There is a common understanding that cholesterol is harmful for our health, but do you know what your cholesterol level is?
Increases in cholesterol levels are especially bad for our heart, and it is a myth that cholesterol levels only begin to increase after the age of 45. Recent incidents have shown that such a spike can happen to anybody and at any age, which is why doctors advise that everyone should be aware of their cholesterol level. Luckily, there are some very simple ways to keep an eye on cholesterol levels. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, there are many food items that produce low density lipoproteins (known commonly as LDL or bad cholesterol.)
According to recent research, if people forgo eating meat and replace it instead with carbohydrates, we can decrease overall heart problems by 15%. If we opt for toned milk instead of full cream milk we can keep cholesterol levels under control. Many people have the incorrect perception that eating egg increases bad cholesterol, but it is actually only the egg yolk, which contains fat. Eating the egg white is not in the least bit harmful. The average person can eat up to four eggs a week with no adverse side affects, but people with a history of heart problems or high cholesterol can only eat two.
It is also very important to understand the difference between bad cholesterol (LDL or low density lipoprotein) and good cholesterol (HDL or high density lipoprotein). Everything we eat has both good and bad cholesterol. The ideal would be to control our intake of LDL and increase our intake of HDL. In order to have a healthy body, LDL should be at 130 milligrams per deciliter. If this number goes above 160 milligrams, then you have entered the red zone and should try to control your intake. It is just as important to have right mix of HDL in the body. This mix should be 200 milligrams per deciliter and any sign of misbalance will have need of intervention.
Fast foods like burgers, pastries, chips, and pizza increases LDL. Having a cup of wine has been found to increase HDL, but other than that, drinking alcohol is bad. Grape juice is a good non-alcoholic means of promoting HDL. And it is essential to eat wheat products, green vegetables (like beans and peas), fruits (such as oranges, apples, strawberries, and limes), carrots, soybeans (a great substitute for egg), low-cream milk, and fish.
Apart from the food that you eat, your lifestyle also contributes to increases in cholesterol. High stress levels correlate to an increase in LDL levels. Obese people are also more likely to have higher levels of LDL than HDL. Surprisingly, even those who suffer from hypothyroid problems are prone to increases in bad cholesterol levels.
Exercise can help not only to make your body fit and control weight gain, but also can help burn calories, would otherwise get accumulated in body in the form of fat and LDL.