What is Cholesterol?
Everything You Need to Know About Cholesterol, High Cholesterol and Ways You Can Lower Total Cholesterol and Minimize Your Risk of Heart Attack or Stroke.
In simple language cholesterol is a fat that circulates in your blood. Your body needs cholesterol, since it is a building material for body cells. If you want to have an idea of its form – it is a fatty, soft, waxy substance resembling a melted candle and it occurs in your bloodstream.
Now, cholesterol is not all bad. For one thing it is the raw material required to make important hormones that drive your libido and help you cope with stress. Cholesterol is also essential for the conversion of vitamin D in your skin when you are outdoors and exposed to sunlight.
Cholesterol comes from two sources: your body and the foods you eat. The cholesterol created in your body is made in the liver. Certain foods you eat provide additional amounts of cholesterol. Cholesterol in your diet comes from animal foods such as meats, whole milk, cheese, butter, and eggs.
While some cholesterol in your blood is essential to your health, too much can be harmful. Over time, excess cholesterol can build up on the walls of your arteries.
This high cholesterol buildup, or plaque, narrows your arteries increases your blood pressure and reduces blood flow to the heart; this greatly increases your risk of a heart attack and the possibility of stroke.
The average American man eats about 360 milligrams of cholesterol a day; the average woman eats between 220 and 260 milligrams daily.
So how are you doing? The American Heart Association recommends that you limit your average daily cholesterol intake to less than 300 milligrams. Obviously, if you already have high levels of cholesterol in your blood should be careful and make good food choices so the cholesterol that comes from your food stays within healthy limits.
With today’s hurried lifestyles many of us eat out frequently and choose fast food restaurants, pre-packaged foods and convenience foods. Unfortunately, these types of food are usually very unhealthy because they are prepared using oils and fats, which cause our cholesterol intake to skyrocket far beyond suggested limits.
For those that have been making unhealthy food choices or have a family history of high cholesterol and heart issues, this site will prove invaluable in providing, answers, tips, treatments and prevention options that will minimize your high cholesterol concerns and worries.
Next: Bad vs Good Cholesterol