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High Cholesterol

What Is High Cholesterol?


Cholesterol is a fatty substance that's produced by the liver. It comes from the saturated and unsaturated fats we eat, and it is found in every cell in the body. Using the term high cholesterol is somewhat misleading because there are two types of cholesterol. The good type is called high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and the bad type is low-density lipoprotein (LDL). When someone asks what is high cholesterol they are actually asking about the bad cholesterol level since your cholesterol number is the combination of the good and bad cholesterol in the body.

Eating trans-fats and saturated fats can increase the amount of low-density cholesterol in the blood. The risk of heart disease and stroke increases when that bad cholesterol number is high, but you can lower it by making lifestyle changes as well as adding an exercise routine to your weekly schedule. For example, when you stop smoking you increase the amount of high-density cholesterol in your body, and your lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Since cholesterol is a fatty substance people automatically believe that fat is bad for the body. When someone asks the question what is high cholesterol they are really asking how much and what kind of fat is traveling through the bloodstream. There are several different types of fat in the food we consume. The fat found in meat, butter, and whole milk, and other dairy products is saturated fat, and the fat found in olive, canola, and soybean oil is unsaturated fat, which is divided into two categories: polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat.

The omega-3 fatty acid found in certain fish is polyunsaturated fat. That fat makes the low-density fat less sticky, and that reduces plaque buildup. Both of those unsaturated fats protect you from heart attacks by increasing the amount of high-density cholesterol in the bloodstream. Trans fats are the solid fats, and they are found in pastries, cookies, and fast foods. Trans-fats increase LDL production so they should be eliminated from your diet.

What Is High Cholesterol Mean In Terms Of Lipids?

When fats are found in the blood they are called lipids. Cholesterol is a lipid, but it can't travel around the body by itself. It must interact with proteins in order to travel through the bloodstream so the particles that form from lipids and proteins are called lipoproteins. There are several types of lipoproteins in the blood, but the two most important lipoproteins are low-density and high density cholesterol. When the amount of low-density lipoprotein is higher than the amount of high-density lipoprotein in the blood you have high cholesterol.

How is high cholesterol involved with of lipids? High amounts of lipids results in the production of too much plaque forming low density cholesterol, which sticks to the walls of your blood vessels. It makes the blood vessels bumpy, and they can rupture sending clots of blood through the body and up to brain. You should have your cholesterol level checked at least once every five years. Some people do it every year.

Some of the factors that contribute to a change in your cholesterol ratio are genetics, lack of exercise, poor eating habits, age, weight gain, and too much alcohol. When some people ask their doctor the question: What is high cholesterol? Doctors quietly know that it is the result of eating a lot saturated fat and not exercising. They also know that those issues can be treated when the patient is ready to change. Visit www.vasacor.com for more information about high cholesterol and reducing your cholesterol to healthy levels.