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02-10-2018
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All about cholesterol

All you want to know about cholesterol
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What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is an essential component of outer layer of our cell membrane that plays an important role in permeability (determining which cells can pass through and which cannot) of cell membrane. It is a type of waxy-fatty substance produced by the liver necessary for normal body function.  

Types of cholesterol

There are two types of cholesterol:

  • HDL
  • LDL

LDL

  • LDL is Low-Density Lipoprotein.
  • It is bad cholesterol.
  • It’s called LDL because the density of cholesterol, which it carries, is low.
  • Higher levels of LDL indicate a higher risk of heart disease.

Why is LDL bad?

  • LDL tends to get deposited in the wall of arteries.
  • Arteries are blood vessels, which carry blood with oxygen to other parts of the body. Gradually the deposition of LDL increases in the arteries to form a plaque (a thick hard deposit), which narrows the width of arteries.
  • The plaque can cause a blockage. When it is formed in the narrow arteries supplying blood to the heart, it leads to a heart attack.

 

HDL

  • HDL is High-Density Lipoprotein.
  • It is high-density cholesterol surrounded by a lipoprotein layer.
  • It is good cholesterol.

Why is HDL good?

  • HDL removes LDL. HDL takes LDL to the liver wherein it is re-used for building cell membranes.
  • HDL cleans plaque formed in the blood vessels.
  • High HDL reduces the risk of heart diseases. Low HDL puts the heart at risk.

Tips to increase HDL and reduce LDL

  • Changes in diet
  • Exercise
  • Watch your weight

Changes in diet

  • Avoid butter.
  • Replace one meal of the day with oats.
  • When you are hungry in the evening, go for a fruit instead of going for high-calorie snacks.

Exercise

  • Exercise for 30 to 60 minutes a day.
  • Opt for walking, jogging or cycling.

 

Watch your weight

  • Try to maintain a healthy weight. Make it a habit to check your weight once a month or so. This will keep you updated on your latest weight status and avoid overweight coming as a surprise.
  • Talk to your doctor to know the healthy weight for your height.


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