What is Cholesterol ?
Natural Ways to Reduce Cholesterol
Are you asking yourself what is cholesterol because your Doctor has told you that you need to reduce your cholesterol levels in the blood.
Are you now confused you by his/her talking about "good and bad cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol? Then fear not. You are certainly not alone.
Numerous times I have been approached in my practice by individuals asking me, What is cholesterol?" or "What is HDL and LDL cholesterol all about?"
To my amazement, many are under the impression that cholesterol is bad but it is not as simple as that. Not all cholesterols are made equal. Not all cholesterol is bad.
What is Cholesterol?
cholesterol is an important substance created by our bodies in order to optimize our well-being. While the body is able to create this substance, we also receive cholesterol from some of the foods that we elect to consume.
Generally, cholesterol is beneficial to the health. This is referred to as “Good Cholesterol”.
Then, there is a type of cholesterol that is referred to as “Bad Cholesterol” and may impact our health in a negative manner. The good type of cholesterol is called “HDL Cholesterol” and the bad type is referred to as “LDL Cholesterol”.
I feel it is important for everyone to understand what is cholesterol and the impact that it has on the health. I have created this guide to not only provide you with facts on cholesterol, but to clear up any misconceptions associated with this substance.
More about what is cholesterol
Cholesterol is a type of fat or “Lipid” that is produced by the liver. It is considered to be a crucial element for the normal functioning of the body.
Medical professionals and researchers that place an emphasis on biology have established that cholesterol is contained in the outer region of every single cell that is located throughout the body. The cell walls of the body or the “Membranes” require this waxy substance to create Vitamin D, produce the various hormones of the body and to create bile acids that assist in digesting fat within the body.
Only small amounts of cholesterol are needed for the proper functioning of the body however. When cholesterol levels are too high or even too low, health complications may develop.
In addition to this, the risk of potentially life threatening conditions such as heart disease, serious heart complications and even stroke may increase dramatically if the body’s cholesterol levels are not properly balanced.
Most Common Types of Cholesterol Explained
In order to understand what is cholesterol, you must first understand that doctors have established the fact that there are four main types of cholesterol that may be present in the body. These are as follows:
- High Density Lipoproteins or “HDL”
- Low Density Lipoproteins or “LDL”
- Very Low Density Lipoproteins
While it is important to learn as much as you are able to in order to understand what is cholesterol, the two main types of cholesterol are HDL and LDL.
For the purpose and intent of educating you on the “Good” and “Bad” of cholesterol, we are going to review these two types in this guide.
High Density Lipoproteins or “HDL” cholesterol assists the body in eliminating the negative types of cholesterol that may be present in the blood. If you have a high level of HDL cholesterol in your body, this is a positive situation as far as your health is concerned.
However, if the HDL levels are low in the body, you are more likely to suffer from health complications. Furthermore, your risk for the development of heart disease drastically increases.
Low Density Lipoproteins or “LDL” is considered to be a “Bad” form of cholesterol. If there is an excessive amount of this substance found in the body, it could result in the accumulation of potentially dangerous plaque in the artery walls.
This waxy lipid carries cholesterol from the liver to all of the cells within the body. If the amount is excessive, and too much is provided to the cells that cannot be used, the lipid will start to accumulate inappropriately.
As a result of the unhealthy buildup, your chance of developing arterial disease increases dramatically. If you develop high cholesterol levels, the condition is medically termed as “Hypercholesterolemia”, which literally translates into “high cholesterol in the blood.”
Understanding the Risk Factors
According to research, there are many factors that may be controlled naturally to eliminate the buildup of high cholesterol levels in the body.
However, there are also risk factors that are not within your control that could contribute to excessive cholesterol levels in the body.
If you are interested in natural treatments that will assist in the reduction of bad cholesterol levels in your body, you must first understand the risk factors associated with the condition.
This will permit you to understand which factors you have the capability to address and which factors you have no control over.
In my practice, I have observed that the following are the most common risk factors among my patients that have high LDL cholesterol:
- If you are considered to be obese, which means that your “Body Mass Index” is at least 30, you may develop high levels of bad cholesterol within the body.
- If you consume foods on a regular basis that have a high level of cholesterol, such as fatty foods and red meats, you may develop high cholesterol.
- Many of my patients that have high LDL cholesterol levels do not engage in a lot of physical activity.
- Engaging in unhealthy activities, such as smoking products that contain tobacco, may increase your risk of developing unhealthy cholesterol levels.
- Underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes could increase the likelihood that you will develop high levels of LDL cholesterol in the body.
- Genetic conditions – such as a family history of health problems associated with the heart – could increase your chance of having high cholesterol.
Natural Remedies to Reduce Bad Cholesterol
If you are concerned about your health, and in particular what is cholesterol, it is important to learn about natural remedies that will reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in your body and improve the amount of good cholesterol.
The following outlines some strategies that have proven to be most effective for the patients that I have worked with that have suffered from this medical complication:
The first natural remedy to reducing LDL cholesterol is to ensure that you exercise on a regular basis. Individuals that work out for thirty to sixty minutes daily are less likely to experience high cholesterol levels in the blood. Productive exercises include walking, jogging, bicycling and swimming.
If you smoke tobacco products, you should stop. When you smoke, the walls of the blood vessels become damaged. As a result, fatty deposits are more likely to develop in these vessels – which increase your chance of developing heart disease and other potentially dangerous health complications.
If you are carrying more weight than is considered appropriate for your Body Mass Index, then it is important that you shed a few pounds. Consuming more water, exercising, building muscle and eating a healthy diet will assist in shedding unhealthy pounds.
When choosing foods to consume, you should focus on those that are considered to be healthy to the heart and to the body, in general.
You should focus on consuming monounsaturated fats as they are considered to be healthy, eliminate trans-fat from your diet, limit the amount of cholesterol containing foods that you consume, eat whole grains, and ensure that you consume a large amount of vegetables and an assortment of fruits.
Artichoke Leaf is another natural remedy that is effective in reducing the amount of high cholesterol in the body. It is believed that this natural product limits the creation of LDL cholesterol in the body due to the fact that it contains a special compound referred to as “Cynarin”.
Natural Remedies to Increase Good Cholesterol
If you want to improve the amount of HDL cholesterol that is within the body, you should take Omega-3 fatty acids. These are considered to be essential, polyunsaturated fats that may be found in products that contain fish oil, various types of fish and in supplements.
Many of the patients in my practice that have been curious as to what is cholesterol and found that they had high levels benefited from increasing the amount of Vitamin B3 or “Niacin” in their body. If you elect to take this substance, it is advised that you do so under the direct care and supervision of a licensed health professional.
If you have an interest in learning what is cholesterol, I am sure that the information contained in this health guide has assisted in improving your understanding of this substance.
Cholesterol is a necessary substance that is designed to optimize your health. However, if you consume foods or engage in activities that increase the amount of LDL cholesterol in your body, you may suffer from health complications that could be potentially life threatening.
Examples of these issues include the development of heart disease, having a heart attack and/or suffering from a stroke.
By taking the steps highlighted in our natural remedies section, you will find that your likelihood for developing these issues is dramatically reduced.
By learning what is cholesterol and taking the steps to preventing the accumulation of bad cholesterol, you will find that you optimize your health and suffer from fewer health-related complications.
I hope now that you understand what is cholesterol, and you are aware of some of the lifestyle factors and dietary factors that influence the levels of it in your blood, you are better placed to start to re-balance your HDL and LDL cholesterol. Good luck.
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