kept at bay.
Minerals and Supplements
Omega-3 fatty acids found is calamari, cod and salmon protects the heart from blood clots, lowering blood pressure related diseases and triglycerides.
Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium is a good combination for control of blood pressure related diseases. Niacin, B3 is good for cholesterol control.
Track your daily lifestyle
‘Kill two birds with one stone’ by controlling cholesterol, you are cutting chances of hypertension.
Keep track of meals, exercises and daily blood pressure readings. Regular and consistency in tracking, charts your progress and good health, motivates you to making better choices and enhanced your quality of life.