In today’s era, when heart diseases are on the rise, it has become very important to make healthy lifestyle and dietary changes to bring down the risks. There are a plethora of problems that can affect your heart and one of the most common of these is cholesterol. You must have heard the term before, but do you know what it means and how it can affect your heart? If not, this blog is just for you.
Let us first try to understand what cholesterol is with the help of the experts from the best cardiac hospital in Jaipur.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance or lipid that is found in the blood, and aids our body in generating new cells and hormones. Our body needs cholesterol in certain amounts and this is produced by the liver. However, it is important to understand that cholesterol can also enter our bloodstream from the food that we eat. This starts accumulating over time, thereby increasing your risks of various heart diseases. Wondering how this happens?
Well, when your cholesterol levels start to increase, it starts accumulating on the walls of the arteries, causing them to become narrower day by day. This eventually obstructs the arteries thereby lowering the supply of oxygenated blood to the heart muscles, often resulting in chest pain and discomfort. Experts from the best Cardiac Centre in Jaipur suggest that if the problem is not addressed properly, it gives rise to serious heart ailments.
Cholesterol is broadly classified into two types – low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein.
Low-density lipoprotein or LDL is known as bad cholesterol as it is responsible for the clogging of the arteries. High-density lipoprotein or HDL is also referred to as good cholesterol as it helps to clear LDL from the arteries. So, as important as it is to lower the consumption of LDL, it is equally important to increase your HDL intake. As the latter helps to eliminate the former.
How would you know if Cholesterol levels are high?
High cholesterol does not usually cause any evident symptoms and this is the reason why many people suffering from high cholesterol do not even know about it. The best way to find out whether your cholesterol levels are healthy or not, is via regular blood tests. Don’t wait for the symptoms, and just get your lipid profile test done.
As per the best cardiac surgeons in Jaipur, everyone above the age of 20 should repeat the test after 5 years. This helps to assess the total cholesterol levels along with LDL, HDL and triglycerides.
Factors that could be contributing to your high cholesterol levels:
If your cholesterol levels are on the rise, there can be a variety of factors responsible for it. These include:
Your diet – Foods that can cause your cholesterol levels to spike up include saturated fats, trans fats and carbohydrates. It is highly advisable to cut down on the intake of these and rather have foods rich in fibre and LDL cholesterol. Whenever you buy your groceries, do not forget to read the nutrition label and check the contents.
Your body weight – Being overweight or obese puts you at a very high risk of developing cholesterol. Losing those extra pounds, on the other hand, can significantly help to bring down your LDL and triglyceride levels, as well as increase your HDL. You can start by making some healthy lifestyle choices and being consistent.
Your activity level – Indulging in physical activities is the key to kicking off the risks of various heart diseases. Your daily activity level, to a great extent, determines your cholesterol levels. Staying physically active can help to bring down LDL and increase your HDL, whereas a sedentary lifestyle does the complete opposite.
Underlying medical condition – In some cases, your spiked cholesterol levels can be due to an underlying medical condition, such as hypothyroidism or ailments related to your liver or kidneys. If that is the case, it is important to address the underlying cause, in order to bring your cholesterol levels under control.
If you want to know more about cholesterol and its treatment, you can consult the experts from the best cardiac hospital in Jaipur.