Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bad Cholesterol

The Truth About Bad Cholesterol

Author: Gloria Gangi

Did you know that your body actually needs cholesterol. You wouldn't think it with all the bad press that it actually gets. The truth is that there are two types of cholesterol in your body, good cholesterol also known as HDL cholesterol, and bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol. Cholesterol in your body is necessary to make hormones, vitamin D and bile salts.

The bad cholesterol is the one you need to watch out for as it can cause you lots of problems. LDL cholesterol dumps cholesterol onto the walls of your arteries that will create a plaque. This plaque builds up narrowing and blocking your arteries, this causes a reduction in blood flow which is bad news for the heart.

What Raises Cholesterol?

Do you find that there are many confusing terms being thrown around when it comes to cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol is one of those terms. You might think that all dietary cholesterol is bad, but in fact dietary cholesterol does not raise blood cholesterol as much as you might think. The two culprits are the trans fatty acids and saturated fats.

So what do you need to do to reduce your levels of bad cholesterol? The most effective way is to change your diet. You will need to cut down in foods which contains the bad cholesterol such as meat, dairy, eggs and seafood and look at the foods that can reduce your LDL levels

You don't need to cut out all the nice food in your diet but you need to make modifications. Trans fatty acids are found in a lot of packaged food. Microwave popcorn, hard stick margarine and some French fries from certain fast food chains are all culprits. By removing these foods and finding better substitutes you can reduce the consumption of trans fatty acids that will all contribute to the level of bad cholesterol in your system.

Upping Good Fats

By increasing the amount of good cholesterol in your body you can reduce the bad cholesterol. This is because the presence of good cholesterol in your body means that excess cholesterol will be taken back to the liver to be excreted out of your body. This means you want plenty of good cholesterol as high levels of good cholesterol means a reduced risk of heart disease.

Remember though that you need to make changes in your lifestyle, these changes are eating more food which are rich in soluble fiber and monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats they will help to increase good cholesterol levels. Restrict alcohol consumption to one glass a day for women and two a day for men is also a good idea. By increasing the amount of exercise in your daily life can also decrease cholesterol levels.

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