Cholesterol Health Issues

What Causes High Cholesterol? Can You Control Risk Factors?

High cholesterol is a health condition that most of us fear. The consequences of high cholesterol can be extremely detrimental to one's heath. High cholesterol can lead to various problems such as angina, coronary heart disease, heart arrhythmias and heart attack. The best way to deal with high cholesterol is to treat the problem at its root cause.

Dealing with the causes of high cholesterol can help you effectively avoid this unwanted situation. There are various factors that attribute to an increase in the cholesterol levels of your body. While there are some factors that can be controlled, there are some causes of high cholesterol that go beyond human control.

Causes that 'you can control'

Food and Diet
Your diet is perhaps the most important thing that you should watch out for if you are trying to control your cholesterol levels. Other than the liver, which is a major cholesterol-producing organ, it is the food you eat that is a major source of cholesterol in your body.

There are certain foods that are rich in cholesterol. These foods must be avoided to keep the cholesterol level in check. Animal and dairy products should be avoided to the maximum possible. Saturated fats are something to watch out for. They can increase your LDL level by a great extent. Foods containing trans fats also lead to an increase in cholesterol.

Body Weight
Overweight people continuously run at a risk of having a high cholesterol level. Obese people usually have a high LDL and a low HDL count that makes them more prone to hear diseases. Thus to keep cholesterol in check, one should lower his/her weight. Keeping the weight in check not just reduces the risk of high cholesterol level, but also keeps other risk factors like diabetes at bay.

Physical Activity
Physical activity level also has an effect on cholesterol level in the blood. Regular exercise and a regular fitness regime helps you decrease LDL and also pumps up your HDL level. Further on, adequate amount of physical activity also helps you reduce weight that in turn again lowers your LDL.

Causes that 'you cannot control'

Heredity and genetics
Many people suffer from high cholesterol as a result of hereditary factors. An inherited high cholesterol condition is known as familial hypercholesterolaemia. People suffering from may have a high LDL level right at the time of birth. Such people are even susceptible to a heart attack at an early age in their lives.

Sex and age
These two factors also play a vital role in determining the cholesterol level in an individual. At puberty, women have a higher HDL level as compared to men. However older women have more LDL as compared to older women.