reasons for high ldl cholesterol levels

 High LDL Levels and the Potential Side Effects

Good cholesterol Bad cholesterol Most people are confused when their doctors wax eloquent about the results of blood work, but when they start spouting the numbers associated with low-density lipoproteins, better known as LDL or bad cholesterol, and their higher density, good-guy counterparts, HDLs, many patients merely smile and nod while their eyes glaze over. The short version of the cholesterol story is this Your body produces all the LDL it requires in its own LDL factory, your liver. Any extra fats you consume can pack themselves into your blood vessels and arteries, making you a walking victim of the American way of life. Sadly, due to a diet filled with sugar and lots of fat, as well as the sedentary lifestyle of most Americans, cholesterol issues are at an all-time high. High cholesterol contributes to cardiovascular nightmares and early death for many. The answer is, of course, to balance your lipoproteins and reduce your risks. But how Here are a few tips.

reasons for high ldl cholesterol levels

1. DO Watch your numbers

Most men and women over 20 years of age should have their cholesterol tested at least every five years. This test is usually done during regular blood work and is called a lipid profile. If you are at high risk for heart disease, your doctor may want to check those cholesterol levels more frequently. A reading of around 100, which reflects your total cholesterol, is optimal for most folks. However, if there is a higher risk of heart disease because of family history or factors like high blood pressure, smoking, and obesity, your doctor may want your cholesterol level even lower, in the neighborhood of 70.

2. DO Add exercise

If you eat more calories than you burn, your body is programmed to turn that excess into cholesterol and send it into fat storage. By adding a workout at the gym or even just a brisk walk to your daily routine, you can make strides toward a better cholesterol profile and drop a few pounds along the way.

3. DO Cut out saturated fat

Butter, french fries, red meat, and white food like sugar, flour, and other simple carbohydrates can send your cholesterol soaring. Use a margarine made without trans-fat on your baked potato, and make sure you ingest complex carbohydrates like the ones you find in whole grain breads and cereals. Instead of wolfing down that breakfast cinnamon roll with all its creamy icing, why not just just duct tape it to your rear end, where it will end up eventually anyway If you're wearing it on the outside, it won't be clogging your arteries on the inside.

4. DO Ask your doctor about a fish oil supplement

In the complex dance that occurs between bad cholesterol and good cholesterol, the good guys are supposed to overpower their mischief-making cousins. The problem is, if the bad guys outnumber the good ones, you'll have trouble bringing your LDLs under control. Omega 3s, found in foods like salmon and other oily fish, can help in lowering your LDL levels. Your doctor may prescribe a fish oil supplement or simply ask that you add fish to your diet two to three times each week.

5. DON'T Neglect the stanols

Stanols or sterols occur naturally in some foods, but are now being added to foods by manufacturers in order to improve their availability to the body. By adding more of these beneficial components, you can raise your HDL level significantly. The best place to find them is in foods such as vegetables and vegetable oils like canola, olive, corn, and sesame; fruits; nuts such as almonds; seeds; and wheat germ and wheat bran.

6. DON'T Forget the fiber

By adding a little extra fiber each day, you can help bring your cholesterol under control. Fiber helps lower cholesterol by keeping it from entering the bloodstream in the first place. Look to whole grains, legumes like beans and lentils, and lots of veggies such as broccoli and fresh fruits, and try to eat at least five cups of these fiber-rich cholesterol fighters each day.

reasons for high ldl cholesterol levels

7. DON'T Load up on alcohol

For years, scientists have been telling us that the Mediterranean diet, which includes copious amounts of red wine, is a healthier diet. In order to maximize the cholesterol-fighting benefits of red wine, however, one would need take in a full ounce of pure resveratrol (the cholesterol cop in the fruit of the vine) every day. To do this, you would have to drink more than 600 bottles of vino every day. Some is good, but red wine is not the silver bullet where cholesterol is concerned.

8. DON'T Smoke

Over time, smoking weakens the blood vessels and sets the smoker up for vascular blowouts. It also decreases your HDL levels, making the hard work you do to raise them nearly useless.

Taking the mystery out of cholesterol levels is a lot less daunting a task than you might imagine. Armed with this little bit of information, you can have a more meaningful discussion with your doctor. You'll find that by implementing a few relatively painless lifestyle changes, you can bring your cholesterol numbers into line, lose weight, and feel genuinely better.

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