We have all heard and read about cholesterol, and many of us are fully aware that it can be a bad thing for our health.
But were you aware that there are different kinds of cholesterol in the body? Some are ‘good’ and some are ‘bad’.
This article should make it clear for you. But before we dive into the details about cholesterol, let’s take about some of the basics.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a thick waxy substance that is present in many parts of the body. It is primarily produced within the body but is also available in different foods that we consume. In our bodies, cholesterol is produced by the liver. From here, it is transported to different parts of the body through the blood stream.
The synthesis of cholesterol in the liver is stimulated by the consumption of saturated and trans fats that are present in our diet. Foods that are high in these kinds of fats include ghee, butter, red meat and different kinds of dairy products. in short, the body produces all the cholesterol that it needs for normal functioning.
One cholesterol is produced, it is transported through the body in small packages. These small packages are called ‘lipoproteins’ and consists of a central core of cholesterol surrounded by an outer covering of proteins. There are primarily to different kinds of lipoproteins in the body –
- High-density lipoproteins – sometimes called HDL or ‘good cholesterol’
- Low-density lipoproteins – sometimes called LDL or ‘bad cholesterol’
The problem with cholesterol
It is a well-known fact from scientific research that high levels of cholesterol in the body can increase a person’s risk of developing heart disease and strokes. This is because cholesterol can stick to the wall of blood vessels making them thick and narrowed. This process of thickening of the blood vessels due to deposition of cholesterol is called atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis tends to be a lot more severe when there is a high level of LDL in the blood and a lot less severe when there is a high level of HDL in the blood.
Managing high cholesterol
There is a very simple way to manage high cholesterol levels. Eating healthy and performing a regular exercise are the most important steps. Some individuals may require medical therapy to bring down the levels.
If you wish to find out what your cholesterol level is, visit your health care professional or a local laboratory to get it tested.