Everything You Need To Know About Good And Bad Cholesterol
Whether it’s a trip to the doctor, a family gathering with grandparents, or the ubiquitous drug commercials, we hear a lot about cholesterol. We’re told that time in the saddle is important not only for heart health, but also for cholesterol control. But what exactly is cholesterol, what are the different types of cholesterol, and how do we make sure we have enough good cholesterol?
How do your current health indicators affect your life after a heart attack?
“Cholesterol is a waxy, fatty substance produced by the body and found in animal feed. It has many important functions, including building hormones, forming cell structures and producing vitamin D,” says Joyce, director of clinical cardiology at Yale University School of Medicine.
While the body needs a certain amount of cholesterol to function, Oen-Hsiao notes that if levels are too high, it can be deposited in the blood vessels and cause health problems – yes, even for us healthy cyclists. Here’s what you need to know about the types of cholesterol and the steps you can take to make sure you maintain levels that benefit you.
Types of cholesterol
Cholesterol acts as a passenger for proteins called “lipoproteins,” which act as messengers that carry cholesterol from one zip code in the body to another. There are two main types of lipoproteins, and it is important to understand the difference between “good” and “bad” cholesterol.
Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is called “bad” cholesterol because it is the type that is deposited in the arteries. These cholesterol deposits can build up over time and lead to potential blockages. Plaque buildup reduces blood flow and increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes, he added.
What is a good level of LDL cholesterol?
The lower the LDL cholesterol level, the lower the risk. If you don’t have atherosclerotic disease or diabetes, it’s best to aim for 130 mg/dL or lower. Remember, LDL cholesterol levels tend to rise with age, so it’s best to have blood tests fairly frequently over several decades to keep your levels in check. Don’t.
LDL has a manufacturing aid called lipoprotein(a) or Lp(a), which seems to like to stick to the walls of our arteries. Healthy behaviors, such as a nutritious diet, don’t seem to have much effect on Lp(a), which means it’s largely controlled by genetic factors. So, if you have this LDL problem, you can blame your parents.
Very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) is another lipoprotein that is produced in the liver and released into the bloodstream The main difference between VLDL and LDL is the different ratio of cholesterol, protein and triglycerides, a type of fat found in food, says Dr. Oen-Hsiao. He explained.” VLDL contains more triglycerides and LDL contains more cholesterol,” he said. So if you eat too much fat in your diet, it will be absorbed as triglycerides, which leads to an increase in VLDL.
Eat more protein to keep your heart healthy
Like LDL, too much LDL can have a negative impact on the heart: The triglycerides carried by LDL are used by the body’s cells to produce energy, like the energy you need to ride a bike, but too many triglycerides can also cause hard deposits (plaque) to build up in the arteries, says Ouenhsiao said. VLDL is eventually converted to LDL, so the more VLDL particles in the body, the more LDL the body can produce.” Ouen-Hsiao added.
There is no simple, straightforward way to measure VLDL cholesterol levels, so they will not be mentioned during routine cholesterol testing.
High-density lipoprotein cholesterol
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is considered the “good” cholesterol and, according to Eunhyo Ou, travels back and forth between cholesterol and the liver to remove cholesterol from the body and, in doing so, prevent cholesterol from building up into plaque in the arteries.
What is the level of HDL cholesterol?
As with head wind, high levels of HDL cholesterol are desirable because they reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and your doctor will tell you that 60 mg/dL or higher is a good goal.
That said, what you need to know is that numbers alone do not predict your risk of heart disease. They’re just part of a larger equation that includes many other factors, such as age, smoking and stress.” Oen-Hia suggests, “If your cholesterol levels are high, try making lifestyle changes for three to six months and then get your cholesterol levels checked again.
How to control your cholesterol
There are two key ways to keep your cholesterol levels in a healthy range so you don’t need to take a statin every day to reach your golden years
A good meal
A study published in JAMA found that a diet designed to emphasize foods known to lower cholesterol resulted in greater reductions in LDL than a diet designed to simply reduce saturated fat intake. While there are no foods that can significantly improve your good/bad cholesterol ratio and help you avoid coronary heart disease, there are some dietary habits that can pay off. Here are some foods you should add to your shopping list and why.
Beans: Beans and lentils are a major source of cholesterol-destroying soluble fiber, and studies have shown that regular consumption of beans can lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. Other sources of soluble fiber include oats, barley, flaxseeds, chia seeds and certain fruits such as apples and citrus fruits.
Fats: It sounds counterintuitive, but eating fats can help you control your cholesterol – the good fats. The long-chain omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel can lower triglycerides, which can lower VLDL levels. These fats appear to increase the liver’s supply of triglycerides, which are then removed from the body.
Can exercise help lower cholesterol levels?
The good news is that you can put the pedal to the metal to tackle cholesterol head on. A study published in the American Heart Journal found that regular exercise, regardless of diet, has beneficial effects on LDL and HDL counts, LDL size (smaller, denser LDL particles are more likely to predict heart disease) and triglycerides. Regular sweating can help control weight and thus improve cholesterol levels, mainly: overweight people tend to have higher cholesterol and triglyceride levels.