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Why You Should Maintain Your Cholesterol Low

Updated on March 16, 2012

Cholesterol levels are not just numbers, but this numbers can differentiate an individual from having low risk of having cardiovascular events or someone who is high risk for cardiovascular events. Majority of cerebrovascular strokes and myocardial infarction are usually cause by an atherosclerotic plaque which occludes a blood vessel in the brain or a blood vessel in the heart. But one could ask, how come there is an atherosclerotic plaque there? The main culprit for those atherosclerotic plaques lodged in those blood vessels is cholesterol. Although not acute, cholesterol buildup overtime could lead to atherosclerotic plaque formation and aside from the brain and the heart, it could also damage other blood vessels including those in the lower extremities. So the simple equation is, keep your cholesterol within target limits to avoid this critical ailments.

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Cholesterol has 3 main types namely:

Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) or commonly known as your bad cholesterol – this type is called as such because an increase or a buildup of this cholesterol would increase the risk for having cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events. LDL carries cholesterol from the liver to the cells, and when there is too much buildup in the cell of LDL, atherosclerosis would begin and eventually lead to occlusion of a blood vessel. Many studies have already established this cholesterol with higher risk of CV events. So remember to keep this cholesterol low and on target levels. Animal meat products like your sausages, bacon, ham could increase your LDL levels, and this foods should be avoided or eaten in moderation.

High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) or commonly known as your good cholesterol – contrary to the 1st type, HDL decrease or prevents atherosclerosis by carrying cholesterol from your cell going back to you liver where it could be metabolized. With higher levels of HDL, the risk for atherosclerosis or atherosclerotic plaque formation is lowered. Soluble fiber from fruits like your grapes and citrus fruits, fiber from your oatmeal, soy products and food reach in omega-3 fatty acids usually promote increased of HDL in your body.

Triglycerides – this type of cholesterol are the ones being stored in fat cells for possible energy use in the future. Same with your LDL, an elevated level of triglyceride is also a risk factor for having cerebrovascular or cardiovascular events. Since this is the stored type, food high in carbohydrate levels could increase triglyceride levels in the body. So foods under this group should be eaten in moderation especially if your high risk for having diseases mentioned above.

There are still other types of cholesterol like your VLDL (very low density lipoprotein) or your IDL (intermediate density lipoprotein), but the 3 types mentioned above are the most relevant. All of us need cholesterol in our body because it is a part in many exchanges and procedures in the body, but if left uncontrolled, it could do more harm than do well for our body. So keep those cholesterol numbers in check to avoid damages in the body


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