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Cholesterol : Essential for Great Health but Know the “Good” from The “Bad”

In various media forms today, we often hear a lot about cholesterol. The terms HDL and LDL are commonly used, but embarrassingly, most people really don’t know the difference. Cholesterol is one of the natural substances found in the body that has certain vital functions to perform like:

The Building of cell membranes
Maintenance of fluidity of these cell membranes
Metabolizing the fat soluble vitamins of type A, D, E and K
Production of bile for proper digestion of fat
Base material for many hormones
Basic component of the nervous system

The HDL cholesterol level in your blood is very important and you have to increase it as much as possible. HDL, or “good” cholesterol, gives more benefits to your body and plays a vital role in maintaining the health of your heart. Unlike LDL cholesterol (or bad cholesterol), this type of cholesterol fights against the buildup of plaque inside the arteries. It has the effect of removing LDL from the blood vessels to the liver. This allows the LDL cholesterol to be processed properly and converted into more beneficial components for your overall health.

The LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol is taken by the Low Density Lipo-protein (LDL). This low density lipo-protein usually takes the cholesterol to the tissues of the body. These tissues include the arteries of the heart. This often leads to the build up of plaque inside your arteries and minor capillaries hampering the ability of blood flow. This poses a greater risk of heart related diseases. Therefore, LDL is desribed as the “bad” form of cholesterol.

So, for a healthy heart, it is always necessary that the level of the “bad” cholesterol be below 100mg/dl and “good” cholesterol be higher than 40 mg/dl. Another way to check the healthy level of cholesterol in your body is to maintain the ratio of LDL: HDL at 3:1. When you do this, you can take care of your heart. Free from life threatening heart conditions.

Include more heart healthy foods in your overall diet. Also, increasing your exercise regimen can increase your HDL naturally. Other ways to increase the level of good cholesterol in your blood include:

Increase Omega-3 levels - this is a great way to protect your heart from the ill-effects of harmful cholesterol. Omega 3 can be found in fish, and adding fish to your diet can also decrease the triglyceride levels in your blood.

Avoid foods rich in trans-fat - for increasing the levels of HDL you have to be very careful in selecting the foods that eat. Avoid all the foods that contain more amounts of trans-fat such as hydrogenated vegetable oils as they have the effect of increasing the levels of LDL.

Red wine - is good for enhancing the levels of HDL. Good cholesterol can be increased by drinking just 2 glasses. But be careful not to overindulge as this could lead to an increase in triglyceride levels in your blood.

Finally, you can also increase the levels of HDL by simply exercising and taking the right natural supplements. By selecting the right natural supplements, you can avoid taking statin drugs and the harmful side effects of those statin drugs. This will help you lower your LDL and increase your HDL.

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