High Cholesterol: What to know



Where Does Cholesterol Come From?

Most of the cholesterol in your body is produced by your liver. About 80% of it produced by livers, 20% comes from the foods.


You need some cholesterol to produce hormones and substances your body uses to digest foods. But too much of it can build up in your arteries and lead to a heart attack or stroke.



Cholesterol is Important

We need a small amount of blood cholesterol because the body uses it to:

  • Build the structure of cell membranes

  • Produce bile acids, which help the body digest fat and absorb important nutrients

  • Synthesize hormones

  • Essential for your body to produce vitamin D



Types of Cholesterol

LDL (low-density lipoprotein) - Bad cholesterol

It causes the build-up of fatty deposits within your arteries, reducing or blocking the flow of blood and oxygen your heart needs. High levels of LDL cholesterol raise your risk for heart disease and stroke.


HDL (high-density lipoprotein) - Good cholesterol

It picks up excess cholesterol in your blood and takes it back to your liver. High levels of HDL cholesterol can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.


Triglycerides

A lipid that stores unused calories and gives your body energy. High triglycerides may contribute to hardening of the arteries or thickening of the artery walls.


High cholesterol is usually asymptomatic, but it increases your risk for heart disease and stroke.



Reduce Bad Fats

To lower your risk of heart disease and reduce blood cholesterol levels, it is important to limit your intake of saturated fats and trans fats.


Limit foods high in saturated fats and trans fat. Try to avoid:

  1. Fatty meats

  2. Poultry skin

  3. Fried foods

  4. Crispy dim sum

  5. Processed foods

  6. Margarines


Which foods raise HDL cholesterol?

  1. Whole grains Oatmeal, oat bran and whole-wheat products

  2. Nuts Walnuts, almonds and brazil nuts

  3. Food rich in omega-3 fatty acids Fish, fish oil supplements, flaxseeds and flaxseed oil



How is High Cholesterol Diagnosed?

High cholesterol usually has no signs or symptoms. The only way to know whether you have high cholesterol is to get your cholesterol checked. We can do a simple blood test, called a “lipid profile,” to measure your cholesterol levels.



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