You might be wondering what are the symptoms of high cholesterol levels. Before we dive deeper into the topic, let’s start with the definition. Cholesterol refers to a natural waxy substance that is produced by your body. It is transported throughout the body in the blood. It is also found in the body cells.
75% of the cholesterol needed by your body is produced by the liver. The remainder is drawn from the foods that you eat. Enough cholesterol is needed for the best performance of your body, and brain in particular. Your body uses cholesterol in building cell membranes, processing vitamin D, making hormones such as estrogen, and digestive fluids such as pancreatic juice.
Your body produces two types of cholesterol. These are bad cholesterol (referred to as low-density lipoprotein, LDL) and good cholesterol (referred to as high-density lipoprotein, HDL). LDL is unhealthy because it builds up in your blood vessels as fatty deposits when it’s too much in your body.
This build-up, if not controlled, gradually extends to your heart and brain. At this point, it becomes fatal as it exposes you to other health problems such as diseases of the heart. On the other hand, HDL is healthy because it grabs onto the extra cholesterol in your blood vessels and eliminates it. It, therefore, protects you from the effects of too much cholesterol on your health. You are therefore encouraged to keep your LDL levels as low as you can and your HDL levels as high as possible.
You need to manage your cholesterol levels for you to live a healthy life. Blood tests are taken in order to measure your cholesterol levels. Should your numbers be higher, your doctor will give you ways in which you can lower those figures.
How to manage your cholesterol levels
There are various ways of managing your cholesterol levels. They can be grouped into two categories. You can use foods that lower your cholesterol levels. You can also engage in activities that help to lower your cholesterol levels. If both are not effective, you can be put on medication that helps you to lower your cholesterol levels and improve the health of your heart.
Processed foods contain a lot of trans fats and saturated fats that increase your cholesterol levels. To lower your LDL levels, you should eat a lot of colorful fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, leafy grains, berries, and plums. The colorful produce contains cholesterol-blocking substances making them good for controlling your cholesterol levels. You should also eat foods rich in fiber such as oatmeal and Brussel sprouts. Their fiber helps your body by keeping it from absorbing the extra cholesterol into your blood. Other foods that you should include in your diet include fish that have Omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, whey protein, seeds, avocados, nuts, and soybeans.
Getting more active is really recommended. Essentially, It also helps to lower your LDL levels as you improve your HDL levels. Moderate exercise for around 30 minutes three times a week can help in lowering your cholesterol levels. Ensure you make it a habit to exercise regularly.
You also need to make lifestyle changes by dropping bad habits such as smoking and taking alcohol as well as cutting down on your sugar intake. Cutting down on sugary and processed foods will help you to lose the extra weight which will then help you lower your cholesterol levels.
In the event that you still struggle with high cholesterol levels following dietary and lifestyle changes, your doctor can prescribe cholesterol-lowering medication that helps to lower your LDL levels.