It is important to note that cholesterol isn’t all bad; it is a waxy substance that provides support in the body cell membranes and plays a vital role in how every cell functions. Some cholesterol come from diet and most is made by the liver. Cholesterol cannot travel freely in your blood and because of this it must be paired with proteins, making a complex called lipoprotein to transport cholesterol through your blood stream to cells that need it for various functions. So LDL stands for low density lipoprotein which is a combination of cholesterol particle in the center of the molecule and an outer rim protein as transport or carrier surrounding it.
LDL refer to the bad cholesterol and when the amount increases in the body it slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain, form plaque which is thick and hard and narrow the arteries which is called atherosclerosis.
LDL becomes more worse and damaging when it is oxidized by producing inflammation in arteries and further promoting atherosclerosis. The oxidation of LDL occurs when the LDL cholesterol particles in your body react with free radicals. In an attempt to protect blood vessels white blood cells try to swallow and digest the LDL. In this process white blood cells converts the LDL to a toxic (oxidized) form, creating a steady inflammation in the arterial wall and this is how a plaque eventually begins to form. The level of the oxidized LDL can increase by smoking, using trans-fats and too much carbohydrates in the daily diet.
In order to decrease your bad cholesterol (LDL) which is found in saturated fats (found primarily in red meat and dairy products), eat fewer of the following: butter, red meat, palm oil, full fat dairy product like milk, cheese or cream, also trans-fat. Eat foods rich in Omega 3 and increase your soluble fiber like beans, oats, barley, fruits, vegetables and whey protein
What is HDL cholesterol?
HDL cholesterol (High Density Lipoprotein) refers to good and well behaved cholesterol. These friendly particles circulate in the bloodstream and removes the harmful bad cholesterol from where it does not belong, high HDL level reduces the risk of heart attack and the low level increases the risk. HDL cholesterol level of 60mg/dl or greater is protective and a negative risk factor for Coronary Heart Disease.
In order to increase your HDL level, you can use olive oil especially extra virgin, low carb diet, exercise regularly, lose weight, stop smoking and eat fatty fish often like salmon, mackerel, and herring.
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