Our body needs cholesterol to function properly but when levels become too high, particularly in what is considered to be the “bad” cholesterol, otherwise known as LDL, it can become a life threatening situation. A test for total healthy cholesterol checks the amount of all fats in the blood, called lipids. There are several different lipids which are included in this total cholesterol test, some bad and some vital to our health.
Having high cholesterol is usually a bad thing
Cholesterol is a fat like waxy substance that occurs naturally in all parts of our body. It is necessary but when there is too much it can build up not unlike waxy build up on a kitchen floor and when it hardens it becomes plaque which clogs up arteries and cuts off the flow of blood to the heart or brain. When this occurs it becomes a stroke or heart attack.
Generally there is a balance in our cholesterol levels with both bad and good competing. The “bad” can clog arteries, reducing the flow of blood to the heart, leading to stroke, heart attack, or heart disease.
Those who have high cholesterol levels will most likely need to take medications for the remainder of their life but cholesterol supplements along with a healthy diet and exercise can often help reduce the amount of medication needed to keep the good cholesterol levels high while maintaining low cholesterol levels of the LDL.
High blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and smoking are among the contributory factors that determine your need for medication to fight the high levels of LDL cholesterol. Doctors prefer to see that level at one hundred mg/dL or lower, particularly for those at higher risk. Most people should try to keep their level between 160 and 190 mg/dL for good health.
HDL is known as our “good” cholesterol
Levels of 40 to 50 mg/dL are considered high for HDL and that amount is what is recommended for healthy adults. Exercise can contribute to higher levels of the good HDL just as it helps lower the “bad” cholesterol known as LDL.Once most people have begun a medication schedule for high cholesterol they will probably need to remain on it for life.
Most people will be able to reduce those LDL levels before committing to a medicine with the use of cholesterol supplements and diet changes along with increasing exercise. People who do lose a lot of weight, and are able to keep it off, may well find they can stop their high cholesterol medication for good. But they must keep in mind that they are always susceptible to high cholesterol and should take supplements to keep their levels low.
High blood cholesterol is called the silent killer for a reason
You may have high levels of LDL cholesterol and not even know it. For this reason it is called the silent killer much the same as high blood pressure. Either of these conditions can kill without warning signs, and both can be preventable with proper diet and exercise. As we age our cholesterol levels tend to rise and especially those who are at high risk need to have their levels tested.
Those who have been determined to be at high risk for heart disease, stroke, or heart blockage due to plaque buildup include anyone with a family history of the problem, those who are overweight, or consume a lot of fatty foods. To maintain healthy cholesterol levels try to eat healthy foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, get plenty of exercise, do not smoke, and take cholesterol supplements every day.
Cholesterol supplements contain many beneficial ingredients
Rice, barley, flaxseed, fish oil, garlic extract, cinnamon, and oat bran are among the common ingredients in good cholesterol supplements as well as niacin to raise levels of the good cholesterol, HDL.