Cholesterol is a common term related to foods and health that you may have heard in advertisements or other places. But, have you ever wondered what Cholesterol levels are? Well, cholesterol plays a significant role in our health. It is an essential substance that our body needs to create cells, hormones, and vitamins.
However, too much cholesterol is not suitable for health and causes a lot of problems. Generally, it comes from two different sources, one is our body, and another is food. Animal foods are primarily rich in cholesterol like dairy products, meat, poultry, and others. These foods are also rich sources of fat that transform into cholesterol.
Eating them causes the liver the produce more cholesterol, which is unhealthy. But stop eating those foods is not a solution. So, you have to control the cholesterol levels by limiting those eating habits. Apart from animal foods, there are many other foods that contain high levels of cholesterol as well.
What Are Cholesterol Levels?
As mentioned above, too much cholesterol level is harmful to health. The level at which cholesterol is safe for the human body is known as cholesterol levels. You can do a blood test to check your cholesterol levels. This test is known as a lipoprotein panel, which is very common.
You will need to stay without eating for at least 9 to 2 hours before this test. In the test result, you will get to know about total cholesterol, good cholesterol, bad cholesterol, triglyceride, and non-HDL. Here are more details about them given below.
- Total Cholesterol – The total cholesterol amount in your blood, including LDL, HDL, and others
- HDL – HDL or good cholesterol helps to get rid of cholesterol from the blood
- LDL – LDL or bad cholesterol is very harmful, and it causes blockage in your arteries
- Triglycerides – This is a type of fat that stays in our blood and increase the risk of heart disease, mostly in women
- Non-HDL – It is the number of remaining cholesterol after reducing the HDL from total cholesterol. This number represents the amount of LDL, VLDL, and other types of cholesterol that are present in the body.
The cholesterol number is measured as milligrams every deciliter (mg/dL). If you are wondering what normal cholesterol levels in different ages are, it is 125 to 200mg/dL. For people under 19 or younger, the healthy cholesterol level is less than 170mg/dL. It is best to get a test every five years to check the cholesterol levels. However, it might vary based on risk factors, age, family history, and others.
How To Maintain Cholesterol levels?
There are plenty of ways available that you can choose to control your cholesterol levels. Here are the easiest and most effective methods given below that will help you stay healthy and keep your cholesterol levels in check.
Limit Food Intake
You can make some changes to your food habits to ensure normal cholesterol levels. As mentioned above, animal foods are very rich in cholesterol. Therefore, consuming them can affect your cholesterol levels very severely. So, you have to reduce eating foods that contain saturated fats and lots of cholesterol. Some of the common ones are dairy products, red meats, poultry, and others.
Apart from them, you have to get rid of eating foods that contain trans fats. Some food products, such as vegetable oil, cookies, cakes, crackers, and others, can increase cholesterol levels and cause health problems. So, make sure to avoid eating them to stay safe and healthy.
Eat Healthy Foods
While some foods are bad and harmful for health with cholesterol levels, many others can help the heart. For example, foods that contain Omega-3 fatty acids are very good for heart health. They do not have any LDL cholesterol but reduced blood pressure and provided many other benefits.
Some of the foods you can include in your diet list include herring, salmon, walnuts, flaxseeds, mackerel, etc. Apart from that, foods with soluble fiber can also help to keep cholesterol levels regular. Foods with soluble fiber like kidney beans, apples, oatmeal, Brussels, and pears can help to reduce cholesterol absorption into the bloodstream.
Whey protein is also excellent for controlling cholesterol levels in the blood. It is found mainly in dairy products that lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and blood pressure.
Another perfect way of controlling and reducing cholesterol levels is by quit smoking. It provides immediate benefits compared to all the others. In less than 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure will recover from the spike.
After three months, both lung functions and blood circulation will start to improve. After one year, the heart disease risk will be half of what it is used to be.
Along with all the other things, exercise can speed up the process of keeping cholesterol levels regular. With moderate exercise, you can increase your HDL levels. It is best to exercise for at least 30 minutes 5 days a week. You can also do aerobic or yoga for 20 minutes to keep the cholesterol levels regular.
However, make sure to ask your doctor before creating your exercise routine. Heavy exercise might not be suited for people with certain conditions. Even playing your favorite sports, riding cycle, and others can help keep the cholesterol levels in check.
Making small changes in your weight can create a significant difference in cholesterol levels. For example, you can do exercises, change food habits, stop drinking sweet beverages, control calories, etc., to lose weight.
Losing weight helps improve your cholesterol and reduces many other conditions like mood swings, headaches, save money, improved social life, better immune system, reduces stress, and many others. Take the help of doctors to make a diet chart to speed up the process.
Cholesterol levels play a vital role, and maintaining them is very important to stay safe and healthy. You can learn how to control it and reduce bad cholesterol from the points mentioned above.