For some very weird reason a while back, I used to confuse Calories with Cholesterol, thankfully, I’ve had that straightened out. And, I learnt some really interesting facts along the way.
Cholesterol isn’t really bad, it can be your friend or your enemy but its all up to you. It’s a waxy fat substance created by your body and found in all the cells of the body. It’s created for 3 major things:
- To make hormones
- To make vitamin D and
- To help digest food.
Nothing that helps do all those can be said to be bad, Right?
See also: What’s about Calories?
There are two ways Cholesterol are produced, by your body and the food you take.
You should know that the body already produces all the cholesterol it needs, it really doesn’t need the one that comes from food.
When you eat food containing cholesterol, it is converted into small packages that travel through your bloodstream. Cholesterol in small packages travelling through the bloodstream are called Lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are made up of lipids on the inside (lipids are also called fats) and proteins on the outside. (You understand why it’s called lipoproteins now right?)
There are two types of lipoproteins;
- LDL: low density lipoprotein. Also known as bad cholesterol. It carries the cholesterol from your arteries to your heart. Anything with low density floats, and anything that floats its almost useless. (Except for balloons in a pool. Balloons in a pool are nice). So imagine fat floating in your arteries.
- HDL: high density lipoprotein. This one is the good cholesterol, it’s carried to your liver and your liver removes the excess cholesterol that is not needed.
High density substances are absorbable and that’s good. LDL kind of cholesterol is bad for the heart.
So when buying food that contains cholesterol, it is important that we only go for those that contain more HDL than LDL. This is because of the danger of coronary heart diseases.
Coronary heart diseases occur mostly as a result of high blood cholesterol, that is, when there is a high level of LDL in your system, the waxy fatty substance cholesterol, blocks the arteries (arteries carry blood away from the heart). When the arteries are blocked, blood flow to the heart would be limited, (imagine one of your pipes at home, or in your bathroom getting clogged up with dirt. Yeah, it’s like that). The more fat blocking the arteries the higher the chance of heart failure.
It is important to check your cholesterol level every five years, thankfully there are cholesterol lowering medications and change of lifestyle can help you too if you have a high level of cholesterol. Soluble fibre foods like oats, bran, barley, brown rice, beans, apples, carrots, and most other fruits and vegetables will also help you to reduce your cholesterol if you are in danger of having a high cholesterol level.
So Eat better and exercise more.
Those are really the keys to a long, healthy and beautiful life.
I am, @Lord__Nina
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