Cholesterol is a natural fat, called lipid, essential to the body, produced by the liver, and provided by food. Cholesterol is dangerous because excess cholesterol reduces the caliber of the arteries, makes the passage of blood more difficult, and promotes the formation of blood clots through this poor circulation.
When the blood no longer circulates, serious accidents can occur that can lead to death or paralysis. The risks are therefore numerous enough to fight cholesterol.
Good and bad cholesterol
To circulate in the blood, cholesterol must bind to “carriers” which can correspond to good or bad cholesterol. Cholesterol is essential for our body. Balance is having lots of good cholesterol and as little bad cholesterol as possible. Without getting too technical, remember that:
•LDL Cholesterol is the bad cholesterol
•HDL Cholesterol is good cholesterol.
The ideal total blood cholesterol level is 1.8 to 2.0 g/l, which corresponds to a low risk of occurrence of a heart attack. Nevertheless :
•The good cholesterol must be greater than 0.35 g/l.
•bad cholesterol less than 1.6 g/l.
It should be remembered that the good cholesterol, added to the bad cholesterol, gives the total cholesterol level.
What are the causes of increased cholesterol?
According to JLR Eye Hospital we can identify five main causes of increased blood cholesterol, also called hypercholesterolemia:
• A family and genetic origin: It is often highlighted that it is not automatically transferable to an entire generation, but it is found with a significant predominance within the same family.
• Taking certain medications: Some medicines can cause an increase in cholesterol levels. The role of oral contraceptives has been particularly highlighted, and other drugs such as diuretics, cortisone, etc. may be responsible.
• Some diseases: They can cause hypercholesterolemia, or be highlighted following an assessment for hypercholesterolemia. These are kidney, thyroid, or diabetic diseases.
• An unhealthy lifestyle: In particular a diet that is too rich in fat, which is accompanied by being overweight, can be the cause of hypercholesterolemia.
• Lack of practice of physical activity: Sports practice also plays an important role in a balancing factor between good and bad cholesterol.
The treatment solutions to reduce excess cholesterol
If there are no medical issues found, and you have high cholesterol levels, then having a balanced diet can help. The balanced diet for this purpose will include meals consisting of less saturated fats(pork or lamb fat, meat. Organ meat, etc,) and healthy foods reducing the LDL cholesterol in your blood.
The cholesterol-lowering diet
This is the first stage of treatment. A proper diet can lower the risk of increased cholesterol levels by 10-15%. You just have to follow some rules and have a happy meal. The rules are often simple:
• Avoid the consumption of fats, red meats, fatty dairy products, deli meats, and dietary cholesterol intake such as eggs,
• Beware of fried foods, donuts and cooking oils,
• Favor sunflower, olive, and rapeseed oils,
• Strengthen products rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6,
• Consuming more fish than usual,
• Significantly increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables at each meal, reaching the intake of at least five fruits and vegetables per day.
The doctor will suggest different types of treatments depending on your cholesterol type and level. These drugs can only be effective if taken regularly in a meaningful way in combination with diet.
Lifestyle and dietary measures
Apart from the diet, it is necessary to eliminate the number of fast sugars that one can absorb: confectionery, sugar, sugary drinks, and to eliminate any intake of alcohol. Stress factors will be limited.
Physical activities and sports
It is an essential and indispensable complement to this treatment as a whole.
Sport, physical activity in general, modifies cholesterol levels in a way that is always favorable to heart and vascular risks, by reducing bad cholesterol and above all by increasing good cholesterol.
Don’t forget the dietary advice, good practices with good equipment, good shoes, in a group if possible, starting gradually. But in case of cholesterol higher than average, endurance efforts must be proposed in addition to taking medication.
Brisk walking, cycling, running, and swimming is among the recommended sports while respecting cardiac standards.
RUNNING, CYCLING, SWIMMING…
• If you choose running, we advise you to start with a 20-minute effort at your own pace, three times a week. Know that it is easier, above 8 km/h to run than to walk. Then you can increase the duration of the exercise up to 45 minutes 3 times a week.
• If you choose a cycle, we recommend the cycle more than the mountain bike. Don’t forget the helmet, the sunglasses, choose suitable equipment and a good quality cycle. An outing from 1:30 to 2:00 seems to be necessary, two to three times a week.
• Swimming is an activity that can be practiced close to home in the pool or on the beaches, or at sea and lake during the holidays. Swim for 25 to 45 minutes.
• Remember in principle that the effort must be made without too much fatigue, without being out of breath, you must be able to talk to your neighbor, and above all not feel any abnormal palpitation.
Living well, eating well, being in good shape, and reducing cardiovascular risk by lowering cholesterol levels are possible, the recommendations to remember are as follows:
- Control your cholesterol level.
- Maintain an ideal weight.
- Vary your diet.
- Stop smoking.
- Remove alcohol.
- Engage in long physical activity on a regular basis.
Do not forget, however, that on a daily basis it is possible to carry out physical activity without knowing it, by taking the stairs as often as possible, getting off the bus or metro one station earlier, parking your car ten minutes on foot from your objective, spend time doing DIY or gardening, discovering nature on foot or by bike with your children or grandchildren, shopping or walking your dog and, of course, favoring walking over public transport.