Cholesterol – Good or Bad

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Cholesterol is both good and bad, it depends on the amount and type of it. When it is at  normal levels, it is one of the essential substance for the body. However, if the level of cholesterol gets too high, it becomes quite dangerous and can also put people at risk of heart attack and even death.

Cholesterol is an oil-based substance which does not mix with blood which is water-based and is present in every cell of the body and has important natural functions like digesting foods, producing hormones & Vitamin D. The body produces it naturally but we also consume it in our food. It is kind of waxy and has a fat-like in appearance.

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Cholesterol travels in our body in the form of Lipoproteins.

Types of Cholesterol:

  • Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL), or “Bad” Cholesterol   –   Cholesterol that travels in this way is unhealthful or “bad” cholesterol.
  • High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL), or “Good” Cholesterol  –  Cholesterol that is present in HDL is known as “good” cholesterol.

Causes of High Cholesterol

Having high Cholesterol has various risk factors like Coronary Heart Disease and heart attacks.

High Cholesterol is mainly caused by eating saturated fat mainly found in Junk food items like chips, highly oily foods, and also found in animal products, and trans fats, found in some baked cookies etc.

So, thereby reducing the intake of fat in the diet helps to manage cholesterol levels. In particular, it is helpful to limit foods that contain:

  • Cholesterol: This is present in animal foods, meat, and cheese.
  • Saturated fat: This occurs in some meats (red meat), full fat dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, deep-fried, and processed foods.
  • Trans fats: This occurs in some fried and processed foods.

Increase in weight or having obesity can also lead to higher blood LDL levels and hence increasing the level of BAD Cholesterol. Genetic factors can also contribute to high cholesterol.

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