Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What Is Cholesterol

Nowadays we always heard about cholesterol is bad for health. It can cause heart attack, stroke and so on. So what is this cholesterol thing and how well do people really know about it. Can we really prevent cholesterol from lingering in our body all together? Or how do we prevent cholesterol from entering into our body in the first place?

Cholesterol is actually a fat or lipid as they called it in scientific term. Our liver produces cholesterol to aid in the hormone and bile production, helps to convert sunshine into vitamin D, use in the metabolism of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K), build cell membrane and insulate our nerve fibers. There are 2 types of cholesterol, namely the Low Density Lipoprotein or LDL and the High Density Lipoprotein or HDL. LDL is what we commonly known as the bad cholesterol. It comes mainly from the food we consume every day. Foods that are high in cholesterol are egg, seafood like squid and prawns, cheese and full cream milk, red meat like beef and pork and also most fatty food which most people like to eat like hamburger, fried chicken, pizza, fries and so on. This is the main reason why so many people suffer from high cholesterol level due to the fatty food they consume on a daily basis.

Over consumption of fatty food will cause the build-up of the bad cholesterol in our blood stream. As this process continues, layers upon layers of bad cholesterol will starts to build up around the inner walls of our blood vessels until a time when a total blockage occurs. If this happen to our artery supplying blood to our heart, then a heart attack may result. Other than that, if the piled up cholesterol flows into our brain and cause a blockage there and damage part of our brain cells, we may suffer paralysis of body function or what is commonly known as a stroke. So as you can see the danger of excess bad cholesterol in our body. The other good cholesterol or HDL, helps in the transport of cholesterol back to liver for breakdown. The HDL can only be produce via doing exercise. So that is why many people who are sedentary or lack of exercise will have high blood pressure due to the high level of bad cholesterol accumulated in their body as they aren't producing enough HDL to transport the excess cholesterol away for breakdown. A healthy blood cholesterol level should between 3.6 mmol/liter to 7.8 mmol/liter.

So all in all, in order to have a healthy body, we need to control our food consumption by taking less of the high cholesterol or fatty food as mentioned above while eating more fruits, vegetables and high fiber foods and the like. We will touch on more on how to have a cholesterol free diet in my next post and ways to exercise your way out of these bad cholesterol from your blood system!

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