What Are Cholesterol Levels And How To Maintain It?

by Sofia
cholesterol levels

Cholesterol is manufactured in our lives and it has several important functions in the human body. For instance, it keeps the cell walls flexible and is required to make so many hormones. However, like other things in the body, high cholesterol levels are dangerous.  

That is why you need to understand the normal cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is like fat as it doesn’t dissolve in water. Its transportation in the body relies on molecules that are called lipoproteins. These molecules carry fat-soluble vitamins, fat, and cholesterol in the blood.  

Different types of lipoproteins have various health effects. For instance, high levels of LDL (low-density lipoproteins) lead to cholesterol deposits in the walls of the blood vessels. This can result in kidney failures, heart attacks, strokes, and clogged arteries. 

On the contrary, HDL (high-density lipoprotein) carries the cholesterol away from vessel walls hence preventing the above diseases. This article will help you to understand how to maintain the right cholesterol levels.  

Link Between Blood Cholesterol And Dietary 

The liver produces the amount of cholesterol that the body requires. It packages cholesterol with fat in low-density lipoproteins.  When VLDL delivers fat to all body cells, it transforms to the denser LDL that carries cholesterol to where the body needs it. 

The liver produces HDL that is used in carrying cholesterol that is unused back to the liver. The process is referred to as reverse cholesterol transport. It prevents different types of heart diseases including clogged arteries. It also makes sure that you have the right cholesterol levels in the body. Here are some of the tips to help you achieve this objective;

1. Use Monounsaturated Fats

Unsaturated fats, unlike saturated ones, have a minimum of one double chemical bond which changes how the body uses them. Such a diet will help you to maintain the right cholesterol levels. Monounsaturated fats also reduce lipoprotein oxidation that leads to clogged arteries.  

It is healthier to use monounsaturated fats because they increase the good HDL cholesterol. It also reduces the harm of LDL cholesterol and eliminates harmful oxidation. Some good sources of monounsaturated fats include olives and olive oil, tree nuts, canola oil, and avocados. 

2. Lose Weight 

Dieting affects how the body will absorb and produce cholesterol. Weight loss increases cholesterol absorption and reduces the level of creating new cholesterol in the body. Overall, weight loss will decrease harmful LDL and increase the beneficial HDL. It is a good step in maintaining the right cholesterol levels within the body.  

3. Fats More So Omega – 3s

The multiple double bonds that are in polyunsaturated fats make them behave differently than saturated ones. These fats minimize bad LDL cholesterol hence reducing the risk of heart disease.  Omega is a type of polyunsaturated fat that is healthy for the heart. 

You can find high volumes of omega 3 fats in fatty fish such as herring, mackerel, and salmon. These fats are also available in deep-sea tuna such as albacore and bluefin and also shellfish to a small degree. The other omega 3 sources are tree nuts excluding peanuts. All of them play a critical role in maintaining the right cholesterol levels. 

4. Say No To Smoking

There are so many ways in which smoking increases the risk of heart disease. One of them is the fact that it changes how your body handles cholesterol. If you are a smoker, your immune cells will not be able to return cholesterol from the walls of the vessel to blood for transportation into the liver. These damages are related to tobacco tar and not nicotine.  

The dysfunction of immune cells will lead to the very fast development of clogged arteries among smokers. You can reverse these effects and maintain the right cholesterol levels by stopping to smoke.  

5. Avoid Trans Fats 

Trans fats are basically unsaturated fats and they are modified through the hydrogenation process. It makes the unsaturated fats that you find in vegetable oils a more stable ingredient. Most shortenings and margarine comprise partially hydrogenated oils. 

The resultant trans fats aren’t fully saturated but remain solid at room temperature. It tells you why food manufacturers use trans fats in products like cookies, pastries, and spreads. It offers more texture than unsaturated liquid oils. Thus, avoiding trans fats will help you to maintain the right cholesterol levels in your body. 

6. Moderate Use Of Alcohol 

Alcoholic drinks have ethanol that increases HDL and also reduces the heart disease risk when you use it moderately. Alcohol is also associated with improving the process of reverse cholesterol transportation. Therefore, cholesterol is removed from vessel walls and blood and transported back to the liver. 

It minimizes the risk of heart disease and clogged arteries. However, if you take a lot of alcohol, it will harm the liver and increase the dependence risk. Women need only to take one drink per day while men can take two. 

7. Eat Soluble Fiber 

Soluble fiber represents various compounds in plants that are soluble in water but humans can’t digest them. However, the intestines have beneficial bacteria that can digest this soluble fiber. The bacteria need these ingredients for their own nutrition. 

These bacteria are also known as probiotics and they reduce the harmful forms of lipoproteins; VLDL and LDL. Therefore, eating soluble fiber goes a long way in helping to maintain the right cholesterol levels in the body. It also reduces the risk of disease and this is good for the overall health of your body. 

8. Consider Plants Stanols And Sterols 

Several supplements do help in maintaining the right cholesterol levels. Plant sterols and stanols are versions of plant cholesterol. Just like cholesterol, they are absorbed from the diet as they resemble cholesterol. 

However, part of their chemistry does not resemble human cholesterol and hence it does not result in clogged arteries.  They, instead, compete with human cholesterol hence reducing the levels of cholesterol. In absorbing plant sterols from the diet, you replace cholesterol absorption. 

You can naturally find small amounts of plant sterols and stanols in vegetable oils. They are also added to certain butter substitutes and oils. It is one of the things that you really need to maintain good health 

9. Exercise 

Exercising works so well for the health of the heart. It helps in combating obesity, improving physical fitness, reducing the harmful LDL, and increasing the beneficial HDL.  Even low-intensity exercise like walking will help to maintain the right cholesterol levels in the body. 

These exercises help in elevating the heart rate which is good for the body.  This improves the level of cholesterol in the body hence promoting the health of the heart. You stand to benefit more if you engage in more intense and long exercises. 

10. Try Supplements 

Soluble fiber and fish oil are known to promote the health of the heart and improve cholesterol levels. The other supplement that improves cholesterol is coenzyme Q10. Others include fish oil, psyllium, and coenzyme Q10. All of them will significantly prevent heart diseases and improve the levels of cholesterol. 

Conclusion

It is good to maintain the right cholesterol levels in the body. This will help you to avoid heart disease and clogged arteries. The tips above will help you to maintain the right levels of cholesterol. Try as much you can to follow all of them so that you can lead a healthy life.  

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