Cholesterol is a lipid that is found in all of your body’s cells. And when it’s levels are too high, high cholesterol tips are necessary to lower it.
High cholesterol is known for being harmful to your health. But, the truth is, it’s essential in certain amounts. Cholesterol helps the proper functioning of your major bodily systems.
Your liver is in charge of naturally secreting cholesterol. And, once synthesized, it participates in the creation of bile and hormones, and plays a role in your cardiovascular system.
However, since it is also acquired from the food you eat, it can turn into a real danger and cause serious problems.
That’s because it is retained on your arterial walls. It forms a thick layer that can lead to circulation and blood pressure issues.
In addition, it increases your risk of serious cardiovascular diseases, which can reduce your quality of life if left uncontrolled.
So, that’s why it’s so important to understand the dangerous of high cholesterol. For instance: what it tends to look like, and which high cholesterol tips you can follow to lower it.
What does high cholesterol mean?
Cholesterol, also known as lipoproteins, is usually put into three categories:
- High density lipoproteins (HDL), also called “good” cholesterol
- Low density lipoproteins (LDL), also called “bad” cholesterol
- Total cholesterol: all cholesterol together
Good cholesterol has the job of cleaning your arteries, lowering bad cholesterol.
However, there is usually not enough for it to do its job well.
A person has high cholesterol, or hypercholesterolemia, if their total levels are above 200 mg/dl. And that’s when they need to follow high cholesterol tips.
There is also a positive diagnosis if LDL is over 130 mg/dl or HDL is under 35 mg/dl in men or 40 mg/dl in women.
Having high cholesterol means that if you don’t manage it with these high cholesterol tips, you have a higher risk of developing health problems. What’s more, these risks not only affect your heart, but also your brain and liver.
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What are the symptoms of high cholesterol?
One of the main issues with having hypercholesterolemia is that it usually doesn’t have obvious visible signs at first.
This makes it hard to detect and it’s the reason people call it a “silent killer.”
However, as it advances, there are warning signs that may lead you to suspect high cholesterol and get a medical check-up. Then, you can follow proper high cholesterol tips.
The most common warning signs are:
- Inflammation of the joints
- Bad breath
- Losing your balance, dizziness
- Chest pain
- Blurry vision
- Food intolerances
- Weakness and fatigue
We should clarify that the above symptoms can also point to other conditions and diseases. And, sometimes, they have nothing to do with your cholesterol.
That said, a doctor should address these symptoms, since they can be key to a diagnosis.
What are the risks of having high cholesterol?
Having high cholesterol and not doing anything about it can have serious consequences in your health. Actually, it can even be fatal.
Some risks are:
- Arteriosclerosis: caused by an obstruction in your arteries due to cholesterol buildup
- Stroke: a result of blood not reaching the brain
- Angina: produced by insufficient blood flow to a certain part of the heart
- Coronary disease: due to an arterial obstruction; this can lead to a heart attack.
- Liver and gallbladder problems
- Being overweight
Which high cholesterol tips can I follow?
There are now medications available to help with cholesterol buildup in your arteries.
However, the main treatment methods consist of lifestyle changes.
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Foods to avoid
Due to their saturated fat and cholesterol content, a wide variety of foods should be eaten only in limited quantities.
The main ones are:
- Red meat and cold cuts
- Store-bought pastries
- Vegetable oils such as palm oil or soy
- Table salt and salty snacks
- Whole milk and whole fat dairy
- Store-bought sauces and dressings
- Junk food
Foods that can help control high cholesterol
As a replacement for the foods mentioned above, eat more foods with the ability to help control your cholesterol.
- Nuts and seeds
- Olive oil
- Oily fish
- Oats and whole grains
- Natural yogurt
Get into an exercise routine
Getting into the habit of exercising regularly can prevent and control hypercholesterolemia.
While it is often overlooked, a sedentary lifestyle is actual a major cause of the condition.
- Walking and doing cardiovascular exercise for at least 30 minutes a day will lower your risk.
Smoking may not increase your bad cholesterol but doing it in excess destroys good cholesterol and makes it harder to improve the condition.
People who are overweight or obese must lose weight in order to reduce the effects of high cholesterol on their body.
It’s not easy, and won’t happen overnight, but it can be done by adopting healthy habits.
Are you concerned you may have high cholesterol? If you suspect so, or if you have a family history, get a medical check-up.
Remember that the earlier it’s detected, the easier it will be to get it under control.