Three factors that will affect your cholesterol and your health
Cholesterol is as much a part of life as breathing itself. Our bodies make cholesterol in order to keep the entire system working. What most people are not aware of is that not only are there two types of cholesterol, but there are various factors that dictate the amount of good and bad cholesterol in our body. These levels of good cholesterol, (HDL) and bad cholesterol, (LDL) are affected by external factors that have a large impact on our ability to stay healthy and avoid disease.
Heredity and the cholesterol puzzle
Let's face it; there is not much a person can do about the genes in their family. Like the saying goes, “you can choose your friends, but not your family”. Unfortunately, with the family part, that includes your genes. It also means the propensity toward elevated levels of low density lipoprotein or (LDL) cholesterol. Because of genetic pre-disposition, many people struggle with this problem from a young age. The liver is also a contributor to high levels of (LDL). The liver works while we sleep and creates bad cholesterol into the blood stream. According to research, stress is a contributor to your livers production of bad cholesterol.
What can I do to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol?
Exercise has been proven to help to reduce high levels of bad cholesterol. According to the American Heart Association, moderate exercise on a daily basis can reduce (LDL) by burning up calories. Here is the best part; moderate exercise is defined as an activity lasting up to twenty minutes a day that stimulates the cardio vascular system by increasing heart rate. Translated, this can be something as simple as a twenty to thirty minute walk with the dog. Not only are you supplementing good heart health by exercising the heart muscle, but exercise also helps foster higher levels of (HDL) known as high density lipoprotein. Our bodies need levels above 40mg / dl of (HDL) to counteract the bad cholesterol in our arteries. This good cholesterol actually helps remove particulates of bad cholesterol from the walls of the arteries.
The third factor to watch for is diet
This third factor relating to healthy cholesterol levels has to do with the foods we consume. More evidence is emerging from clinical studies that show the efficiency of Omega 3 fish oil in contributing to fighting bad cholesterol. Omega 3 comes in various forms but the fatty acids found in cold water fish contain high concentrations of EPA and DHA. These fatty acids, according to the American Heart Association, have shown the ability to increase the good cholesterol by up to eight percent over a period of a few months. In addition to increasing your intake of Omega 3, a heart healthy diet includes eating less red meat, daling back on the animal fats in general and eating more fruit, nuts, and more green vegetables. The Greek diet is one that has shown to be the most heart healthy. The Mediterranean diet includes lots of leafy green vegetables, lintels, beans and plenty oily fish dishes.
Why is Omega 3 so helpful to any diet?
The fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid and Eicosapentaenoic acid have been clinically proven to fight inflammation in the body as well as flush the coronary arteries through the benefit of elevating (HDL). Cholesterol management has an inverse relationship, in that as the good cholesterol increases, the bad cholesterol diminishes in most cases. Omega 3 is credited with delivering heart healthy benefits to native Eskimos as well as other populations around the globe that have a regular intake of cold water fish in their diets. For those that do not care for sea food per se, quality fish oil gels are available in most health food stores and pharmacies. One thing to always look for however is the level of the EPA and DHA included. The best fish oil products will always contain high levels of these essential fatty acids.
Now that you know the facts about Omega 3 fish oil, you can augment your regimen of eating healthy, while using moderate exercise on a regular basis to ensure a more healthy cholesterol level, and a healthy heart. Here's to your health.