One of the diseases that our diet influences the most is cholesterol. A substance similar to fat and whose presence in our body is essential. It is found in our cells and we need it to produce estrogen, testosterone, bile acids, vitamin D and other substances.
But cholesterol does not dissolve in a liquid medium, so it is transported in lipoproteins through the blood. The most important lipoproteins are those of low intensity, the famous bad cholesterol, and those of high intensity are known as good cholesterol.
Bad cholesterol (LDL)
It is the most present in the body, and is responsible for transporting this substance from the liver to the tissues for use. The amount we have must be less than 100, since if it is above we run the risk of it accumulating on the walls of the blood vessels, which will cause them to narrow and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
One of the ways to have high bad cholesterol is that we inherit it, but the reality is that it is almost always due to very unhealthy lifestyle habits.
And that has the advantage that we ourselves can prevent it, treat it and correct it.
A high cholesterol level has the added complication that you have no symptoms. We can only know if it is high or not, through a blood test. And that’s why, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), people should have their first cholesterol screening test between the ages of 9 and 11, and repeat it from that age. every 5 years.
Later, men ages 45 to 65 and women ages 55 to 65 are recommended to have cholesterol screenings every one to two years. And people over 65 should have their cholesterol tested once a year.
In normal conditions, to combat it, we only need to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and if necessary and the doctor orders it, we take a specific medication for it.
And that’s where statins come into play, like atorvastatin (Lipitor) and simvastatin (Zocor), which are the most common treatment for high LDL cholesterol.
Once it is not inherited, the causes that can cause a rise in cholesterol in our analyzes are very varied, but the most frequent of all is the excessive intake of fats, especially trans and saturated fats, such as those found mainly in butter, whole dairy products, eggs, meats, sausages and bakery products, among other foods that are very commonly consumed and that are recommended only in small quantities.
Good cholesterol (HDL)
It collects cholesterol from the bloodstream and tissues, and carries it to the liver for elimination through the bile. A low level of HDL cholesterol is bad because it increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.