Your High Cholesterol Guide Is Here! With Diet Tips.

Cholesterol | Types | Causes | Symptoms | Foods | Drinks | Exercises | Lifestyle Tips And many more!

Nowadays, many people are suffering from high cholesterol, still, they take it for granted. High Cholesterol is one of the biggest factor responsible to invite health issues like obesity, heart disease, etc. Let’s know more about it.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a lipid, waxy, fat-like substance found in all cells of the body. Cholesterol is used by the body to help one digest food, produce hormones, cell membranes and Vitamin D. It is naturally produced by the liver. But when we consume such food products which increases the level of unnecessary cholesterol, then it results in high cholesterol level.

The best thing about cholesterol is, you really don’t need to take it into your diet. Because cholesterol is naturally formed in our body. We don’t need to take it in any form, whether diet or anything else.

Types of Cholesterol

Cholesterol is insoluble in water and blood, so it can not transport on its own. That’s why our liver produces lipoproteins to transport cholesterol in our body. Lipoproteins are made up of fats and proteins. Its two main forms are LDL (Low-density cholesterol) and HDL (High-density Cholesterol).

If there is too much LDL cholesterol in your blood, then this condition is called high cholesterol.

LDL cholesterol

As LDL cholesterol is not good for health, hence it is called ‘ Bad cholesterol’. If present in excess, it can build up on the walls of your arteries. Which further limit or hindrance the blood flow and can create a blood clot. This increases the risk of heart diseases like heart attack, stroke etc. Its deposit makes arteries hard and narrow.

HDL Cholesterol

High-density cholesterol often refers to ‘Good cholesterol’. It helps to control the level of LDL by returning it to level, and get it to remove from the body. And this prevents the build-up of cholesterol in our arteries. A sufficient amount of HDL helps to decrease the risk of heart diseases and stroke.

Having high glyceraldehyde can also increase the risk of heart and other diseases.

How to check the cholesterol level?

Cholesterol Chart for Children

 

Total Cholesterol

HDL Cholesterol

LDL Cholesterol

Acceptable

Lower than 170

Higher than 45

Lower than 110

Borderline

170 — 199

40 — 45

110 — 129

High

200 or higher

N/a

Higher than 130

Cholesterol chart for adults

 

Total Cholesterol

HDL cholesterol

LDL Cholesterol

Triglycerides

Good

Less than 200

Max. 60. 40 – 50 for men and 50 – 60 for women

70 – 100

Max. 149. Less than 100 is ideal.

Borderline to moderate

200 – 239

N/a

130 – 159

150 – 199

High

240 or higher

60 or higher

160 – 190

200 – 500

Low

N/a

Less than 40

N/a

N/a

With the help of this chart, you can easily keep a check on your cholesterol level. A person of age 20 years or more must check his/her cholesterol level every four to six years, at least once. People having a family history of high cholesterol are more likely to have it, but most of the time our lifestyle habits are the ones to blame.

Symptoms of High Cholesterol

High Cholesterol has no specific symptoms. You have to go for a blood test if you know your cholesterol level. It is a silent problem and if not tested, result in a heart attack or stroke-like health issues.

Causes of High Cholesterol :

  • Too much consumption of saturated, trans fat and cholesterol-rich food.
  • Physical inactivity
  • Poor lifestyle habits
  • Genetics
  • Smoking
  • Familial hypercholesterolemia ( In rare cases only)
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidism etc.

Risk factors for High Cholesterol: Factors that can increase the risk of high or bad cholesterol are—

  1. Obesity
  2. Overweight
  3. Smoking
  4. Chewing tobacco
  5. Diabetes
  6. Kidney diseases
  7. Inactive lifestyle
  8. Poor diet
  9. Lack of exercise
  10. Age – As our age increases, our liver turns weak and its efficiency to remove LDL from our body starts decreasing gradually.

Complications Of High Cholesterol: Due to the blockage of arteries, some complications increases like —

  • Chest pain
  • Heart diseases
  • Stroke
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Peripheral Vascular disease
  • Bile imbalance etc.

How to Control High Cholesterol:

  1. Diet:- Foods can have a great impact on your high cholesterol level. Here is the list of some foods to eat and avoid as well. Have a look.

Foods to eat —

  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Legumes
  • Beans
  • High fibre foods, such as whole grain, fruits, vegetables etc.
  • Go for baked, boiled, grilled, roasted or steamed food instead of fried ones.
  • Foods are rich in omega -3 fatty acids like fish, almond, flax seeds etc.

Foods to avoid —

  • Red meat
  • Foods rich in trans fat, and cholesterol
  • Fried foods
  • High–fat dairy products like cheese etc.
  • Eggs, especially egg yolks
  • Liver meat
  • Margarine
  • Muffins
  • Packaged foods rich in sodium and cholesterol
  • Shellfish
  • Burgers
  • Fried chicken
  • Ice creams, etc.
  • Foods prepared from palm oil, coconut oil and cocoa butter
  • Cookies

Drinks to have —

  • Green tea: Catechins and antioxidant, present in green tea is quite helpful to control the high level of cholesterol. Black tea can also work, but less than green tea.
  • Soy milk: As you have to avoid creams and cheese, soy milk can be a better replacement of high-fat dairy products. You can also consume soy-based food and drinks.
  • Tomato juice: Tomatoes contains Lycopene compound which helps to control bad cholesterol levels.
  • Berries smoothies: Berries are rich in antioxidants and low in fat and cholesterol. Just blend two handfuls of berries with half a cup of soy milk or yoghurt and half a cup of water. Blend it well and enjoy. You can take any type of berries for this.
  • Plant-based milk and smoothies: Plant-based milk like soy milk or oat milk is a must in this journey. Just blend bananas, mangoes, plums, etc. With plant-based milk and your smoothie is ready.

Drinks to avoid:

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Any drink having a high-fat dairy product like cream etc.
  • Pressed coconut drinks
  • Sports drink
  • Soda
  • Hot chocolate
  • Packaged fruit juices
  1. Exercises: Exercises have a great impact on increasing the HDL level. Therefore, one must accept cycling, walking, jogging, swimming as easy exercises as their lifestyle habits. Just make sure you exercise daily no matter if you couldn’t make it for hours. Starting from 15 to 30 minutes is a good option. You can increase the timings according to your capacity.

One must exercise 200 minutes per week at least. Of course, including warm-up. Ask your doctor about how much and which type of exercise is beneficial for you.

Try to be active the whole day, don’t sit for long hours in a still position.

  1. Increase fibre intake.
  2. Quit smoking
  3. Keep a check on your body weight. Don’t let it ruin your health.
  4. Exercise, avoid alcohol, manage stress and follow all the above-mentioned tips.
  5. Add whey protein and soluble fibre

Follow the above-mentioned tips and live a healthy life.

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