Good And Bad Cholesterol – How To Find The Balance
In this article, I want to give you tips on how to differentiate between bad and good cholesterol, how to find the balance, and foods that are good for cholesterol and foods to avoid.
If you are a health-conscious person, you know that one of the keys to a healthy life is food. You’ve probably read about cholesterol and the effects it has on your body, and you probably know that there is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol.
What Is The Difference Between Good Cholesterol And Bad Cholesterol?
First, you need to know what cholesterol is. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in our body’s cells and in some foods. Our bodies need cholesterol to function properly, but health complications and diseases can occur when the amount of cholesterol in the blood increases too much. Another important thing you need to know is the difference between good and bad cholesterol. There are two basic types of cholesterol
- HDL, or good cholesterol, is a type of high-density lipoprotein. Its function is to transport cholesterol from other parts of the body to the liver. The liver is responsible for removing cholesterol.
- Or LDL (bad cholesterol), according to its acronym, low-density lipoprotein. When it builds up in your arteries, it can be detrimental to your health.
Now that you know what good cholesterol and bad cholesterol are, we’ll tell you what the normal levels of each type are. About good cholesterol
- For people under the age of 19, a healthy HDL cholesterol level is 45 mg/dL or higher.
- For men over the age of 20, a healthy level is 40 mg/dL or higher.
- For women over 20 years of age, a healthy level is 50 mg/dL.
The levels of bad cholesterol or LDL are as follows
- Less than 100 mg/dL: optimal value.
- Between 100 and 129 mg/dL: near optimal levels.
- Between 130 and 159 mg/dL: upper limit.
- Between 160 and 189 mg/dL: upper limit.
- Above 190 mg/dL: very high.
To measure good and bad cholesterol levels, blood tests should be done; for people under 19 years old, the first test should be done between the ages of 9 and 11, and then every 5 years.
Men should be tested every 1 to 2 years starting at age 45, and women should be tested starting at age 55. However, the decision to test regularly depends on the individual and their risk factors. When cholesterol builds up in the arteries, it causes atherosclerosis. The arteries harden and narrow, blocking the flow of blood. When the arteries of the heart become clogged, it can lead to angina and heart attacks.
Tips For Keeping The Balance
In order to balance out the bad cholesterol, we can follow some tips and change our habits to make ourselves healthier.
Here Are Some Tips You Can Follow
- Check your eating habits and the types of foods you eat to avoid fat, focusing on low-fat fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish and meat.
- Avoid being overweight, which can not only harm your overall health but also lead to high cholesterol levels.
- Exercise regularly. If you don’t want to join a gym, you don’t have to, just go for a walk down the street, it’s free, easy and very good for your body. o Exercise exercises should ideally last between 40 minutes and one hour a day.
- Eliminate harmful habits such as smoking. Smoking lowers the level of good cholesterol.
- Watch out for stress. High levels of stress due to work or daily life problems can increase cholesterol levels. Relaxation, on the other hand, will reduce it. You can practice meditation to focus on your body and relaxation.
In addition to lifestyle habits, other factors that affect cholesterol levels include age, taking certain medications, certain types of diseases, and family history.
Good And Bad Foods For Cholesterol
As mentioned in the previous section, diet is one of the keys to maintaining optimal levels of good and bad cholesterol.
By changing your diet, you can control your bad cholesterol and keep your good cholesterol at optimal levels. Here’s a look at the good and bad foods for cholesterol.
These Are The Foods That Are Good For Cholesterol
Oats, raisins, barley, apples and pears. They contain soluble fiber, which can lower bad cholesterol.
Avocados. They contain antioxidants, sterols and monounsaturated fats. Sterols reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine.
- Fish with omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty fish such as tuna, mackerel, trout, salmon and sardines are the richest in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Legumes: Legumes contain fiber and protein and are a good source of antioxidants, magnesium and folic acid. Examples include chickpeas, peas and lentils.
- Olive oil. Like other vegetable oils such as corn, sunflower and soy, olive oil is rich in sterols.
- At least 70% cocoa, no sugar required. It is also rich in sterols.
- Eggplant, purple cabbage and spinach are rich in pectin.
Nuts, cashews, almonds and other dried fruits are rich in antioxidants and magnesium, which help lower bad cholesterol levels.
On the other hand, here are some foods to avoid
- Chicken is low in fat, but the skin contains fat, so it is best to remove the skin.
- Butter is another food to be avoided.
- Fried foods should be eliminated from your diet and replaced with other cooking methods such as baking, broiling, grilling or poaching.
- Eggs are a healthy food, but if you have high cholesterol, it is important to control their intake.
- Low-fat dairy products (cheese, yogurt, milk) can also raise cholesterol levels. Choose low-fat products and avoid consuming too much.
- Baked goods are high in sugar and fat, which can be harmful to your health.
- If you want to control your cholesterol, you should also avoid meats such as sausages and chorizo.
Controlling good and bad cholesterol can be as simple as following your doctor’s advices, changing your daily habits, and having regular blood tests to check your levels.