The Dangers of Having High Cholesterol
The next time you walk along the aisles of the grocery store, notice how many products are marked “low cholesterol” or “cholesterol-free” — you’ll probably see dozens of them. But why is it so important to avoid cholesterol in our foods?
Is it really so bad for our health to have high cholesterol levels?
The short answer is yes, it is dangerous to have too much cholesterol of the bad cholesterol in the body because this will increase your risks of suffering from heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular problem.
However, we do need some types of cholesterol so that our body can function properly.
Monitoring Your Cholesterol Levels
Most people who have problems with high cholesterol levels are not aware of their condition until it has progressed to the more advanced stages. The main reason for this is because they don’t undergo regular cholesterol screenings with their doctor.
As with any other health issue, prevention is the best defense against high cholesterol, so you should make sure to monitor your cholesterol levels every year and take the necessary precautions to prevent it from rising to an unhealthy number.
LDL and HDL Cholesterol Counts
When you undergo a cholesterol screening, you will find three numbers on the results of your test — the LDL count, the HDL count, and the total cholesterol count. LDL or low density lipoproteins are also known as the bad cholesterol and you don’t want this number to exceed 160.
HDL or high density lipoproteins, on the other hand, are the good cholesterol, and you want this number to be at least 60, preferably higher. The total cholesterol is the combination of these two numbers, but not necessarily their sum. If your total cholesterol is higher than 240, then you definitely have a problem with high cholesterol levels.
Heart Health Risks
The higher your cholesterol levels, the higher your risk for heart-related problems, and here is why. As the cholesterol in your body increases, they build up in your arteries, gradually blocking them, necessitating the harder pumping of your heart in order to keep the blood circulation going. The heart is not designed to go into overdrive all the time. Eventually, it will get exhausted and become weak and more prone to illness.
If you already know that your cholesterol is a bit high, then you should take steps to lower cholesterol. You can take many steps including lifestyle changes and natural cholesterol lowering supplements. Even if you currently don’t have an issue with high cholesterol levels, it would be good to start taking precautionary measures so that you won’t be at risk of so many cholesterol-related problems in the future.