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cholesterol basics

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cholesterol basics

Cholesterol you hear the word all the time but what does it really mean and why should you care?


Cholesterol is a waxy fat like substance found in the bloodstream and cells throughout the body, because it often has negative connotations it may surprise you to learn that cholesterol is not inherently bad.


In fact: 
This naturally occurring substance plays a critical role in the formation of cell membranes in the manufacture of hormones.
You only need a small amount of cholesterol to carry out these functions so in too much cholesterol is present your body it becomes a health risk to understand this more fully let's look at how cholesterol works

Cholesterol doesn't dissolve in the blood stream
Instead, It's transported in and out of cells by carriers called low density lipoprotein or LDL and high density lipoprotein or HDL when the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream increases the body needs to create additional libel proteins to transport them.

 - L.D.L is known as bad cholesterol because too much of it results in plaque build up on the arterial walls, this condition known as atherosclerosis hardens and clogs the arteries which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

 - H.D.L. on the other hand has been dubbed good cholesterol because it aids in removing cholesterol from the body carrying away from the arteries to the liver where it's passed out of the body.


Determining your cholesterol level can be done with a simple blood test.

The normal level of cholesterol for any individual varies depending upon
 - Age
 - Weight
 - Sex.


Typically though and LDL level above one hundred sixty(160) is considered high similarly and HDL level below forty(40) is usually too low.


High LDL levels and low HDL levels can put you at risk for plaque buildup.

About seventy five percent of the cholesterol in the blood is made by your liver and other cells in your body the other twenty five percent comes from the food you eat.



Cholesterol is found in animal products like meat, Eggs, Poultry and liver which is a particularly high source.

This is why eating less saturated fat from animals is a good first step toward lowering your cholesterol to a healthy level, because high cholesterol can be a big risk factor for both heart disease and stroke.


Managing your levels is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.


Recommendation: 
if you think you may have high cholesterol or if you have a family history of the condition please see your doctor for a test.

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