Can You Risk Ignoring Your Cholesterol Levels?


High cholesterol in your system can be detected by a blood test. You may think that cholesterol only affects middle-aged men, but it may affect you at any age, regardless of your gender. Cholesterol doesn’t just come from the foods you eat. We each make cholesterol in our liver. We need it for our bodies to function correctly. However, high cholesterol can be very dangerous.


Cholesterol comes in two varieties. Your blood test will tell you the levels for each type. LDL cholesterol is the type you need to worry about the most. Too much LDL cholesterol can lead to heart disease. It certainly shouldn’t be ignored if you have high cholesterol. A healthy heart is essential to good general health and fitness.


HDL cholesterol is thought to be a ‘good’ cholesterol because it is protective. Some doctors weight the HDL against the LDL to give you your overall cholesterol health. Even if the levels are high, it is thought that a high HDL in some cases can cancel out an elevated LDL cholesterol level. Everyone is unique though, so speak to your doctor about this.


Thanks to Flickr for the pic


There are many health conditions and illnesses that could escalate your cholesterol levels. Conditions like Hypothyroidism could contribute to higher levels of cholesterol. This doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Try to find out more about your conditions to see if they can affect your cholesterol levels. Take your doctor’s advice.


Diet does play a part in cholesterol levels because some foods contain cholesterol. However, the majority of cholesterol is made in our own bodies. Dietary advice tends to lean toward avoiding saturated fat rather than cholesterol containing foods. Some are actually quite healthy like egg yolks. Too much saturated fat is one of the other causes of heart disease that will contribute to any health problems.


Shellfish is also high in cholesterol, but most people with high cholesterol do not need to avoid these foods. They are not high in saturated fats, so they are healthier than most other options. Almost all animal products including meats, butter and dairy, will contain cholesterol. However, the health benefits of eating lean, low-fat meats outweighs the risk for most people.


There are ways you can help to lower your cholesterol. Supplements like Choleslo are helping people reduce their LDL levels. With the recent bad press about statins, you may prefer to try a supplement first. Check with your doctor to see if you can help reduce your risk of heart disease in other ways. For some people, genetics will play a part. For others, being overweight or obese will be the biggest factor. This can be overcome with diet and exercise, whereas genetic predisposal cannot be avoided.


You shouldn’t ignore high cholesterol levels. It could be a warning that something isn’t right with your lifestyle, and it could be the first sign you notice of heart disease. Work with your doctor to lower it to safe levels. Try to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle to ward off any other risk factors for heart disease too. Live well.