The Risks of High Cholesterol
Good cholesterol, bad cholesterol, and everything in between. You hear that word “cholesterol” nearly everyday. You are bombarded by studies telling you to eat healthy and keep your cholesterol levels low, but what does it all really mean?
Take a look at what cholesterol actually is and find out the risks of high cholesterol that you should be aware of.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that circulates inside your blood stream. Genetics may be partly to blame if your cholesterol levels are too high, but an unhealthy diet and lifestyle can also increase your risks of high cholesterol.
Everyone has cholesterol in their body, and some of it is actually good for you. You need cholesterol to help your cells function properly and to help your body make certain hormones. But, too much cholesterol, particularly the “bad” cholesterol known as LDL can cause some serious problems.
LDL, or Low-density lipoprotein, is the bad cholesterol that you want to be wary of. One of the risks of high cholesterol levels, particularly LDL, is arteriosclerosis. When LDL levels are high, this cholesterol starts to build up in the walls of your arteries, making them narrow, brittle, and hard. Arteries are the blood vessels that are carrying oxygen rich blood throughout your body. If your blood isn’t able to get through, this poses serious problems for your whole body, particularly your vital organs.
Arteriosclerosis is not the end of the potential problems that high LDL can bring. Think about your heart, the hardest working organ in your body. If your heart isn’t able to get the blood and oxygen you need it can start failing you. High LDL increases your risk of heart disease which can include angina or chest pain, and even lead to a heart attack.
Stroke and Heart Attack
Those little plaques of LDL in your arteries are already wrecking havoc. But, what happens if one of the plaques breaks free? A plaque on the loose is a clot, and depending on where that clot travels, it can lead to devastating results. If a clot travels to your brain, it can stop the flow of blood and the flow of oxygen, causing a stroke. If a clot travels to your heart, it can cause a heart attack. The damage done to your brain or heart will most often be irreversible. Without the oxygen and nutrients needed, tissues die and cannot be revived.
Lower Your Risk
Knowing these facts about the risks of high cholesterol can be sobering. But the good news is, even if you have high LDL levels now (talk to your doctor to find out), there are things you can do to lower your cholesterol and the risks. While genetics can play a roll, your diet and lifestyle play a huge part!
Eating healthy meals filled with whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and good fats can help. Try to cut out saturated and trans fats, lower your intake of red meats and high fat dairy, and avoid alcohol.
To lower your risks of high cholesterol, you also need to get moving! Combining regular exercise with a diet supplement that uses African mango, can help you lower your weight. African mango also pulls double duty! This extract has been clinically proven to not only help you lose weight but to lower LDL levels as well. You can learn more about the benefits of African mango on www.africanmango.org.