Thursday, September 3, 2009

What Factors Affect High Cholesterol

Your blood cholesterol level is af­fected not only by what you eat but also by how quickly your body makes LOL ("bad") cholesterol and disposes of it. In fact, your body makes all the cholesterol it needs, and It IS not necessary to take in any additional cholesterol from the foods you cal. A variety of factors can affect your cholesterol levels. They include:

* Diet: Saturated fat and cholesterol in the food you eat increase cholesterol levels. Try to reduce the amount of these in your diet.
* Weight: In addition to being a risk factor for heart disease, being overweight can also increase your cholesterol. Losing weight can help lower your LOL and total cholesterol levels, as well as increase HOL cholesterol.
* Exercise: Regular exercise can lower LOL cholesterol and raise HOL choles­terol. You should try to be physically ac­tive for 30 minutes daily (I don't mean the amount of exercise from your job).
* Age and Gender: As we get older, choles­terol levels rise. Before menopause, women tend to have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. After menopause, however. women's LDL levels tend to rise.
* Diabetes: Poorly controlled diabetes increases cholesterol levels. With improve­ments in control, cholesterol levels can fall.
* Heredity: Your genes partly determine how much cholesterol your body makes. High blood cholesterol can run in families. * Other causes: Certain medications and medical conditions can cause high cholesterol.

What Dietary Changes must be Implemented for Decrease in Cholesterol?

Approximately, 50% of the cholesterol in our body is manufactured in the liver; the remaining cholesterol is de­rived from our food intake. Only foods that come from animals contain cholesterol; plant foods such as vegetables, nuts, fruits and vegetable oils do not contain cholester­ol. A plant doesn't have a liver, and there­fore it is impossible for them to produce or contain cholesterol.

The body makes much of its cholesterol out of the saturated fatty acids in the foods we consume. Saturated fatty acids are found in foods such as red meat, eggs and coconut, but it is also cre­ated in the body from the breakdown of sugar. Consumption of large quantities of sugar, starchy and carbohydrate rich foods wi II make our body accumulate saturated fat that can be used to manufacture cholesterol.


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