Did you know that cholesterol is found in each and every body cell?
Yes that is right. Our body requires cholesterol to perform essential functions, including:
- Maintain cell membranes
- Produce Vitamin D
- Perform hormone synthesis normally
The human body has the ability to produce the required amount of cholesterol to perform these functions. Additional cholesterol that comes into our body due to consumption of food can cause the cholesterol levels to rise alarmingly, especially when the diet is improper.
Cholesterol is of two types: good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). High levels of LDL, causes fat to deposit on the arteries, preventing them from transferring blood properly. Congestion of arteries restricts the delivery of oxygen to various body parts, making the affected person more susceptible to heart attack, coronary heart diseases, and arteriosclerosis.
While LDL is unmistakably unhealthy for human body, HDL is beneficial for human body. When adequate amount of HDL is present in the body, it helps in getting rid of cholesterol from arteries before it has the chance to turn into plaque.
How much cholesterol is acceptable?
Ideally, your total body cholesterol should be below 200mg/dl. While total cholesterol in the range of 200 to 239mg/dl is considered as marginal, anything above 240mg/dl is considered excessive and demands immediate attention.
Treatment of high cholesterol levels
As high cholesterol levels in the body can be fatal, it is important that anyone who has high cholesterol levels takes immediate steps to control it. The condition of high cholesterol can be checked by following a healthy lifestyle and treatment.
How to manage high cholesterol levels naturally
The process of managing high cholesterol levels naturally requires the knowledge of what to eat and what food to avoid.
Our body requires fat to function normally, as it helps our body to maintain cell membranes, absorb nutrients properly, and in nerve transmission. It is the excessive fat that we need to avoid that accumulates primarily because of improper diet.
At the top of the list of food we need to avoid are saturated fats that are present in very high proportion in dairy products, egg, shell fish, animal foods, coconut oil, and palm oil. Also, trans-fats that are present heavily in commercial foods are a big NO. Instead, consume polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
Foods that are highly beneficial in treatment of cholesterol are: brown rice, apples, cinnamon, grapes, oats, walnuts, beans, and garlic. They help the body in reducing bad cholesterol (LDL) and maintaining sufficient levels of good cholesterol (HDL). You should also consume herbs and natural ingredients, such as Red Yeast Rice, Rooibos, and Gugulipid. These two help in reducing LDL levels and marinating adequate HDL levels.
To reiterate, controlled diet and regular exercise help immensely in managing cholesterol levels.
To learn more on how to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, refer our Cholesterol Guide.
by Scott Davis