Even though cholesterol is widely reputed as a dietary evil, it is actually essential to life. It is worthy to note that there are dangers associated with high levels . Cholesterol is made in the body ( about a gram daily ) because we need it to make vitamin D, bile, cell membranes and steroid hormones. It contributes to the digestion of fats and some vitamins (that require fats before it can be absorbed).
Cholesterol is not found in significant amounts in plants; dietary cholesterol is thus mainly found in animal products. The body does not actually need this cholesterol found in animal products as it can manufacture to fulfill its needs. Everyone except vegetarians eat varying amounts of cholesterol and there are various factors (like lifestyle and genes) that affect how we process dietary cholesterol.
UNDERSTANDING Cholesterol to Know the Dangers High Levels Can Pose
Cholesterol attach themselves to lipoprotein which acts as a vehicle through which they travel in the blood stream. In order to understand how cholesterol works and know the dangers of a high level of the bad one let us read the difference between the two below;
These Lipoprotein are:
Low -Density Lipoprotein (LDL):
This ‘vehicle’ carries most of the cholesterol available (about two-thirds) through the blood stream. LDL tends to deposit cholesterol in the arteries as it moves through the body. This process can slowly but surely lead up to blocked arteries and a significantly increased risk of heart disease.
Since the heart is a major organ, I am sure (like me) you will want to do anything humanly possible to protect it.
Cholesterol deposit progression and the danger it poses.
High Density Lipoprotein (HDL):
This’ vehicle’ collects cholesterol from the artery walls and other tissues as it moves through and takes them to the liver where it will be digested and excreted from the body. This explains the reason why HDL is called good cholesterol while the LDL is known s bad.
High levels of cholesterol can be potentially be life threatening so it has to be taken seriously; we need to effect a change in our dietary choices to avoid this silent killer. Eliminate or limit the intake of the food items below:
- Palm oil
- margarines( except otherwise stated on the pack)
- Lard, dripping and goose fat.
- Fatty meat and meat products such as sausages.
- Full fat cheese, milk, cream and yogurt.
- Coconut and palm oils and coconut cream.
- Bacon drippings
- Organ meat (like kidney and liver)
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