There is a lot of talk about cholesterol and that it is either bad or good for us and so on and so forth….
As there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding cholesterol, lets summarize the most important facts about cholesterol and what you can do to get healthy and well soon.
It is actually very important to know what the whole thing called cholesterol is all about, because blood cholesterol has a profound impact on your level of health, fitness and therefore the quality of your life.
Cholesterol is a fatty steroid metabolite/substance that is essential to our cells. We need cholesterol for cellular functions.
The problem with cholesterol is its over-consumption. Cholesterol is especially found in the high-fat food variety. Consuming too much cholesterol by eating a diet high in saturated fats (all fats from an animal source such as dairy, meats, poultry and in particular processed food products such as sausages, luncheon meats, hamburgers and cheeses as well as all fried and baked foods – more to that later…) can cause your blood cholesterol levels to increase dangerously.
Cholesterol does not dissolve in the blood!
Cholesterol is carried to and from cells that need cholesterol by lipoproteins. While there are many lipoproteins, the important ones to know are often identified as “bad” or “good” cholesterol. If you have your blood cholesterol levels checked by your physician, you will be able to get the readings of both.
The bad cholesterol (carrier) is called Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) and the good cholesterol (carrier) is called High Density Lipoproteins (HDL).
LDLs stick like glue to the inside walls of your blood vessels and create plaque. The plaque hardens the arterial (oxygen carrying) blood vessels and makes them more narrow. They are the main cause of Arteriosclerosis, which is the hardening and narrowing of arteries that cause Coronary Artery Disease (CAD).
CAD is the number one killer in the western world. Artherosclerosis causes heart attacks, cerebral (brain) strokes and lung embolisms.
Now there is also the “good” cholesterol or more correct the “good carriers” of cholesterol, the HDLs. The HDLs are the cleaners of your arteries. They actually take the plaque (cholesterol stuck to the arterial walls by LDLs) off the inside walls of the arteries and therefore prevent arteriosclerosis.
So these (HDL) are the ones we want to increase. Whereas the LDLs are the ones we want to decrease. Before I get into what actually causes an increase of LDLs and HDLs, let me give you the benchmarks for blood cholesterol levels.
Low Density Lipoprotein counts should not be “higher” than 130 and the High Density Lipoprotein count should not be “lower” than 40.
If your readings are in the “reds”, you had better do something about it fast.
READ Part 2 to find out what the direct causes of high LDL counts are…