Cholesterol is an essential waxy substance found in human blood. The body systems need Cholesterol for building healthy body cells. As much as they are highly required, too much of Cholesterol is a big problem. When you have a high-level of Cholesterol in your body system, you increase the risk of heart disease.
From a professional point of view, a high cholesterol level means the total cholesterol level is greater than the standard threshold, 240 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). On a safer approach, the target cholesterol level for a healthy person is below 200mg/dL.
“the total cholesterol level is the combination of ‘bad cholesterol, LDL’\, ‘good cholesterol, HDL’, and Triglycerides.”
In layman terms, high Cholesterol is associated with excess Cholesterol that builds up in the arteries making it narrow and harder for blood to flow. This excess Cholesterol is knowns as “bad Cholesterol, LDL.” Having a high “good Cholesterol, HDL” ensures that Bad Cholesterol, LDL, is completely evacuated from the arteries efficiently.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
There are no symptoms that indicate a high Cholesterol level. A blood test is the only way to detect your status.
Several blood tests are carried out to evaluate the Cholesterol level in the body. The basic test measures the total Cholesterol in the body. A total Cholesterol is the combination of lipids – LDL, HDL and Triglycerides (the primary substance responsible for fat formation). This test is referred to as the lipid test. The test is done after 12 hours of fasting, and it provides a comprehensive breakdown of cholesterol level by lipids type (LDL, HDL and Triglycerides).
The threshold level for the lipids include
- LDL – below 100mg/dL is considered healthy
- HDL – above 60mg/dL is considered healthy
- Triglycerides – below 150mg/dL is suitable for a healthy human.
Since HDL is responsible for removing excess Cholesterol, i.e., LDL from the arteries, having, a high HDL is very good for a healthy heart.
Do you want to maintain a healthy heart? You need to maintain a healthy Cholesterol level. According to a report by the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP), high total cholesterol levels are dangerous for people with high blood pressure, diabetes, have low HDL Cholesterol or obese. Additionally, someone who smokes runs a risk of high cholesterol levels.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL, bad Cholesterol) transports cholesterol particles throughout the body system. If it is too much that is, high, it began to build up in the walls of the arteries making it hard and narrow.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL, good Cholesterol) is responsible for transporting this excess LDL back to the liver. Having a low HDL, which is caused by the factors mentioned earlier, such as smoking or genetics, results in a high Cholesterol level.
Aside from this, high Cholesterol levels may occur naturally in aged people as their body system is not as efficient at excreting and processing Cholesterol.
How can you prevent a high Cholesterol level?
In other to prevent a high Cholesterol level, there is some particular food to avoid. You need to avoid food high in saturated fats, highly processed sugar or flours, white potatoes and white rice and whole fat dairy products.
Food to eat that reduces Cholesterol includes walnuts, soluble fibers, a diet enriched in plant sterols and other nuts and oatmeal.
If lifestyle changes alone aren’t sufficient, you might want to see your doctor for proper prescription. Drugs such as statins help increases HDL levels and reduce LDL and triglyceride levels.