The first step in managing your cholesterol levels is to learn as much as you can about the substance. Media reports show cholesterol in a bad light, and have left many people thinking that it’s not good for you altogether. That couldn’t be further from the truth, as cholesterol is a natural substance made right inside your liver. If you’re looking to learn more, here are four important cholesterol facts you should know.
1. Your Body Needs Cholesterol
The two types of cholesterol found in the body are dietary cholesterol that comes from animal based foods, and blood cholesterol that is made in the liver. Your body absolutely needs this substance in order to operate properly. Blood cholesterol aids in the creation of vitamin D and some hormones. It also aids in making some digestive substances. When you visit the doctors and find out your levels are high, your physician is referring to your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) also known as “bad cholesterol”.
2. Dietary Cholesterol Comes From Animal Based Foods
Aside from the cholesterol your body makes naturally, the other kind comes from animal based foods. Meat,eggs, seafood and dairy are all sources of food based cholesterol that is produced inside the body of the animal, much like how the human body produces its own cholesterol. This doesn’t mean you should become a vegan, but instead, you should balance the amount of animal products you consume to help lower your levels.
3. Cholesterol Resembles Fat
Have you ever seen a picture of fat? It has a yellowish tone with a white covering, and it doesn’t look healthy at all. This is much how cholesterol looks inside your arteries. It forms along the artery lining similar to the way that fat cells form in other parts of the body. You could also compare this to a clogged pipe stuffed with sticks of butter, but on a much smaller scale. This is what makes high levels of cholesterol so deadly. It only takes a buildup as small as a pinhead to cause some serious health issues.
4. Some Children Have High Cholesterol
High cholesterol isn’t just a health issue that adults face. Children can also have high cholesterol. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children get a cholesterol screening at the age of 9. This is critical when there is a family history of heart attacks before the age of 40. Doctors say that with exercise, a healthy diet and proper weight management, this can be reversed in children. Some do, however go on to need medicine to control blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
The key to managing your cholesterol levels is understanding first what cholesterol is, and the different types that each person has in their body. It’s OK to eat foods that contain cholesterol, as long as it’s done in moderation. The problem arises when people aren’t educated about the foods that they eat, and their overindulgence often leads to health issues, where medicine is needed to correct the problem.
When dealing with high cholesterol, it’s important to know your options, even when it comes to the medicine that you take to treat the problem. Aside from the prescription drugs available from doctors, there are other natural treatments that are just as effective. If you are concerned about your cholesterol, consult with your doctor or health practitioner to find out what the best options are for you.