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Understanding Cholesterol - Good And Bad

Author : Venkata Krishnan Rajagopalan

To understand cholesterol good and bad, we need to understand the functions of lipoproteins and how they work. LDL, known as low-density lipoprotein is "bad" and HDL, known as high-density lipoprotein is "good". Your body contains both of these lipids as well as triglycerides and Lp(a) which make up your total cholesterol count. This waxy substance is produced in the liver and is vital in the proper functioning of your body.

LDL circulates in the bloodstream and slowly builds up in important arteries that supply oxygen to the brain and heart. It is essential in the arteries. When combined with other substances, plaque is formed. Plaque is a hard, thick deposit which causes the arteries to be less flexible and narrows them. Atherosclerosis is the condition which results from this plaque. When a clot is formed, the artery is narrowed and it may cause a stroke or heart attack.

HDL carries approximately twenty five percent of the total total blood cholesterol. High HDL levels can prevent heart attacks, while low levels may increase the risk of coronary artery disease. It is believed that HDL carries LDL back into the liver from where it is either broken down excreted.

Triglycerides is a type of fat which is made by the body. Obesity, a high carbohydrate diet, excessive alcohol, tobacco smoking and a sedentary lifestyle may elevate triglyceride levels. Triglyceride levels are usually high in people with high LDL and HDL levels, as well as those with diabetes and heart disease.

Lp(a) is the genetic variation of low-density lipoproteins. A high Lp(a) level is a considerable warning sign for premature fatty deposits development in the arteries.

Certain types of food can raise the HDL levels and decrease the LDL levels. Fresh fruits and raw vegetables, beans and lentils, porridge, fresh tuna, salmon, pilchards, mackerel, herring, pistachios, peanuts, cashews, almonds, avocado, rapeseed oil and olive oil are all good HDL foods. Foods that raise your LDL include palm oil, coconut oil, ghee, suet, dripping, lard, cream, cakes, biscuits, meat products, fatty meat, hard cheese and butter.

A balanced, healthy diet can reduce your total cholesterol level significantly. Unsaturated fats are not suitable for a healthy diet. Polyunsaturated fats reduce the total levels. Omega-3 fatty acids are best, therefore oily fish should be eaten at least once every week. Understanding the cholesterol good and bad foods, will help you enhance your diet and your lifespan.

Author's Resource Box

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Rajagopalan helps you to understand how this natural remedy can help control cholesterol.

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Tags:   cholesterol good and bad, good cholesterol, bad cholesterol, all about cholesterol

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Submitted : 2010-10-03    Word Count : 1    Times Viewed: 388