Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found in the body cells and blood. A major amount of cholesterol is produced in the liver and the rest comes from our diet. Cholesterol plays a very important role in the proper functioning of the body like in forming cell membranes, digestion of fats, forming hormones and producing Vitamin D. Maintaining the right cholesterol levels is very important for the proper functioning of heart.
Types Of Cholesterol
There are two types of cholesterol - High-density lipoprotein (HDL or good cholesterol) and Low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol). HDL levels above 50 mg/dl are good for your heart and LDL levels should preferably be less than 100mg/dl.
Tips To Maintain The Cholesterol Levels
Monitoring and controlling your diet is the first step to maintain the right cholesterol levels. You should eat foods that help to lower LDL and increase HDL. Limit the intake of saturated and trans-fats. They are not good for your body as they increase the bad cholesterol. These fats are found in junk food, processed foods, some oils, dairy products, egg yolk, and red meat. Instead, you should consume mono unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in the right amount, found in olive oil, sesame oil, flaxseed oil, soybean oil etc. Studies have shown that the intake of fish also reduces bad cholesterol. Increase the intake of fiber in your diet. Consumption of nuts and oatmeal also helps to raise your HDL and reduce LDL. Always read food labels, as they would help you buy the right food products that are good for your body.
Quit or cut back on smoking and drinking alcohol:
Smokers are more prone to having high cholesterol levels. Hence, try to get rid of your smoking habit, as soon as possible. Drink alcohol in moderation. Too much of alcohol is not good for your heart.
The importance of exercise in maintaining a healthy body cannot be overlooked and there is no substitute for physical exercise. Walking, aerobics, dancing, jogging, weight training, swimming, biking, all are useful in lowering your cholesterol levels. Doing daily chores like gardening, walking to market to buy groceries, climbing stairs etc also helps. All these help to reduce the clots in your arteries and maintain optimum Body Mass Index (BMI).
It is necessary to maintain the right cholesterol levels to remain healthy. Changes in lifestyle like taking proper diet and exercise can help you to lower your cholesterol levels naturally.
By Davis Marco
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