High Cholesterol

Fight The Devil That Is Cholesterol!

It is only when we hear of someone suffering from a heart attack or a stroke, that we realize the dangers of excess cholesterol. Let us take a look at what this term stands for.

The term actually stands for a combination of alcohol and steroid (Sterol) with a lipid found in the cell membranes. It is a lipid that is an essential building block that is found in all animals and in trace amounts in plants.

It owes its name to the Greek chole, which means bile and stereos, meaning solid. The suffix ol stands for a form of alcohol. It was first identified in 1784 in gallstones in solid form.

Most of the cholesterol found in the body does not originate from dietary intake, but is internally synthesized by the body. It is an excess amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) that causes heart attackes or strokes. That is the reason that LDL based cholesterol is often referred to as bad cholesterol. On the other hand, HDL High-density lipoprotein is referred to as good cholesterol.

LDL or bad cholesterol
It is called bad cholesterol because when it circulates in larger amount in blood, it builds up and can accumulate on the inner walls of the arteries that constrict the supply of blood. This condition is called atherosclerosis. A heart attack or a stroke usually occurs becasue of the formation of clots within an artery.
 
HDL or good cholesterol
One-third to one-fourth of blood cholesterol is the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. HDL is considered to be beneficial since high levels of this protect against a heart attack. Medical experts opine that HDL carries LDL cholesterol back to the liver, where it is disposed of thus reducing the buildup of arterial plaque.

LP(A) cholesterol
It is a genetic variation of plasma LDL. High levels add to the risk of developing fatty deposits in arteries. Though medical experts are yet to fully understand how exactly Lp(a) causes heart attackcontribute to the disease.

Food
Monitoring your food intake is important to combat high cholesterol levels. Lowering cholesterol the natural way advocates that you eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly.  Your diet should be low in cholesterol and fats and high on vitamins, minerals and nutroition.

Fruits and vegetables have substantial minerals, vitamins, and are low in calories. Therefore, make them a part of your diet. The whole grain foods are also important, as they contain significant amount of fiber which help one lower one's blood cholesterol. Consuming fish twice a week is also beneficial because researches have shown that eating oily fish containing omega-3 fatty acids lowers the risk of  coronary heart disease.

Exercises
There is no better way to fight bad cholesterol than  with the twin weapons of balanced diet and regular exercise. Exercise keeps your heart in good working condition and makes it progressively stronger.

Some of the exercises that experts frequently recommend are walking, brisk walking, cycling, swimming, jogging, and aerobic dancing. After all, you need to work out to have a healthy heart.. So, keep yourself physically active. It not only keeps you from gaining weight but also scales down the possibility of a heart attack to a very large extent.

Medication
There are several drugs available to reducecholesterol. One of the effective class of drugs is statins. These drugs are very effective in reducing cholesterol. Improper use or administration or prolonged use of these drugs may cause side-effects; some of them serious.

It is always advisable to use these drugs as a last resort if other techniques of reducing cholesterol do not bring the desired results.