Consider Cholesterol: Today’s challenge

Vaishnavi Jalihal

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Cholesterol. What do you know about it? Is it bad? Cholesterol not needed by the body at all? Is it present in high-fat foods? You will get all your answers here.

Cholesterol is important

Cholesterol is NEEDED by the body. Yes, it has a couple of duties to perform, without which your body cannot function. Cholesterol is needed to build cells. It is needed to make certain hormones, vitamin D and a few substances that help to digest food. Though these functions are important, there are dangers of high cholesterol that have a greater impact on the body.

Where does Cholesterol come from?

where does cholesterol come from?
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Cholesterol mostly comes from food, but it is also produced by the liver on its own. It is mostly obtained from foods of animal origin, like meat, high-fat dairy items, poultry, egg yolk, etc. Other foods that are rich in cholesterol are cheese, chocolate, fried and processed foods. All these foods are excellent sources of saturated and trans fats. These types of fats, in turn, make the liver produce more cholesterol than necessary.

Types of Cholesterol

There are 3 aspects to cholesterol-LDL, HDL and TGL.
 LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein): It is the bad cholesterol that your body does not need. It carries cholesterol from the liver to different parts of the body for deposition.
 HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein): It is the good cholesterol that your body NEEDS. It carries cholesterol from different parts of the body to the liver for removal from the body.
 TGL (Triglycerides): It is fat present in the chemical form.
For a healthy you, you need more of HDL and less of LDL and TGL.

What causes a rise in Cholesterol?

Factors that cause a rise in body’s cholesterol levels are:

  •  Food choices: High-fat foods, animal products.
  •  Lack of physical activity or sedentary lifestyle.
  •  Smoking
  •  Alcoholism
  •  Genetic predisposition
  •  Older ages
  •  Obesity or overweight

Effects of raised Cholesterol levels?

If the body’s cholesterol levels increase beyond what is required, the excess cholesterol can bind with other substances and form a plaque. This plaque can cause blockage in arteries. Blockages over a long period of time can lead to heart diseases.

effect of raised cholesterol
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LDL increases due to all the reasons mentioned above. But to increase the good cholesterol, the only way out is Exercise and Omega-3 fatty acid rich diet. Another feather in the cap, vitamin C. This vitamin helps to degrade cholesterol and remove it from the body. So, include this excellent vitamin in your diet in the form of lemon, papaya, Indian gooseberry, strawberry, guava, cabbage, sweet lime, orange, drumstick, etc.

Strike a balance

strike a balance

The moral of the story is that cholesterol is good when it falls within the normal range. Ultimately, it comes to what you eat. Your body reacts to your actions. Aim to balance out the good and the bad. Get your cholesterol levels checked at least once after the age of 25 years.

So, consider cholesterol, but positively.

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