Cholesterol is a fatty substance made by the liver and found in all parts of the body. It is used by the body to produce hormones, vitamin D and the bile acids which assist in the digestion of fat.
Low density lipoprotein (LDL) is referred to as “bad“ cholesterol because it is the chief source of cholesterol accumulation and blockage in arteries.
High density lipoprotein (HDL) is called „good” cholesterol because it removes the “bad” cholesterol from the blood and prevents it from building up in the arteries.
Medical experts recommend that all adults over the age of 20 should have their cholesterol levels checked at least once every ﬁve years.
The main cause can be traced to the consumption of too much fat, – particularly saturated fat, which are prominent in meats, eggs, butter, milk and other dairy products. Another source is fried fast foods and snack foods.
Cholesterol levels will alter during the course of time. They can ﬂuctuate by up to 10% from one month to another.- sometimes up, sometimes down. These changes are no cause for major concern, and are known as biological variations.
Yes, the higher the level, the greater the risk. Many other factors can aggravate the risk of a heart attack, such as smoking, high blood pressure and diabetes.
The majority of people can reduce their cholesterol level by changing their diet to one that is low in saturated fat and by losing weight.
Experts recommend at least half an hour of moderately intense physical activity on most days of the week. Some enjoyable ways of exercising are walking, gardening, and dancing.
Aerobic activities such as jogging, swimming and cycling, can raise the HDL level. (“good cholesterol“) and will improve heart ﬁtness as well as the general feeling of wellbeing.
It is advisable to consult with a health professional before engaging in vigorous exercising.