Cholesterol:the good and the bad Home >Health > Health issues >Cholesterol


Cholesterol is a soft,white fat-like substance made in the liver and found in your body's cells.It plays an important role in the production of cell membranes and harmones,as well as in the digestion of certain foods.

To travel to your cells,cholesterol must attach to a protein.The combination of cholesterol and protein is known as lipoprotein (lipo or lipid means fat).

LDL(low density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density ipoprotein) along with your total cholesterol and triglycerides,make up your lipid profile.

LDL is called 'bad' cholesterol because it causes atherosclerotic plaque to build up inside your coronary arteries and block the flow of blood to your heart muscle.

TRIGLYCERIDES are fatty substances found in the blood-stream.Most of the body's fat is stored in the form of triglycerides for later use as energy.High triglycerides are associated with the build-up of blockages inside the coronary arteries.

Peple with high triglycerides,high LDL cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol are at the greatest risk for coronary heart disease.

HDL CHOLESTEROL reduces your risk of coronary heart disease.HDL is called 'good' cholesterol because it helps to remove LDL cholesterolfrom the walls of your coronary arteries.This is important because it means coronry heart disease can be reversed.

LOWERING LDL CHOLESTEROL WITH HEALTHY EATING:Fibre comes in two forms;insoluble and soluble.Cellulose,the woody part of plants is insoluble fibre and aids in digestion.It has no impact in cholesterol.The soluble type of fibre ,which comes from various grains,fruits ,vegetables and dried beans and peas,lowers cholesterol.Eating 15 to 25 gm of soluble fibre a day could lower your cholesterol by as much as 5 % to 15%.Increase yoyr fibre slowly to give the digestive system time to adjust and drink lots of water.

EAT LESS CHOLESTEROL:Your liver can manufacture all the cholesterol the body needs.cholestreolin food comes from animal sources.Some cholesterol is found in the meat of all animals,including beef,lamb,chicken and fish.Egg yolk has the most cholesterol,followed by organ meats.You should eat no more than three egg yolks a week.


SATURATED FAT:This raises the LDL cholesterol the most.Saturated fat is commonly found inanimal products.Meat,poultry(chicken),egg yolks and dairy products all contain saturated fats.Saturated fat is also found in a few vegetable products,such as coconut,palm oil,ghee and cocoa.You should avoid eating saturated fat as much as possible.

MONOUNSATURATED FAT is a slightly unsaturated fat found in foods from plants,especially olive oil.Monounsaturated fat helps reduce LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol.Although monounsaturated fat is the best type of fat to choose,keep in mind it still contains nine calories per grain.Eating too much fat,even monounsaturated fat,hinders your efforts to achieve and maintain your weight goals.

POLYUNSATURATED FAT is a highly unsaturated fat and a better choice than saturated fat.There are two kinds of polyunsaturated fats:
Omega 6: found in vegetable oils,such as safflower,sunflower,soybean,corn and cottonseed oil.
Omega 3: found in oils from fish,as well as from flaxseeds(alsi).Recent studies show eating one or two servings of fish a week helps reduce your risk for coronary heart disease.

TRANS-FATTY ACIDS increase LDL cholesterol and reduce HDL cholesterol.It can be found in fast foods and commerciallybprepared baked foods,such as biscuits.Don't deep frybfoods and donot reheat cooking oil.

INCREASING HDL CHOLESTEROL:It is more difficult to increase your HDL cholesterol than lower your LDL cholesterol.However ,a few lifestyle practices can help.

  1. Roasted flaxseeds
  2. Almonds and walnuts
  3. Omega 3 fatty acids or fish oils.
  4. Eat fish once or twice a week.
  5. Reduce alcohol intake
  6. Do aerobic exercise three to four times a week.
  7. Eat food high in soluble fibre such as whole grains,oats,fresh fruits and vegetables
  8. Use mono-unsaturated oils like canola,olive,ricebran or ground nut oil
  9. Avoid using saturated and trans-fats such as dalda,vanaspati,margarine
  10. Avoid sources of high cholesterol such as egg yolk and organ meats