High Cholesterol

High Cholesterol

High Cholesterol – Kiss of Death

Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) is best known for its contribution to heart problems. Excess cholesterol will build up along the walls of your arteries eventually causing blockage that leads to a heart attack or stroke. It’s not that cholesterol is bad for your body. It is bad when you have too much LDL and not enough HDL. High levels of triglycerides are also bad. It is common to see high triglycerides in overweight or obese individuals. High triglycerides have also been linked to heart problems.

What Causes High Cholesterol?

High cholesterol is caused mostly from high-fat diets and inherited risk factors. However, some diseases and drugs have been linked to high levels as well. Some more causes are:

  • Genes
  • Excess Weight
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Alcohol
  • Stress

Symptoms of High Cholesterol

Generally, high cholesterol has no symptoms and is discovered through a routine check up. Some symptoms include:

  • Xanthoma (thickening of tendons)
  • Xanthelasma palpabrum (yellow patches near eyelids)
  • Arcus senilis (white discoloration of cornea)
  • Atherosclerosis (coronary heart disease)

Clearly these symptoms are not obvious and one concerned about high cholesterol levels should have them checked by having a blood test called a lipoprotein profile.

Foods That Help Lower Cholesterol

You can naturally lower cholesterol by eating certain foods. Foods with soluble fiber like oatmeal, apples, kidney beans, pears, barley and oat bran help reduce cholesterol. Consuming omega 3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA, in fish like salmon, sardines, herring, and trout are recommended by the American Heart Association. You should eat nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, and hazelnuts. Soy products are great to substitute for meat products because they contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, and lower levels of saturated fat…

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