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Cholesterol levels are often a point of contention and worry for people dealing with heart, diabetes, and blood pressure issues. Our body works on blood lipids, and cholesterol is one such lipid which travels across the body, and is essential to every organ’s function and health.
Needless to say, regulating cholesterol levels is important for the body’s wellbeing. However, many times, people end up indulging in careless habits that can exacerbate cholesterol levels, and increase the risk of developing serious health problems.
While the word cholesterol is bound to make you think of something bad, it is important to note that there is a good kind of cholesterol as well that the body requires to maintain overall health. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is the good cholesterol, whereas low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the bad cholesterol.
An increase in LDL cholesterol is harmful to the health as it carries the excess fats from the liver through the blood system and deposits it in the body cells. This results in extra body fat that can cause blockage of arteries, strokes, and an increase in blood pressure.
Certain factors, ranging from dietary to lifestyle, can lead to an increase in cholesterol levels:
1. Lack of nutritious diet: Consuming an excess of fatty foods such as dairy, meat, and sugary desserts, can cause an increase in LDL levels. The high-fat content contributes to the fat deposits in the liver, thereby escalating the overall cholesterol levels. Besides what you eat, what you don’t eat is also important. People who do not include fibre and vitamin-rich foods such as nuts, seeds, whole grains, and leafy vegetables in their diet, are also prone to risks of developing high cholesterol.
2. Not being careful with packed food: Be it frozen ready to cook or preserved food items, one must be careful while consuming them due to the high content of preservatives added to increase their shelf life. Not reading the food labels can cause you to intake high sodium foods and saturated fats, which will increase your LDL levels.
3. Not getting enough exercise: Exercising is the most basic advice given to people dealing with high cholesterol levels. This is because lack of exercise can result in excess body fat, which adds to the fatty deposits in the liver. This becomes a contributory factor to an uptick in LDL levels.
4. Harmful lifestyle choices: Factors such as smoking, consuming alcohol, and high-stress levels, play a major role in determining cholesterol levels. These lifestyle-related issues can increase the pressure on the heart, and trigger anxiety. This could make you consume junk food or smoke and drink alcohol to manage stress. Lack of a balanced diet and diminished immunity can cause an increase in LDL levels.
So ladies, for a healthier you, beware of these careless habits, and practice caution when it comes to managing cholesterol levels!