There is a waxy and whitish-yellow fat in the body. It is an essential part of the cell membrane for the accurate functioning of the body. The fat is cholesterol. Accumulation of cholesterol in the body is not suitable for good health.
Cholesterol, like fats, is a type of lipid. Only 20% of the cholesterol in your bloodstream comes from the food you eat. Animal products, such as meat, dairy, and eggs, are also a source of cholesterol.
Your body makes the rest. Here are ten interesting facts about cholesterol and your health, you should know.
1. Cholesterol Rises After Menopause
An increase in total cholesterol causes menopause. It also comes from an increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL), triglycerides, and lipoprotein-α. Going through menopause often results in lipid and cholesterol changes for the worse.
Cholesterol and triglycerides (a blood fat) increase in women than in men. Moreover, there can be fluctuations in the level of cholesterol in women after menopause.
As they age, the incidence tends to increase. When this happens, there is a risk of stroke and heart disease. Knowing how to regulate cholesterol is very crucial in staying healthy.
2. High Cholesterol Can Be Inherited
Familial hypercholesterolemia or FH is an inherited condition that can increase cholesterol levels. It is hereditary and passed through the genes. People with FH cannot get rid of LDL (bad cholesterol) from the bloodstream.
Hence, cholesterol accumulates on the walls of their arteries and veins from childhood. Their blood passageways become narrow.
It increases the risk of getting a stroke or a heart attack from a young age. There must be lifestyle change first, but people with FH need intense medication.
The critical part of the treatment of cholesterol is having a low-fat meal. It would help if you also took the time to exercise and maintain your weight.
3. High Cholesterol May Cause Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is one of the effects of having high cholesterol in men. Erection problems will continue to develop as long as your LDL level is high. In severe cases, it can result in impotence.
A large amount of cholesterol can also affect the operations of the body to cause an erection. You cannot decrease or balance your cholesterol level without maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
4. Cholesterol Is Essential For The Health Of The Body
Cholesterol is inherent in humans since birth. It is present in human breast milk and other parts. For all the cells and hormones to function, there is a need for cholesterol.
All the body cells develop as a result of the presence of cholesterol. The process of making the acids needed by the liver to process fats gets help from cholesterol.
Also, the membrane structure of all the cells in the body is dependent on cholesterol. Cholesterol is essential in the production of vitamin D and other hormones.
So, you can see how vital cholesterol is to body function. Too much of it is what leads to illness and pain.
5. Medicine Is Not The Only Way To Reduce Your Cholesterol
Certain foods can help you deal with cholesterols. Try to include some cholesterol-lowering foods in your daily diet. Some examples include oatmeal, bran, and other high-fiber foods. You can also add walnuts, almonds, and olive oil.
Exercise can also reduce cholesterol by increasing HDLs and decreasing LDLs. Exercises classified as low-intensity are most beneficial. We ask you to try walking to increase your HDL. The longer the duration and intensity of your exercise, the better for you.
6. High Cholesterol Is Visible
It is almost impossible to detect high cholesterol, except with medical tests. The scientific name is Xanthomas, and it shows as reddish-yellowish bumps on the skins.
There can be variations in the sizes of the bumps, and they can form on any part of the body. People see it in hands, joints, and even the eyelids in some cases.
Also, people with health issues like diabetes have a higher occurrence of xanthomas, like older people, for example, who are vulnerable.
Ménages with familial hypercholesterolemia have a higher risk of xanthomas. Even babies and children can have it.
7. It Possible To Have A Low Level Of Cholesterol
We all know the dangers and effects of high cholesterol in the body. We should also know that a low level of cholesterol is also detrimental.
Experts recommend you keep your total cholesterol under 200 mg/dL, the average for adults.
Below a certain level- generally, 160 mg/dL- low cholesterol leads to health risks. Low cholesterol causes cancer, hence the need to check your cholesterol level often.
8. Some Foods Can Increase Your Cholesterol Level
A significant cause of the increase in cholesterol is the diet of a person. A diet full of saturated fats, especially in animal products, can increase cholesterol.
Thus, it’s essential to limit the consumption of dairy products rich in fat, e.g., cheese and red meat. Replace these with fish, low-fat dairy products, and chicken.
Foods with low fats keep high cholesterol levels at bay. These are fats present in baked goods, snacks, fried foods, and margarine.
9. Thin People Can Have High Cholesterol Too
Everyone, whether thin or fat, can have high cholesterol. Overweight and obese people are at greater risk of having high cholesterol. But thin people can have it as well. It is impossible to eat any food you like and stay healthy.
Ensure you take measures to stay in good health by adopting healthy lifestyle habits. Checking your blood cholesterol levels with your doctor is a wise start.
10. Babies Fed Majorly On Breast Milk Have A Reduced Risk Of High Cholesterol As Adults
Breast milk is rich in healthy fats and cholesterol. These all help reduce heart diseases, and nervous system diseases as an adult. Feeding babies with breast milk is a way to ensure they have a balanced cholesterol level.
Furthermore, we cannot get rid of cholesterol from our bodies. But we have to make sure the cholesterol level is balanced. Exercising, healthy meals, and regular body check-ups are crucial to our general well-being.
So far, you have seen the facts about cholesterol and your health. The good thing is, it’s possible to control your cholesterol levels.
The best way to do this is by eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, eating foods with low cholesterol levels, avoiding trans fat, exercising, not smoking, and taking prescribed medication; you will be able to control your cholesterol.
Furthermore, by knowing the difference between good and bad cholesterol, you can control of your health. Which of the 10 facts about cholesterol and your health do you find more surprising?