What is Cholesterol? Steps to control HDL and LDL in you and your child!



“Having a feast everyday? What is your Cholesterol level? What is Cholesterol and how does Cholesterol make you “SICK” and “HEALTHY”?!”

Cholesterol is a soft, fat-like substance (the combination of fat and protein called a lipoprotein) found in the bloodstream and in all your body’s cells. It’s normal to have cholesterol. Cholesterol is an important part of a healthy body because it’s used for producing cell membranes and some hormones, and serves other needed bodily functions. But too much cholesterol in the blood causes blood vessels to become narrowed with fatty deposits called plaques. This leads to a major risk for cardiovascular disease (heart and blood vessels diseases) and causes stroke.

Cholesterol (Lipoproteins) can be high density (HDL), low density (LDL), depending on how much protein there is in relation to fat.
HDL Cholesterol (GOOD Cholesterol): About one-fourth to one-third of blood cholesterol is transported as HDL, which is mostly made up of protein and a small amount of fat. Such cholesterol is known as “good” cholesterol, because high levels of HDL seem to protect against heart attack. In another way of saying, having low levels of HDL (less than 40 mg/dL) will increase the risk of heart disease. This is because most experts think that HDL tends to carry cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where it’s passed from the body. Women tend to have a higher level of HDL cholesterol than men, an article claimed.

A desirable ratio of Total Cholesterol: HDL should be Low TC: High HDL.

LDL Cholesterol (BAD Cholesterol):Most of the body’s cholesterol is transported as LDL which made up of mostly fat and a small amount of protein. Too much LDL in the blood can cause plaque and the narrowed arteries become less flexible, making it harder for the blood to flow through these blood vessels. If a clot forms and form the narrowed artery, it may be resulted to cardiovascular disease. So, such cholesterol is referred to as “bad” cholesterol. LDL should be kept below 200 mg/dL. Borderline high: A cholesterol of 200 to 240 mg/dL.
High Risk: A cholesterol above 240 mg/d.

Measurement of Cholesterol Level in your body:
Good Cholesterol (HDL) should NOT be LESS than 40 mg/ dL.

Desirable Control of Bad Cholesterol (LDL) is BELOW 200mg/dL

At Borderline high is around 200 to 240 mg/dL

High Risk is ABOVE 240 mg/dL

** Americans use the unit mg / dL (milligrams per decilitre).

How to boost HDL level:1. Increase the monounsaturated fats in your diet – Monounsaturated fats such as canola oil, avocado oil, or olive oil and in the fats found in peanut butter can increase HDL cholesterol levels without increasing the total cholesterol.
2. Eat Heart-Healthy food – Take more soluble fiber diet. Soluble fibers are found in oats, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. It results in both a reduction in LDL cholesterol and an increase in HDL cholesterol. It is advisable to take at least two servings per day.
3. Weight Lose – Obesity results not only in increased LDL cholesterol and also in reduced HDL cholesterol.
4. Quit smoking – If you smoke, giving up tobacco will result in an increase in HDL levels.

How to decrease LDL level:1. All abovementioned in HDL
2. Eliminate the trans fatty acids from our diet – Trans fatty acids are currently found in many of our favourite prepared foods e.g. fast food. Trans fatty acids will increase LDL cholesterol levels, and also reduce HDL cholesterol levels.
3. Eliminate/ minimize consumption of saturated fat and high cholesterol food such as fresh yolk, animal by-product e.g. liver. Eat low-cholesterol food such as fishes, fruits and vegetables, and food product marked low cholesterol. You may determine the healthy diet by checking its cholesterol content level with below guides:
4. Exercise more often – Take 30-minutes to exercise, for instances, brisk walk, for 2 – 3 times per week.

Benchmark of Cholesterol Level:
“Cholesterol Free” it means less than 2 milligrams (mg) cholesterol and 2 grams or less fat;

“Low Cholesterol” means 20 mgs or less cholesterol and 2 grams or less saturated fat;

“Fat Free” means less than ½ gram fat;

“Low Fat” means 3 grams or less fat;

“Reduced Fat” means at least 25 percent less fat than other brands of same food.

Children’s Cholesterol Level:
Reseach by expert found out that may children are suffering from high cholesterol level. There is never too early to concern on your child’s cholesterol, eventhough children need some fat such as from milk and cheese (and carbohydrates such as bread and rice) in their diet to help them grow. It is best to establish good eating habit since young age. Children over age of 2 should have thier health check done regulary, especially those with family history of heart problem.

You cannot eliminate all fat in children’s diet, but remember to manage thier eating habits, at the same time, build up good nutritional habit, and habit of exercising reguarly.

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