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High cholesterol, medically referred to asHypercholesterolemia, refers to the presence of high level of cholesterol, especially LDL (bad cholesterol), circulating in the blood stream. Even though high cholesterol is not a disease, this medical condition can be causative for the onset of a number of other fatal diseases, especially cardiovascular ailments. There are a variety of factors that can lead to high cholesterol levels in the blood, the prominent being:
Diet: One of the prime reasons for the high blood cholesterol level is the diet that contains food items rich in saturated fat, such as eggs, meat items and whole fat dairy products. This in turn will raise the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood. Please view our low cholesterol diet plan.
Body Weight: Overweight or obese people will mostly have high LDL levels and low HDL levels. It also increases the chances for developing heart related ailments .
Lifestyle: Another prime cause for high cholesterol level is lack of exercise, which tend your body to store more LDL cholesterol, thereby increasing the risk for heart attacks and other heart diseases.
Family History: There are some people with high blood cholesterol levels, no matter how well they manage their diet as well as lifestyle. This may be probably due to genetic abnormalities including Familial Hypercholesterolemia and Familial Combined Hyperlipidemia.
Diseases: High cholesterol in blood is sometimes associated with certain medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney related problems, liver diseases, diabetes, hypothyroidism, Zieve's syndrome, Anorexia nervosa, Carcinoma and coronary artery diseases.
High Cholesterol Dangers
As mentioned earlier, high cholesterol level in blood can lead to a number of other diseases in the form of:
Angina – a condition in which heart’s muscle do not get enough blood
Atherosclerosis, which primarily occurs as a result of narrowing of arteries
Heart Attack, which usually occurs when the oxygen as well as blood to a particular area of heart muscles is clogged
Stroke – a condition in which blood clot clogs an artery or vein, thereby affecting the flow to a brain’s area
Diseases in connection with heart and blood vessels
How do I control high cholesterol levels?
In the light of the above, it is evident that high cholesterol level can be life threatening. Hence, along with the intake of proper medication as prescribed by a registered medical practitioner, it is important to take into consideration certain important things such as:
Completely avoid the intake of fatty snacks, foods rich in saturated fat and fried items
Include fiber and protein enriched food items in your diet
Intake plenty of fruits and vegetables
Control your weight
Exercise for at least 20 to 30 minutes per day
Since the ideal cholesterol levels vary from person to person depending upon the nature of the body, it is vital to have a clear idea on the cholesterol levels that is necessary for your body.
Prior to observing a low cholesterol diet, it is highly recommended to consult with a doctor, especially if you previously had a stroke or heart attack.
Foods that cause high cholesterol
The foods items that tend to cause high cholesterol level will mostly contain high content of saturated fat and Trans fatty acids. Both of these fats elevate your LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol levels. Mentioned below is a list of food items that cause high cholesterol levels in blood.
Fried Items: This usually contain huge amount of oil, which in turn raises the level of bad cholesterol in blood. Hence, replace fried items with grilled items.
Red Meats: With high content of animal fat, red meats can tremendously raise cholesterol levels. Opt for lean cut skinless poultry items instead of red meats.
Whole Milk: This is enriched with fat and can raise cholesterol. But you can substitute the intake of whole milk with skim or low fat dairy products.
Boiled Egg: It is estimated that a boiled egg contains about 225 mg of cholesterol. Hence, it is advisable to intake egg by avoiding its yolks.
Margarines: Margarine is a rich source of fat. When you purchase margarine, make sure that you opt for fat free version.
Baked goods: All baked items, especially commercially prepared items, have high level of fat.