Controlling High Blood Cholesterol

Controlling High Blood Cholesterol

What Is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a type of fat that’s naturally produced by your body. It helps cell production and plays an important part in the production of some hormones. Your body naturally produces about 75% of the cholesterol that you need. The rest you get as part of your daily diet, mostly from animal fats.

So what is high blood cholesterol? Your total cholesterol number should always remain below 200. As you probably already know, your total cholesterol is broken down into categories. Low density lipoprotein (ldl), sometimes called bad cholesterol, and high density lipoprotein (hdl), or good cholesterol. To keep a healthy ratio, your ldl cholesterol number should be less than 100, and your hdl should be above 40.

Getting the right amount of cholesterol is important, but too much is dangerous. If not monitored, high cholesterol levels will put you at a much higher risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack, or stroke. If your numbers are high, which is determined by a simple blood test, your doctor will probably put you on a diet for high cholesterol and, depending on how high your levels are, may even prescribe cholesterol lowering drugs, called statins.

Diet For High Cholesterol

Part of your diet for high cholesterol will include limiting certain fatty foods and avoiding trans fats as much as possible. That’s because trans fats can not only raise your bad cholesterol, but can also lower good cholesterol levels, putting your numbers dangerously out of ratio.

In addition to avoiding foods high in fat and cholesterol, there are many foods that actively help to reduce high cholesterol levels. Adding these foods in the right amounts can have a dramatic effect on your levels. A few of the foods to look for include:

Nuts

Certain fruits and vegetables

Fatty fish

Oats and high fiber foods

Foods that lower cholesterol will help speed you toward your health goal and might even help you avoid potentially dangerous prescription drugs.

If you’re a smoker, your doctor will advise you to quit smoking right now. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, which means it narrows your blood vessels. When added to high cholesterol levels, it creates a deadly combination.

By carefully following your diet for high cholesterol, getting plenty of fiber and regular exercise, and paying close attention to your doctor’s advice, you should be able to safely reduce high cholesterol numbers and live a long and healthy life.