6 Causes of High Cholesterol
28
August

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /


6 Causes of High Cholesterol Cholesterol is a thick substance that can
be found in the blood. While some cholesterol is good—your body
actually needs it to build healthy cells—having very high cholesterol can have a negative
impact on your heart, eventually leading to heart disease, according to the Mayo Clinic. In some situations this can result in fatty
deposits building up in the blood vessels, making it more difficult for blood to flow
through the arteries. And so there’s no denying it: having high
cholesterol is a very dangerous situation. The good news is that there are many ways
to keep your cholesterol down. But it’s important you understand the causes
of high cholesterol before setting out to lower it… 1. Poor Diet A diet high in “bad” cholesterol (or LDL
cholesterol) can increase your cholesterol levels and lead to heart disease. That’s why it’s important to avoid trans
fats, which are rife with LDL cholesterol. Trans fats can be found in a number of unhealthy
foods, from fast food burgers to baked goods like donuts, cake, and tarts. To combat high cholesterol, try eating loads
of whole grains (such as whole wheat breads and pastas) and consuming plenty of fresh
fruits and vegetables. You should also replace less healthy red meat
with heart-healthy types of fish—such as cod, tuna and halibut—all of which research
says—contains omega 3 fatty acids known to help maintain heart health. 2. Excess Weight Being overweight is a major part of having
high cholesterol. Many people struggling with obesity consume
too much LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol, which can be found in foods high in trans fats. Research has shown that exercise can actually
help to lower cholesterol. That’s because regular, moderate physical
activity can bring up high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol levels. In time, research shows that this can lower
one’s weight and bring down those LDL cholesterol levels. Of course, it’s crucial that you consult
your physician before engaging in an aggressive physical activity plan. If you’re currently overweight and looking
to cut your cholesterol, consider starting with moderate physical activities, like riding
a bike or going for brisk walks. 3. Smoking It should be no surprise that smoking is bad
for your health. But it’s specifically troublesome when it
comes to cholesterol, as it lowers high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol
levels while causing physical harm to the lining of blood vessels. In time, this can raise one’s risk of developing
blood clots, which can eventually lead to atherosclerosis (or the hardening of the arteries). It’s worth noting that second-hand smoke—or
breathing in others’ cigarette smoke— can also have this effect. So, if you’ve got high cholesterol (and
even if you don’t), you should stop smoking immediately. A number of studies, including research from
Web MD, reveal that quitting the habit can immediately begin the process of reviving
HDL levels. 4. Age The older you are, the more likely you’ll
have to deal with high cholesterol. That’s because older adults are less likely
to get physical exercise (on account of various mobility issues). Research from the U.S. government’s National
Cholesterol Education Program has shown that men older than 45-years of age and women over
age 55 are automatically at risk for high cholesterol. The good news is that there are things older
adults can do to lower their cholesterol levels. Exercise helps but even if that’s not an
option one can cut their cholesterol by eating healthy foods (like whole grains and fruits
and vegetables), losing weight, and quitting smoking. 5. Gender Men are far more likely to deal with high
cholesterol than women. And for many men this means they’re at far
greater risk of having a heart attack than their female counterparts. Take, for example, a recent study of 40,000
men and women under age 60. It showed that not only are men more likely
to deal with high cholesterol, but that men with high cholesterol had three times the
risk of having a heart attack than women who had high cholesterol. That’s why it’s crucial for all men, especially
those older than 45, to have their cholesterol levels tested. If high cholesterol is detected, one should
seriously consider serious lifestyle adjustments, such as changing diet, losing weight, and
quitting smoking. 6. Family History Some people eat well, have a healthy body
weight, exercise regularly, avoid smoking and still find themselves diagnosed with high
cholesterol. In many cases this is the result of familial
hypercholesterolemia, which simply means that the person has a family history of high cholesterol. Roughly one in 500 people (or about 13 million
people in the United States) have familial hypercholesterolemia, which means they’re
at risk of developing coronary artery disease and having a heart attack. That’s why it’s crucial for all men and
women—no matter their diet, size, or activity levels—to see their physician regularly
about their cholesterol.


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