Define Cholesterol

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GoodHealthGuide.org –  You may be familiar with cholesterol and hear a lot about it and its dangers, but do you know enough about it that you are able to define cholesterol? Cholesterol is a compound with characteristics that are similar to fat and naturally exists in every part of your body including the brain, nerves, muscle, intestines, liver, and heart. Cholesterol comes from two sources, it is produced by the liver and acquired from the food you consume.

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Understanding Cholesterol Deeper

You may have heard about the two types of cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol and the “bad” cholesterol. The cholesterol that is needed by the body is known as the “good” cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein (HDL). The job of HDL in the body is to guard and prevent the accumulation of “bad” cholesterol in arteries. Meanwhile, “bad” cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) accounts for 60 to 70 percent of the total cholesterol present in the body. LDL can accumulate in arteries and cause various heart diseases.

The normal amount of cholesterol recommended by doctors is generally below 200 mg/dL. If you undergo a test for cholesterol levels, make sure that you get detailed results of HDL and LDL levels as well. The appropriate level of HDL is 60 mg/dL, but higher amounts than that are actually better for you. On the other hand, the safe LDL level is anything below 100 mg/dL.

It is wise for you to directly consult your doctor to know and to lower the levels of cholesterol for your body. According to The American Heart Association, you must check your cholesterol levels at least once every five years. You can also do an independent test at home with the help of medical devices.

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The Dangers of High Cholesterol Levels

LDL level that is too high is dangerous for your health. LDL will accumulate in the arteries and form plaque that will block circulation of blood in the body. If the artery that pumps blood to the brain is blocked, you are at risk for stroke. If the artery that supplies blood to the heart is blocked, you are at risk for a heart attack. In general, high cholesterol levels do not show any signs. High cholesterol levels can only be detected by going through a blood test that can measure the content of cholesterol in your body. Dizziness or headaches that are commonly complained about by people with high levels of cholesterol are symptoms of stroke, but not the symptoms of high cholesterol levels itself.

There are a lot of things that can trigger high levels of cholesterol. Luckily for you, these things can be prevented and controlled in order to maintain normal levels of cholesterol. You should watch what you eat and avoid consuming foods and drinks that contain a lot of cholesterol, trans fat, and saturated fat. Excess of weight can also increase the risk of heart diseases that are caused by high levels of cholesterol. Therefore, make sure that you exercise regularly to stay healthy. Now that you can define cholesterol and have a deeper understanding of it, you should be able to prevent having high cholesterol levels.

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