Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in the blood. The body needs cholesterol to form healthy cells, but high cholesterol levels can increase the risk of heart disease. With high cholesterol, fat deposits can develop in the blood vessels. Eventually, these deposits grow, making it difficult for enough blood to flow through the main vessels. Sometimes, these deposits may break suddenly, creating a clot that causes a heart attack or stroke. High cholesterol can be inherited, but this is often the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices that make it preventable and treatable. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and sometimes drug therapy can help reduce high cholesterol.
High cholesterol usually has no symptoms. The blood test to be done by your doctor is the only way to find out if you have high cholesterol disease.
Cholesterol is carried through blood by binding to proteins. This combination of protein and cholesterol is called lipoprotein. There are different cholesterol names depending on what lipoproteins carry. Them:
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): LDL or “bad” cholesterol carries cholesterol particles in your body. LDL cholesterol accumulates in the walls of the vessels, making the vessels hard and narrow.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL): HDL or “good” cholesterol takes up excess cholesterol and takes it back to your liver. In this way, it prevents plaque formation in the vessels.
In general, cholesterol can be determined by the amount of triglycerides in laboratory results.
Having a high triglyceride level can also increase the risk of heart disease. Some controllable factors – immobility, obesity and unhealthy diet – cause high cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol. Factors other than control may also play a role in the increase of cholesterol. For example, the genetic structure can prevent cells from efficiently removing LDL cholesterol from the blood, or cause the liver to produce too much cholesterol.
There are several risk factors that can increase bad cholesterol levels. These ;
Malnutrition: Consuming saturated fat in animal products and trans fats in some commercially baked cookies and crackers and microwave popcorn can raise cholesterol levels. High cholesterol foods such as red meat and whole milk products also increase cholesterol.
Obesity: Having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more increases the risk of high cholesterol.
Insufficient physical activity: Exercise helps reduce the body’s HDL or “good” cholesterol while reducing LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
Smoking: Smoking can damage the walls of blood vessels, making them more prone to storing fat deposits. Smoking can also lower HDL or “good” cholesterol levels.
Age: The risk of high cholesterol increases as your body’s chemistry changes as you get older. For example, as we age, the liver breaks down LDL cholesterol less.
Diabetes: High blood sugar contributes to the rise of a dangerous cholesterol level called very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) and low HDL cholesterol. High blood sugar also damages the lining of the vessels.
How should we feed in high cholesterol?
- Consumption of high cholesterol foods should be limited. These;
- Egg (The cholesterol content of the egg comes from yolk. Egg white can be preferred as a seasoning in soups).
- Red meat
- Whole milk and dairy products
- All kinds of fried food
- Fast food (hamburger etc.)
- Processed meats (sausage, salami, sausage)
- Liquid oils should be preferred as oil (especially olive oil)
- Oven, boiling and grilling methods should be preferred instead of frying.
- More pulp should be consumed. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the seasonal foods rich in pulp.
- Body weight should be pulled to the ideal range. If there is excess weight, an urgent slimming diet should be applied.
- It would be more correct to prefer brown bread, whole grain bread, brown bulgur and brown pasta.
- Legume consumption should be increased.
- The consumption of cream cakes and pastry products should be limited.
- Consumption of packaged products such as chips is absolutely inconvenient.
- Alcohol consumption should be restricted. Beer, in particular, is among the triggers of high cholesterol.
- Oilseeds such as walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts can be included in the nutrition program of cholesterol patients, but the amount of servings should be considered.
- The water of vegetable and legume dishes should not be consumed as much as possible.