by Dr. Blessing Anyatonwu
LDL (bad cholesterol) keeps cholesterol in the blood and blood vessels where it can collect and form plaques in the arteries. When cholesterol sits in the arteries it can reduce blood flow by blocking the arteries and increase your risk of a heart attack.
The blood vessels protect themselves by forming clots and incorporating the cholesterol and other fats in the blood into the plaque. This leads to an increased risk of atherosclerosis, heart disease and stroke.
HDL carries cholesterol out of the blood and into the liver where it is processed and disposed of.
The best way to manage cholesterol is to increase levels of HDL, decrease inflammation, and eat foods full of soluble and insoluble fiber to help absorb the extra cholesterol in the body.
What does cholesterol do?
Cholesterol is made by the liver and is a needed for the production of hormones and protection of our cells walls. Cholesterol becomes a problem when levels are too high in the blood, so the goal is to balance fat levels in the blood and decrease inflammation.
Cholesterol is almost always portrayed in a negative light, due to media coverage and the profit hungry pharmaceutical companies. Everywhere you look the drug industry is offering new medications to help lower your cholesterol. Did you know there are ways to manage your cholesterol naturally?
Controllable Risk Factors:
- Poor diet. Diets low in fiber , healthy fats , vitamins and minerals will make you more susceptible to high cholesterol
- Smoking damages the walls of your blood vessels and increase the formation of fatty plaques
- Obesity. Having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater puts you at risk of high cholesterol.
- Lack of exercise. Exercise helps boost your body’s HDL “good” cholesterol while lowering your LDL “bad” cholesterol.
- Diabetes. High blood sugar contributes to higher LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol. High blood sugar also damages the lining of your arteries.
- High blood pressure can increase your risk by putting pressure on your artery walls and speeding up the accumulation of fatty plaques.
People usually focus on the things they can’t do when it come to health. Many of the chronic diseases that plague our society are controllable through proper diet, exercise, and stress management. High cholesterol does not have to rob you of your health.
Dr.Blessing Anyatonwu is a health advocate, speaker and health care professional that believes that prevention is the best medicine. She is in private practice in Austin, Texas and provides nutritional counseling for clients through email and Skype. She works with clients who are tired of being told that drugs are the only answer to their health problems and helps clients come up with individualized plans for their health success.Send questions, comments and nutritional counseling inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org