Although most people believe that the trend towards cutting off cholesterol in diets is brought on by the fact that the young generation is dieting themselves to death; it is not so. Limiting the body’s cholesterol levels is not only for appearance’s purposes but also for health reasons. Cholesterol levels in the body, when at a certain level, can cause a host of body complications and disease that can even eventually cause death.
Problems like hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes come in mind. This is especially true with people who are already old and in their middle ages because of the slowing down of the bodily processes particularly the digestive system and the body’s ability to convert fats to energy. This is perhaps why most older people, especially those that have weight issues, are being asked by their doctors to lessen their cholesterol intake.
What is cholesterol?
People have been talking about cholesterol but do they what it is and how it affects the body. Because of news about rising cases heart problems in the country, cholesterol has become an overnight antagonist. Everybody thinks that cholesterol is bad.
Actually, not all cholesterol is bad for the body. In fact, our bodies need cholesterol to make bile salts. It is also a major ingredients in maintaining hormonal balance as well as in the production of Vitamin D. Things become troubled when the levels become too high that the cholesterol already clog the arteries, making it hard for the blood to flow and the heart to pump.
There are two kinds of cholesterol, the good and the bad. The LDL, which is the bad kind, adhere to the arterial walls, forming plaques that eventually clog the passageway. Saturated fats and the trans fatty kind are sources of this kind of cholesterol. This is frequently found in pre-packed foods like potato snacks and canned goods.
The HDL, on the other hand, can lower the levels of LDL cholesterol. This is because the good HDL helps transport the LDL cholesterol from the arterial walls back to the liver where it is excreted out. These are found in nuts and in seafood particularly fishes.
People who want to lower their LDL levels are also advised to eat a lot of fruits because of the fiber that they bring to the body. Oats, cereals, and legumes are also great sources of fibers that can help combat the rise of LDL cholesterol, eventually decreasing the risk of heart disease.
Factors that affect cholesterol levels
Contrary to popular opinion, it is not just the diet that should be taken into consideration when dealing with high cholesterol levels. There are actually a lot of factors that affect the condition. One of these is the age and the gender. Older people are more affected by increased levels of cholesterol because of their bodies’ slowing processes. Another factor is the level of physical activity. Exercise can actually help in lowering down of LDL cholesterol. Also, it can help in strengthening the body and in toning the muscles.
Lowering cholesterol levels
From what was mentioned above, it seems remarkably simple to lower the body’s cholesterol levels… that is if one has the discipline to see it through. Just eat right and exercise regularly, avoid canned and pre-packed foods and you are on your way to lower cholesterol levels.