What is Cholesterol?

What is Cholesterol?

What is cholesterol?

You need cholesterol in your body and you cannot live without it. Your liver produces about 1,000 milligrams a day of the fat-like waxy substance called cholesterol that is carried through your blood and is found in all cells of your body.

What does Cholesterol do?

Cholesterol helps to keep the membranes of your cells sound and structured while allowing nutrients into the cell, and waste out of the cell. It also aids in the conversion and utilization of vitamin D and other fat-soluble vitamins – A, E and K.

When you take in too much cholesterol through diet, and live a sedentary lifestyle, excess cholesterol is deposited on the walls of your arteries, which along with other substances, hardens and causes problems.

What are the symptoms?

The unfortunate part about having high cholesterol is the lack of clues. Usually there are no warning signs or symptoms. When you have an annual physical, your doctor will order blood tests which will include testing for LDL, HDL total cholesterol and triglycerides. This is the only way you and your doctor will know whether or not you have too much cholesterol in your blood.

What increases my risk for high cholesterol?

Factors for increased blood cholesterol are directly related to your diet, lifestyle and level of physical activity. A diet high in trans and saturated fats, too much refined, processed carbohydrates will increase your likelihood of high cholesterol.

What can I do for borderline or high cholesterol?

Eating a diet high in whole foods is really the key; however, how and when you eat also plays a major role in keeping you healthy. Eating breakfast, incorporating smaller meals and eating more frequently will help. Factor eggs back into your diet. Eggs contain necessary components such as lecithin that will actually help pull excess cholesterol out of your blood.

When diet and exercise are not enough, what else can I do?

Additional effective courses of action are supplementing with fiber and other nutrients.

Incorporating the right foods and eating smaller meals more frequently will improve cholesterol levels. Increase your daily physical activities to include at least 30 minutes of exercise to help keep your weight down, which will decrease cholesterol. When diet and exercise are not enough, think about supporting your health with additional nutritional supplementation which will help you get a better handle on your cholesterol.

 

Check out these other great articles:

Study: Short-term high-fat diet may offer protection from heart disease

Hydrogenated Fats… Avoid Like The Plague!

Saturated Fats Change Gut Bacteria — May Raise Risk for IBD such as Crohn’s Disease

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2 Responses to What is Cholesterol?

  1. Marian Mitchell December 19, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    Hi Karen,

    I really love what you do and the information you share. This post however, I strongly disagree with. Dietary cholesterol doesn’t deposit itself in our arteries and veins. Forcing our bodies to make it is very hard on the liver. Inflammation, high triglyceride levels, high grain and sugar consumption play the staring role in heart disease. Not dietary cholesterol. My source is Dr. David Perhlmutter and his book Grain Brain.

    • Karen Langston December 22, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

      Hi Marian,
      Thanks for reaching out and for reading my articles.
      I love Grain Brain and Wheat Belly; two of my recommended readings to anyone who wants to be proactive about their health!
      As mentioned in my article “Factors for increased blood cholesterol are directly related to your diet, lifestyle and level of physical activity. A diet high in trans and saturated fats, too much refined, processed carbohydrates will increase your likelihood of high cholesterol.”
      When there is an excess of cholesterol along with excess calcium and other factors, as mentioned. There will be what is called excess cholesterol that has the ability to “stick” to arterial walls.
      You are right that there are many factors contributing to heart disease. One such factor that can increase blood cholesterol is the lack of proper hydration. When one is dehydrated there is the possibility to have too much circulating cholesterol. It was the simple lack of proper hydration that lead to increased cholesterol. Combine this with a daily intake of refined grains and it does spell trouble. Cholesterol when out of balance can be found in places it should not be.

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