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Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that occurs naturally in all parts of the body. It is one of the necessary ingredients of the body, our body needs some cholesterol to work properly. Our body uses cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods. But if you have too much in your blood, it can stick to the walls of your arteries. This is called plaque. Plaque can narrow your arteries or even block them. This is called atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. High levels of cholesterol in the blood can increase your risk of heart disease. Your cholesterol levels tend to rise as you get older. There are usually no signs or symptoms that you have high blood cholesterol, but it can be detected with a blood test. You are likely to have high cholesterol if members of your family have it, if you are overweight or if you eat a lot of fatty foods. To travel in the bloodstream, cholesterol is carried in small packages called lipoproteins. The small packages are made of fat (lipid) on the inside and proteins on the outside.
Two kinds of lipoproteins carry cholesterol throughout your body. It is important to have healthy levels of both:
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is sometimes called bad cholesterol.
High LDL cholesterol leads to a build up of cholesterol in arteries.
The higher the LDL level in your blood, the greater chance you have of getting heart disease. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is sometimes called good cholesterol. HDL carries cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver. The liver removes the cholesterol from your body. The higher your HDL cholesterol level, the lower your chance of getting heart disease. Cholesterol is calculated in milligrams per 100 millimeters of blood. The standard level of cholesterol varies between 150 - 200 mg per 100 ml.Desirable levels in a human body are:- · Total Ideal Cholesterol Level - 200 · Triglycerides Maximum - 150 · LDL Cholesterol Level Maximum - 100 · HDL Minimum Level - 60 There are usually no signs or symptoms of high blood cholesterol. Many people don't know that their cholesterol level is too high.
Causes of High Blood Cholesterol
A variety of things can affect the cholesterol levels in your blood:
- Bodyweight - people who are overweight/obese are much more likely to have higher LDL levels and lower HDL levels, compared to people who are of normal weight.
- Sedentary lifestyle - people who do not exercise and spend most of their time sitting/lying down have significantly higher levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and lower levels of HDL (good cholesterol). People who are always in a rush, restless, get angry easily are more prone.
- Heredity. High blood cholesterol can run in families. Cholesterol is found in foods that come from animal sources, for example, egg yolks, meat, and cheese.
- Smoking - this can have quite a considerable effect on LDL levels.
- Alcohol - people who consume too much alcohol regularly, generally have much higher levels of LDL and much lower levels of HDL, compared to people who abstain or those who drink in moderation.
- Stress and over work load.
- Diseases like diabetes mellitus, kidney disease, liver disease, or hypothyroidism.
Home Remedies for High Cholesterol
Following are some of the effective home remedies for high blood cholesterol:
- The patient should take liberal quantities of vitamin E-rich foods such as sunflower seeds, safflower, soyabean oils, butter, and sprouted seed and grains.
- Oat bran and corn bran are specially beneficial in lowering LDL cholesterol. The amount of fibre in the diet also influences the cholesterol levels and LDL cholesterol can be lowered by taking diets rich in fibres.
- The most significant sources of dietary fibre are unprocessed wheat bran, whole cereals such as wheat, rice, barley, rye; legumes such as potatoes, carrots, beet, and turnips, fruits such as mangoes and guavas; and leafy vegetables such as cabbage, lady’s fingers, lettuce and celery.
- Take onion juice to reduce cholesterol, clean the blood, and regulate the heart. Add a teaspoon of methi powder in a glass of water. Take it empty stomach for one month.
- Taking amalaki with bioflavonoids 4000 mg. a day lowers cholesterol. Eat Garlic (lasuna) or take 1 capsule twice a day. It lowers LDL cholesterol level in 12 percent and increases HDLs (high density lipoproteins.
- Ginger also reduces cholesterol and thins the blood improving circulation. Persons with high blood cholesterol level should drink at least eight to ten glasses of water every day, as copious drinking of water stimulates the excretory activity of the skin and kidneys. This, in turn, facilitates elimination of excessive cholesterol from the system.
- Virtually all foods of animal origin, as well as two vegetable oils, namely, coconut and palm, are high in saturated fats, and these should be replaced by polyunsaturated fats such as corn, safflower, and soybeans, and sesame oils which tend to lower the level of LDL. Stock up on Vitamin C and take it regularly.
- People who have high levels of Vitamin C in their diet tend to have high HDL numbers. Eat a few grapes every day or drink some grape juice. The skin of grapes can help keep cholesterol under control.
- All fish contain omega 3 fatty acids (reduces high cholesterol), but they are more concentrated in fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines and herring. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least 2 times a week.
Observe the following to lower cholesterol levels:-
- Stop smoking.
- Do regularly physical exercises.
- Reduce eating red meats.
- Replace red meats with fish and chicken in your diet.
- Eat maximum vegetables Avoid Fried foods. Avoid 'Fast Foods'.
- Eat two carrots every day and you can lower your cholesterol 10 to 20 percent.
- Take 400 mcg. Of chromium every day to keep your cholesterol under control. Chromium can also keep blood sugar levels under control.
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