What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a type of natural lipid that exerts multiple functions at the body level, this type of macronutrient is obtained in greater quantity by hepatic synthesis, however, it can be acquired exogenously, that is, it can be consumed thanks to certain foods.
Cholesterol in the body plays important roles, such as: participating in the formation or synthesis of bile juices.
Which are important for the digestion of ingested fats since they allow to facilitate their absorption.
Cholesterol can undergo biotransformation when affected by UV rays, becoming vitamin D, being vital for the protection of skin tissue (skin) from corrosive chemical agents and prevent dehydration.
This aforementioned metabolite also serves as a basis for the formation of sex hormones, for this reason women who are anorexic, bulimic or who consume strict diets low in cholesterol tend to suffer problems in the menstrual cycle.
There are several types of cholesterol, those of clinical importance at the time of making a checkup to a patient should be evaluated two types of them which are: HDL this is popularly known as the “good” cholesterol, fulfills a process of redirection of the cholesterol.
That is to say, it takes this lipid found at blood level that does not fulfill any use and transports it to the liver so that it can be synthesized again in the liver.
The LDL was known as “bad” cholesterol, it fulfills a totally different cycle, carries the cholesterol of the liver and stores it in the tissues specifically in adipose tissue.
By having high cholesterol levels in the bloodstream the patient may be predisposed to have heart-type pathologies.
Likewise, such as acute myocardial infarction, which results in the tamponade of a coronary artery decreasing the oxygenation of cardiac tissue.
In addition, atherosclerosis which is identified as a layer of cholesterol that is attached to the walls of blood vessels.
This decreasing the passage of blood reaching the complete obstruction of the vessel; This type of patient does have control of their cholesterol levels in the bloodstream reaching to keep it in the values that are considered regular.
With this, they have the possibility that the lipids adhered to the blood vessels are released back into the blood so that they can be taken to the liver, and thus they are finally eliminated in the form of bile when the digestion process takes place.
How are your cholesterol levels measured?
If you are 20 or older, you should measure your cholesterol at least once every five years. A blood test called a lipoprotein panel can measure your cholesterol levels.
Before the test, you will need to fast (do not eat or drink anything except water) for nine to 12 hours. The test provides information about your:
The total amount of cholesterol in the blood. It includes two types: Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL, for its acronym in English)
Bad cholesterol (LDL)
The one that accumulates in your arteries and obstructs them
Good cholesterol (HDL)
Helps to eliminate cholesterol from your arteries
This number is your total cholesterol minus your good cholesterol (HDL). Your non-HDL cholesterol includes bad cholesterol (LDL) and other types of cholesterol, such as very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)
Another type of fat in your blood that may increase your risk of heart (heart) disease, especially in women
What do your cholesterol levels mean?
Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg / dL). These are healthy cholesterol levels:
How to reduce high cholesterol?
Having cholesterol above 200mg / dl can be a cause of risk in the development of heart disease.
One in two Spaniards has cholesterol levels above that limit and, what worries the most, is that most are not aware of this problem. Here we tell you some tricks to reduce it.
1. HEALTHY FOODS
The diet to reduce high cholesterol should be rich in:
Fiber and antioxidants: Fruits, vegetables, some cereals, legumes or nuts. They decrease the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine.
Foods rich in Omega 3: As bluefish, salmon, trout, mackerel, and tuna. Also nuts or white meat. Beware The pastries, pasta, and fried foods. Moderates the consumption of fatty sausages.
2. HEALTHY COOKS
In addition to choosing the right food, we must know the ways to cook them that help us the most.
✔ Boiled: You can lose flavor or nutrients. The key?. Do not boil too much and supplement with spices.
✔ Grilled: Fast and delicious. If oil is used, it must be extra virgin olive and not large quantity.
✔ Baked: Nutrients, flavor, and properties remain. We can also reduce the amount of fat
What affects cholesterol levels?
Several things can affect cholesterol levels. Here is what you can do to download them:
Diet: Saturated fat and cholesterol in the foods you eat increase the level of cholesterol in the blood.
Saturated fat is the main culprit, but cholesterol in foods also matters. Lowering the amount of saturated fats in your diet helps reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood.
Foods that have high levels of saturated fats include some meats, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, and processed and fried foods
Weight: Being overweight is a risk factor for heart disease. It also makes your cholesterol rise. Losing weight can help reduce your levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), total cholesterol and your triglyceride levels. It also helps raise your good cholesterol (HDL)
Physical activity: Not exercising is a risk factor for heart disease. Regular physical activity can help reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise good (HDL). It also helps to lose weight. You should try to exercise for 30 minutes most days, if you can exercise every day, even better
Smoking: Cigarette smoking reduces good cholesterol (HDL), which helps eliminate bad cholesterol from your arteries. Thus, a lower HDL can contribute to a higher level of bad cholesterol.