Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that is very important in our bodies since it helps in the production of hormones and cell membranes. It also helps to deliver crucial nutrients in our bodies such as Vitamin A, D, E and K. These vitamins are referred to as fat-soluble because they have to bind to fat in order to be absorbed and thus in absence of fats these vitamins cannot be properly absorbed in our bodies. In addition, cholesterol helps in normal functioning of our bodies and thus very essential.
It is therefore clear that our bodies need fats to function properly. However, you must differentiate good fats from bad fats so that you can work to get the right quantity of fats in your body and from the right sources. The reason why most people have bad fats in their bodies is because they take it from unhealthy sources such as junk and fast foods. Some of the foods endowed with healthy fats are nuts, olive oil and avocado.
High Density and Low Density Lipoprotein
LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) is an example of bad cholesterol while HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) is good cholesterol. Diet rich in monounsaturated fats like almonds helps to prevent the accumulation of bad cholesterol in the body. However, man-made trans-fats (saturated fats) such as cheese increase the level of bad cholesterol in our bodies while reducing the level of HDL.
HDL cholesterol level in your body should be more than the LDL cholesterol to be able to remove unwanted fats from your body. However, if the LDL cholesterol is higher than the HDL then the extra fats will combine with other substances and chemicals to develop plaques on walls of your arteries. This usually leads to atherosclerosis. This is when the arteries become narrower as a result of the bad fats in your body. This affects the flow of blood and on extreme cases it can led to strokes and heart attacks.
Watch what you eat
In order to take caution of the types of foods you eat, you should know that a third of the cholesterol in your body comes from the foods you take and the rest of the fats are produced by the liver. The liver only produces fats that are essential to the body though not sufficient and therefore the need to eat foods with healthy fats.
The types of foods you include in your diet will determine the balance between bad and good cholesterol in your body. Diet that is full of saturated fats as well as dietary cholesterol will increase the level of bad fats in your body while at the same time reducing the level of good fats in your body. In addition, when you take more calories than your body requires the extra calories are converted into fats called triglycerides. These types of fats can lead to development of plaque in your arties which can eventually lead to strokes and heart attacks.
Heart diseases are one of the key causes of death in many people across the globe. Thus, having a clear understanding between bad and good fats will help you to take the necessary steps to ensure that you take a healthy diet all the time as well as exercise on a regular basis. Eating healthily and exercising regularly will significantly reduce bad cholesterol in your body which in turn will significantly lower the chances of strokes and heart attacks.