Reducing Cholesterol: The Ultimate Goal For Better Health
Reducing cholesterol levels is essential for better health. The levels of cholesterol in the body determine cardiovascular health because at high levels, it poses several health risks. Though cholesterol is associated with the health risks that result from unhealthy levels in the body, cholesterol is actually a compound that is integral in many life processes. Cholesterol is a natural component of all cells in the human body. It functions in maintaining the walls of the cell membranes and it helps in the proper functioning of the nervous system. Cholesterol is also used by the liver in manufacturing steroids and hormones.
Though it is naturally produced in the body, other factors could affect the levels of cholesterol. Reducing cholesterol is therefore aimed at the contributing factors of the increased cholesterol in the body. Elevated blood cholesterol results primarily from high intake of saturated fat. Cholesterol from the food you eat gets into the bloodstream and increases blood cholesterol levels. But then again, although it appears that the diet is the primary contributor to high cholesterol, other factors play significant roles.
Influencing Factors That Should Be Targeted in Reducing Cholesterol
In reducing cholesterol, everyone should take account of all factors that affect the level of cholesterol. Though the level of LDL cholesterol is the main target in reducing cholesterol, total cholesterol levels should be noted as well. Total cholesterol refers to the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream at any given time. It is composed of the levels of HDL and LDL cholesterol.
The food you eat, obesity, smoking habit, alcohol consumption, sedentary lifestyle, stress and genetic factors all affect the level of cholesterol. While we cannot change our genetic make up, all other factors could be altered and thus these factors could be addressed as part of reducing cholesterol plan. One way of reducing cholesterol from food is to eliminate saturated fats and trans-fats since both are converted in the body into LDL cholesterol. These fats could be substituted with healthier fats such as monosaturated fats.
Obese individuals are likely to have high cholesterol. Losing weight by cutting dietary intake of fat is one of the most effective methods of reducing cholesterol. People who lose weight are expected to see improvements in their cholesterol levels. On the other hand, smoking and high consumption of alcohol negatively affect the level of HDL cholesterol. Another alterable factor that contributes to high cholesterol is sedentary lifestyle. Many people fail to exercise regularly. While regular exercise increases HDL cholesterol, lack of physical activity results otherwise.
Reducing Cholesterol To Healthy Levels
Reducing cholesterol is highly important. People should not only aim to lower cholesterol level. Healthy cholesterol levels should be aimed and maintained. This can be achieved by addressing all factors that could lead to high cholesterol. By examining ones lifestyle, one may discover the factors that cause high cholesterol. By correcting these factors, one may totally avoid the all health risks associated with high cholesterol. One must also continuously work on maintaining healthy cholesterol levels to assure better health.