Cholesterol is both our enemy and friend. Cholesterol is essential for the body’s normal functioning, but a high cholesterol level is considered alarming.
Risk Factors of High Cholesterol
High blood pressure (140/90 mmHg or higher)
Low HDL cholesterol (less than 40 mg/dL)
Intake of fatty foods
But cholesterol is not that bad. In fact it plays major role in our bio-synthetic processes.
Role of Cholesterol in our body:
Cholesterol is responsible for several vital biochemical processes in our body like:
• Regulation of immunity and defense mechanism systems
• Is responsible for transportation of lipids across the body
• Helps in maintaining the stability of body cell structure
• Is required for proper synthesis of neurotransmitters for nerve impulses
• Plays a vital role in the secretion of enzymes and hormones including cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, etc
• Aids in synthesis of Vitamin D3 which is responsible for proper bone formation
But in today’s world, cholesterol has been magnified absurdly negative. So let’s break a few myths and give cholesterol its due credits.
Myth:Cholesterol is present only in foods
Cholesterol is naturally produced in the liver.It is also found in foods from animal sources, such as meat, poultry and full-fat dairy products.A diet high in saturated fat and trans-fat leads to more production of cholesterol.
Myth: Cholesterol is always bad
Cholesterol is both good and bad. Good as it is essential in desirable range for normal functioning of the body.
Bad especially when it exceeds its normal range; very high cholesterol becomes a silent danger that puts us at risk of a heart attack.
Myth: Only people with heart disease need to check their cholesterol levels.
Our age, ethnicity, lifestyle, and family history can all increase your risk for high cholesterol. Some health organizations recommend that everyone ages 20 to 79 be checked every 1-2 years for the risk of heart attack and stroke. This would include a cholesterol test.
Myth: Stress has got nothing to do with cholesterol.
There is compelling evidence that our level of stress can cause an increase in bad cholesterol in our body indirectly. One study found that stress is positively linked to having less healthy habits, a higher body weight, and a less healthy diet, all of which are known risk factors for high cholesterol.
Myth: Kids don’t have high cholesterol.
High cholesterol may not show up for years, so making its connection with childhood becomes difficult.Medical research shows that cardiovascular disease has its roots in childhood. It is important to know a child’s cholesterol levels if there is a family history of heart disease, high cholesterol and heart diseases.
Myth: Lean people don’t have high cholesterol.
Body type or weighing scale is not a real indicator of poor health.You may be thin but not healthy. Blood parameters are the real indicators.There are people with high cholesterol but normal weight.They are referred as Metabolically Obese Normal Weight(MONW). Healthy lifestyle is essential for everyone lean,fat,tall short.