Knowing what the good and the bad cholesterol is is vital to understanding the risk factors associated with high level of cholesterol.
What is cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is found in all the cells of the body and it is needed by the body to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help in digestion foods.
Usually the body makes enough cholesterol that it needs but it can also be found in foods from animal sources such as egg yolks, meat, cheese, etc.
What are the types of cholesterol?
Cholesterol moves throughout the body carried by lipoproteins (a combination of fat (lipid) and protein) in the blood. These lipoproteins include;
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) – This is one of the main lipoprotein. It is sometimes called “good” cholesterol because it carries cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver. The liver then removes the cholesterol from the body
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – This is one of the two main lipoproteins. It is sometimes called “bad” cholesterol because a high LDL level leads to the buildup of plaque in your arteries.
Very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) – These are particles in the blood that carry triglycerides. The VLDL is also called “bad” cholesterol because it too contributes to the buildup of plaque in your arteries. But VLDL and LDL are different; VLDL mainly carries triglycerides and LDL mainly carries cholesterol.
What are the factors that affect cholesterol levels?
Various factors can affect the level of cholesterol in the body. They include:
Diet: Foods that contain saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol increases cholesterol levels. In order to reduce the level of cholesterol, it is important to reduce the amount of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol in the diet one consumes. Saturated and trans fat have the most impact on blood cholesterol.
Weight: Being overweight can increase the triglycerides level. Losing weight may help lower your triglyceride levels and raise your HDL.
Exercise: Regular exercise can lower total cholesterol levels. Exercise has the most effect on lowering triglycerides and raising HDL. Being physically active for 30 minutes on most days of the week is helpful
Age and sex: As one get older, cholesterol levels rise. Before menopause, women tend to have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. After menopause, however, women’s LDL levels tend to rise and HDL can drop.
Heredity: Your genes partly determine how much cholesterol your body makes. High blood cholesterol can run in families.
Now that you know the good and bad cholesterol, below are the foods that pro