Thursday, December 25, 2008

LDL Cholesterol And Heart Disease

Cholesterol is a substance that is found in our blood. It is
usually associated with other substances, notably the
lipoproteins named LDL and HDL. The association with HDL is
good for our health whereas the association with LDL is bad.
Let us find out how these associations actually affect our
health and how we can guard against their adverse effect on
our health.

HDL cholesterol is beneficial to the body and must be
transported to all parts of the body by the bloodstream,
whereas LDL cholesterol must be eliminated from the body via
the very same bloodstream. The body has a mechanism to
regulate the levels of LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol
in the blood. Bad eating and lifestyle habits cause the
cholesterol levels to exceed the normal healthy bounds thus
overloading the regulatory mechanism. If this condition
continues for a long time our health is jeopardized.

LDL cholesterol tends to stick to the inner walls of the
blood vessels it moves through. The coating reduces the
blood flow through the affected vessels. This means poor
circulation which translates to poor health. The coating may
increase to an extent where the blood vessel is severely
constricted. This condition is known as arteriosclerosis.

If this situation carries on for a long time, the blood flow
is obstructed and the blood pressure increases leading to
overloading of the heart. The plaque can accumulate to such
an extent that it completely blocks the blood vessel, or it
may get dislodged from one location and lodge itself in a
narrower blood vessel, like a capillary, creating a blockage
there. Blood supply is choked off at that point, and leads
to blood starvation in the region beyond the blockage.

If this blood starvation occurs in a critical area of the body,
as for example in the brain, then we get a crisis. The
affected area of the brain shuts down and this leads to a
'stroke' wherein the body experiences paralysis in those
areas controlled by the area of the brain which has shut
down. If the blood vessels of the heart are affected by
blockage, then we get a critical situation known as a heart
attack. All this is due to an excess of LDL cholesterol in
the blood.

The best way to recover from this situation is to help the
body to regulate the amounts of HDL and LDL cholesterol. We
can do this by changing over to a low-fat diet, free of
foods that are rich in LDL. Some fats, like the omega-3 fats
found in fish, are actually helpful in reducing LDL
cholesterol. So we should include fish in our diet. Drink a
lot of water to increase blood circulation and excretion.

Check the medium your food is cooked in. Stop using
polyunsaturated vegetable oils because they change to
trans-fats on heating, and trans-fats are harmful for
health. Use olive oil instead, because it is a good cooking
medium. Just this much is good enough to bring about a
drastic reduction of LDL cholesterol.

Smoking actually helps to elevate the LDL cholesterol level
in the blood. Give up smoking and see the LDL cholesterol
beat a hasty retreat. Follow the other steps in this article
to ensure your freedom from a dangerous heart condition.

A stressful lifestyle adds fuel to fire if you have an
excessive LDL cholesterol level. Tension adds to the high
LDL cholesterol situation, whereas a tension free lifestyle
actually goes a long way to decreasing the LDL cholesterol

If you (or a near one) suffer from a high LDL cholesterol
level, don't get all stressed about it. That will be
counter-productive. You should be positive instead. You can
do a lot to bring the LDL cholesterol levels down to normal.
Start having a good, healthy and balanced diet. Increase the
amount of your activity. Start exercising, and continue to
do so regularly. Stop smoking altogether. Not only will your
bad cholesterol level get itself back to where it belongs,
but your exposure to heart attack and stroke will disappear
as well.


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