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 Is cholesterol the silent killer?

Cholesterol

There is a popular belief that we acquire cholesterol through the foods we eat but it is not the truth since the liver is the organ which produces most cholesterol and only small amounts of it is obtained through foods. Nevertheless, the more we consume saturated fat, the more liver makes cholesterol. Each cell in our body contains cholesterol since it is required for many daily functions like producing hormones and creating vitamin D, as well as for making the healthy cells walls and making the bile acids which are necessary for the digestion.

As we can see, cholesterol has its positive roles in the body even though it is always associated with some health condition. However, high levels of cholesterol are not good for our body, especially for the heart and cardiovascular system. In the case of excessive production of this waxy substance, it reaches the bloodstream which may result in clogging of the blood vessels increasing the chances of heart attack or stroke.

Cholesterol can be of two types. While low-density lipoprotein is the name for the bad cholesterol which may induce clogging of the blood vessels, the high-density lipoprotein is the name for the good cholesterol which clears the low-density cholesterol from the blood and thus decreases the chance of the heart disease. Eggs and meat and all the animal-based products are the main sources of cholesterol.

Connection between fat and cholesterol

The foods we eat can contain one of the three types of fats and each type of fat differently affects the cholesterol in the blood. Saturated fat is found in all red meat products. If we consume these foods in large amounts and frequently the level of the cholesterol in the blood will increase since the saturated fats stimulate the excessive production of cholesterol. Plant oils are the natural sources of monounsaturated fats while polyunsaturated fats like omega-3 fatty acid can be found mainly in fish but also in some plant oils.

Bad cholesterol can cause death later in life

The junk foods which are popularly now contain high amounts of bad cholesterol and saturated fats and due to that even the young population is at risk to develop coronary heart disease. The foods which are high in fiber and antioxidants should be consumed in order to lower the cholesterol in the blood. Fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains should be consumed. However, saturated fats should be avoided and replaced by monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

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