Today, the term ‘Cholesterol’ figures repeatedly in health discussions, health articles, and health forums. The reason for this is this is not hard to comprehend. Cholesterol is a major cause of myriad of health problems, such as obesity, heart-related diseases, and high blood pressure. But is all cholesterol in the body bad? Not really.
Cholesterol is of two types: good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). Cholesterol is an essential component required by human body to function normally. While certain amount of cholesterol in our body is essential, it is the presence of excessive amount of bad cholesterol, or LDL in the body that is undesirable and cause of various health problems.
How excessive LDL affects blood flow
Cholesterol is a lipid substance. When the levels of LDL are more than normal, LDL builds up in the arterial walls. As a result of which our arteries become clogged and are not able to transfer blood smoothly.
Causes of High LDL levels
- The Gene Factor – Genes can be the cause of elevated LDL levels in the blood. Familial hypercholesterolemia is an inherited condition in which a person has higher than normal cholesterol levels.
- The Food Factor – High intake of ‘fatty foods’ put you at a greater risk of developing high cholesterol. Unhealthy diet means more cholesterol enters your body than the liver is able to break and flush out of the body.
- The Lifestyle Factor – People who live sedentary lifestyle are at an increased risk of developing high cholesterol levels than those who exercise regularly. When you exercise, the process of breaking LDL fastens, ensuring that levels of cholesterol in your blood remains normal.
In addition to the above three reasons, the natural growing process can also facilitate the accumulation of LDL in the body. This is particularly true for women. Before menopause, women’s natural hormone release HDL, or good cholesterol, which facilitates carrying of LDL to the liver, where it is broken down and flushed out of the body system. However, after menopause the production of these hormones stops, slowing down the LDL elimination process.
How to help control Cholesterol naturally
One cannot choose parents or do much about aging, but can certainly improve his/her lifestyle and eat healthy to ensure cholesterol is maintained at normal levels. In fact, whatever the cause of high blood cholesterol levels, the condition can be immensely improved by exercising regularly and eating healthy.
- Balanced diet – Stop the intake of saturated fats; instead, focus on foods that have high amount of starch and fiber, such as fruits and vegetables. Also, instead of taking 3 heavy meals a day, eat 5-6 small meals.
- Exercise regularly – Make exercise a part of your daily routine. Pick up an exercise regime that interests and suits you and do it daily for 30-40 minutes.
Regular exercise and balanced diet, not only lowers blood cholesterol levels, but also helps in weight-reduction.
Combination of healthy food and balanced diet goes a long way in controlling cholesterol levels. To learn more about on how to help control cholesterol naturally, check out our natural Cholesterol Guide.
by Scott Davis