What Causes High Cholesterol

Factors Contributing To High Cholesterol

From omnipresent fast food chains to easily accessible home entertainment services, raising your cholesterol level seems effortless nowadays. Unfortunately, the importance of tracking cholesterol levels are undermined until the individual eventually suffers from heart attacks or stroke. To avoid this prevalent problem, you must understand what causes cholesterol levels to elevate at dangerous levels.

Diet is one of the main contributing factors for high cholesterol. Food sourced from animals like meat, whole milk, and eggs are high in saturated fats. Fried and packaged food, on the other hand, contain high traces of trans fat. Both types of fat increase risks of elevating cholesterol levels, so it is a health-smart choice to minimize consumption of these foods.

Being overweight also puts you at risk for cholesterol-induced diseases. This is because being overweight increases your triglycerides while concurrently reducing your high density lipoprotein, which is the good cholesterol that takes away excess choletserol back to the liver. This imbalance in high LDL levels and low HDL levels puts the individual at increased risk for developing heart conditions.

If you are smoking or drinking alcohol, your cholesterol levels may also be altered. Smoking causes a thinning of the wall of the blood vessels, which makes them likely to collect more fatty deposits. In any case, smoking and alcohol should be minimized if not totally ceased from your lifestyle since both habits do not provide any nutritional benefits.

Abnormal cholesterol levels can also be passed down to the next generation. If the first two generations in your family have had high cholesterol levels, you may inherit the condition as well. Even if the person lives a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle, he/she can still be prone to developing heart conditions or diabetes because of inherited high cholesterol levels. This said, it is important to get regularly checked by your physician to diagnose the problem as early as possible.

Prevention Through Lifestyle Changes

Choose a healthier fat-based diet. Limit your consumption of saturated and trans fat by no more than 10 percent per day. A better option would be to replace it with monounsaturated fats, which are found in olive oil, almonds, and walnuts. Heart-healthy foods including whole grain cereals and oatmeal should also be introduced into the diet and consumed more often.

Regular exercise also helps improve cholesterol balance. Dedicate at least 30 minutes per day to any physical activity of your choice, from jogging to swimming laps. Make sure you have your doctor’s go signal before engaging intensive exercises.