Cholesterol and Its Devastating Effects on Your Health

Best Ways To Prevent And Treat High Cholesterol

What Is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a substance that is much like wax in appearance and texture and it is located in all the cells of the human body. Good cholesterol is needed for the body to function properly and the body makes all the required cholesterol that it needs. It is used for making hormones substances that help you digest food properly and for Vitamin D. Cholesterol can also be found in many fatty foods and therefore some people suffer from a high risk condition known as high cholesterol.

Anatomy of Cholesterol:

LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein and is the “bad” type that causes heart disease.

HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein and is the “good” type.

Too much LDL cholesterol in the blood can be quite serious and can lead to cardiovascular disease. One of the problems is that high blood cholesterol does not cause any symptoms by itself, which is why a lot of people are unaware of their condition. In order to detect high cholesterol a blood test is required that can be ordered by your doctor or nurse practitioner.

High Cholesterol Facts According to the Centers for Disease Control:

Those who have high cholesterol are 2 times more at risk for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States.

71 million American adults, which equates to 33.5% of the population have a high LDL count. Only 1 out of every 3 adults with high cholesterol manage to get it under control. Less than 50% of those with high LDL counts seek treatment or incorporate the necessary lifestyle changes required to lower their levels.

Best Ways to Prevent High Cholesterol:

There are a lot of things that each person can do to lower and prevent high cholesterol. This article will review some of these methods, and what diet and lifestyle changes are necessary to prevent high cholesterol to begin with.

If you are an obese or overweight person then losing excess weight is a great way to prevent and lower high blood cholesterol. Losing anywhere from 5-7% of your body weight is enough to see significant change for the better. The best way to lose weight is to focus on foods that are low in calories, such as, fruits and vegetables and also by increasing physical activity.

Another way to prevent high cholesterol is to drink a little bit of red wine when having dinner. Wine helps to increase the levels of HDL cholesterol (the good type) and this in turn helps to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad type). When HDL cholesterol travels in the blood stream it picks up LDL cholesterol and carries it to your liver where it is excreted from the body.

Start eating oatmeal for breakfast. According to the Mayo Clinic, the high amount of soluble fiber in oatmeal reduces the amount of cholesterol the body is able to absorb. It is recommended that one consume 25-35 grams of soluble fiber daily to have a positive effect.

While tea has become well known for its cancer-fighting antioxidants, it is also a great defense against LDL cholesterol levels. According to research conducted with the USDA, black tea has been shown to reduce blood lipids by up to 10% in a few weeks. Tea may also help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Drink green tea for a healthier alternative to sodas and sugary beverages. Research in both animals and humans has shown that green tea contains compounds that can help lower LDL cholesterol. If you can’t find the time to enjoy a cup of green tea then try green tea extract capsules as an alternative.

Men who regularly drink green tea have a lower level of blood cholesterol then men who do not according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It has been found that Polyphenols in green tea might have the ability to block cholesterol from forming. It is best to enjoy green tea in pure form, without added sugar or artificial flavoring. Brew it at home and enjoy with mint leaves, lemon and lime juice.

If your goal is to prevent or stop high blood cholesterol (LDL) then saturated fat is not your friend, and so your consumption must be kept to a minimum. Many animal products, such as red meat, cheese and whole milk are the main sources of saturated fats. It is recommended that saturated fats account for only 7% of your daily calorie intake.

So, if you eat red meat regularly then you need to replace it with soy protein products, lean proteins, like chicken and turkey, broiled or baked fish. If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol then seek the advice of your physician as to your consumption of saturated fat products.

Regular exercise is another great way to prevent this high risk condition. Aerobics, jogging and walking are all effective workouts to increase the levels of good cholesterol and therefore reduce the bad. 30 minutes a day is enough to have a positive effect. If you are out of shape then you can begin with three 10 minute sessions daily and work your way up to a full 30 minutes.

Conclusion:

The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends adults get a blood test for cholesterol through their doctor every five years. This is the only way to know whether you are affected or not and in this case knowledge is half the battle.

If you are diagnosed, then it is really important that you follow your doctor’s orders and the methods provided above to get it under control. Lowering your cholesterol can reduce your risk of having a heart attack that can lead to premature death, and the need for bypass surgery or angioplasty.

The above are some of the best ways to avoid a completely preventable condition and to ensure a healthy and long future. Also, the good news is that it is never too late to make a change and there are many ways to lower cholesterol levels. Certain lifestyle changes are all that is needed to see a positive change and often very quickly. I hope that this article has been helpful to you.

 

The Ugly Effects of Smoking

Tobacco or cigarette smoking is an addictive habit which is quite popular among teenagers and young adults these days. Because cigarettes have large amount of nicotine (highly addictive drug) in order to get users hooked up. So there is no surprise that the millions people worldwide finding it really hard to quit smoking. Although the effects of smoking on our bodies are quite well known to both smokers and non-smokers people still getting hooked on smoking, and this addiction to nicotine and in many cases long term habit makes quitting really hard to most people.

Smoking is known to be a norm with in some social circles, especially among teenagers and young adults, and generally socially accepted this habit has no benefits to both smokers and non-smokers. Not only smoking is highly addictive and hooks you in spending lots of money on cigarettes, but also it can result in serious life threatening diseases and also it will result in less serious but still quite disgusting problems like bad breath, yellow teeth and fingers, bad skin etc. Also smoking effects not only the smoker but the people around the smoker as well because the smoke which getting emitted from your lungs contains huge amounts of poisonous chemicals which are quite bad for human health and the biggest problem of second-hand smoke is that in most cases it affects children around you.

The Ugly Effects of Smoking

Statistics shows that smoking is the most common reason for premature death among smokers. Statistics also shows that every year due to illnesses and diseases caused by smoking more than 400000 people die in the United States alone. And the really disturbing part of it is that fatalities also include children who are merely exposed to second-hand smoke from their parents or relatives. How would you feel if you knew that your smoking killed your child, think about it for a minute?

Did you know that when you smoke, every time you inhale, you actually inhaling more than 4800 different harmful chemicals, 69 of which are shown to trigger different cancer related diseases? Smoking is shown to be responsible for more than 90 percent of lung cancer fatalities in United States and also smoking is responsible for about 80-90 percent of fatalities from other respiratory diseases. If you manage to quit smoking the chances of lung cancer or other respiratory disease is dramatically reduced.

Also smoking does not only affect your respiratory system, smoking also attributed as a major cause of strokes, heart illnesses, and a number of other life threatening diseases. Statistics shows that every year a huge number of people are being diagnosed with life threatening diseases due to inhalation of smoke and what is quite alarming that the number includes both smokers and non-smokers so this is clearly shows that second-hand inhalation of cigarette smoke is nearly as bad as smoking itself.

Another alarming statistics shows that every year there are more and more young kids are treated for respiratory and coronary diseases as the result of second-hand smoke inhalation. Kids are more likely to have things like asthma, allergies, poor immune system and other nasty diseases in families where one or more parent or relative smokes then in a smoke free families. Also in smoking families it is much more likely that kids will start smoking as well when they get a bit older.

Also if you are a pregnant woman surrounded by smokers or a smoker yourself, your baby most probably will develop one or more of the following conditions, which will affect him for the rest of his/her life, weak heart and lungs with curtailed lung function and narrow air passages. In some cases smoking can also lead to premature birth or even death of a child. Do you want to kill your own baby or damage him/her for the rest of the life?

Other Negative Effects of Smoking

Aside from high risk of developing serious life threatening diseases as well as negative short term effects from smoking, you exposing yourself to other serious consequences when you smoking. These consequences include dental problems, hygiene problems etc.

You may think that smoking looks cool, but in reality smoking is very unhygienic. When you smoke your teeth tend to become yellow or even brown because of the tar deposits from cigarette smoke stay on your teeth. Also smoking results in higher risk of developing gum diseases and plague. And this can result in expensive procedures to get your mouth and teeth back into good condition.

Also smoking significantly increases the risk of losing your teeth. Medical statistics shows that the average tooth damage among smokers range 1.5 to 2.9 percent every 10 years. This means that if you were to start smoking when you 18 you are quite likely to lose about five teeth by the time you turn 35.

In addition to the above smoking shown to slow down healing process after injury or medical procedure. So not only you will have longer in a hospital or out of work but it will also cost you more.

And if everything mentioned above is not enough, smoking has a potential to ruin not only your health but also your physical appearance. Smoking tends to speed up the aging process which in turn makes your skin and hair look dull and aged. As a smoker you also tend to have more wrinkles but the worst part of smoking is that over time your hair and your body start to smell of smoke. And it takes a long time to get rid of that smell even if you quit smoking. Also as you can see all this will make you less attractive to the other gender and will highly reduce the chances of finding a partner.

It is your choice if you want to smoke or not but remember one thing in a long run there is a very high chance of causing serious damage to your body and I can relate to it as I was there. The good thing is I managed to quit in time.