Monday, December 1, 2008

How To Keep Bad Cholesterol In Check

Cardio-vascular diseases top the list of major diseases the
world over. Medical experts opine that a high cholesterol
level in the bloodstream is the single major causative
factor in this group of diseases. So what causes high levels
of cholesterol in the blood, and what can you do to prevent
that from happening to you? Let's find out.

There is good cholesterol and there is bad cholesterol. The
good cholesterol is called HDL and is required for healthy
tissue growth and general health. The bad cholesterol is
called LDL and accelerates tissue degeneration, leading to
general poor health and some specifically dangerous
conditions. The body itself regulates the level of both
these types of cholesterol in the blood. You can unknowingly
work against the body in this critical function and fall
into the clutches of various real dangerous illnesses, or
you can choose to act wisely and help the body to regulate
these substances so that you are healthy naturally.

A high level of cholesterol is no disease in itself. The
actual diseases are born out of this condition. When there
is an excess of bad cholesterol in the blood, the
circulatory system gets stressed and consequently the heart
is strained. This leads to clogging of the arteries, a
condition known as atherosclerosis. That apart the heart
also begins to falter, a condition known as cardiac
arrhythmia. High blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack
are results of the condition brought on by high levels of
LDL in the blood. So keeping LDL in check will protect you
from these diseases. If you already have any of these
problems, keeping a check on LDL will reduce their severity.

The first step is dietary vigilance. Reduce those foods that
contain a dangerously high amount of cholesterol. Fatty
foods and animal products are notorious for their
cholesterol content. Such foods are oils, dairy produce,
poultry produce, and meats. Reduce your intake of sodium and
foods containing a lot of sodium because it is known to be
responsible for aggravating the cholesterol level in the

A sedentary lifestyle is equally bad news. Inactivity makes
the circulatory system sluggish, and the evacuation of LDL
is impaired. So the LDL accumulates to dangerous levels. The
American Heart Association has advised a minimum of thirty
minutes of exercise every day to keep heart disease at bay.
You are free to do it in one spell or to spread it over two,
three or more spells. Be regular in exercising. Thirty
minutes every day means thirty minutes every day, come rain
or shine! Maintain a comfortable exercise schedule. Don't get
carried away and strain yourself. Jogging, going for long
walks, cycling, and swimming are favored exercises. Make
exercise a part of your lifestyle. Be moderate, be
comfortable, be sensible!

Cigarette smoking is favored by a large number of people.
This habit is definitely injurious in general and especially
for people who suffer from elevated cholesterol levels. Even
exposure to secondary smoke can aggravate the level of bad
cholesterol in the blood. So stop smoking yourself, and
avoid frequenting places filled with cigarette smoke.

Hereditary and genetic factors may also be the prime cause
of high cholesterol levels in the blood. Sometimes it's not
what you eat that causes high cholesterol levels. It's just
the way you're built that does it! The body has natural
mechanisms to control cholesterol. If these mechanisms
break down then you're going to see high cholesterol levels
in your blood. Consult your physician and he will prescribe
appropriate medication which suits your personal

Excessive levels of LDL in the bloodstream can have dire
consequences on your health, your lifestyle, and your
longevity. Before you are forced to make drastic changes in
your lifestyle by your doctor, it is better that you prevent
the situation from getting out of hand while you can do so
at your convenience. You may have to alter or moderate your
lifestyle a bit now. Make exercise a part of your schedule.
Go easy on fats and animal produce. Don't smoke. Choose good
health over bad health - keep those LDL levels in check!

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