Your cholesterol is too high: should you worry?
You have recently had a blood test which showed hypercholesterolemia (too high blood cholesterol levels). What should be done? should you be worried?
Let us first explain what this substance essential to life is.
Indeed, when cholesterol is present at a normal dose in our organism, it participates in the manufacture of skin, heart and brain cells, in the manufacture of certain hormones (sexual for example) ... But beware there are has cholesterol and cholesterol!
Total cholesterol in the blood (carried as lipoproteins) is the sum of HDL and LDL .
HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) is the " Well »Cholesterol and LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) is the " Wrong »Cholesterol.
To put it simply: LDL lipoproteins transport and distribute cholesterol to all cells in the body. If they are in excess, they promote the formation of atheromatous plaque.
On the other hand, the HDL lipoproteins, are favorable because they do the opposite way by taking charge of the excess cholesterol in the cells towards the liver . HDL therefore protects cardiovascular health.
If you have too low HDL or too much LDL, you will be at risk of heart disease (coronary artery disease).
What is the ideal cholesterol level?
In women as in men, the ideal cholesterol level to have is 1.80 to 2 g / l.
Nevertheless, the cholesterolemia is to be qualified according to the sex of the person but also of the age, its HDL (the good cholesterol) and triglycerides.
Women generally have better LDL levels because they are protected by their hormones until their menopause.
What are the risks of high cholesterol?
When cholesterol is in excess it is deposited in the wall of the arteries, in particular those of the heart which obstructs them, decreases the blood supply to the heart muscle and promotes the formation of a clot which can be at the origin of a myocardial infarction.
Cholesterolemia is too high above 250g / l and is considered acceptable between 2 and 2.50 g / l. Hypercholesterolemia affects one in 5 people in France. It is one of the main risk factors for coronary heart disease along with tobacco.
Know that if you lower your cholesterol level by 1% it will decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease by 2%.
So don't panic but act : control your total cholesterol level (HDL and LDL).
Then reduce your bad cholesterol and increase the good (you must not reduce the good cholesterol).
To regulate your lipid profile it is essential to change some eating habits.
1. Reduce your overall consumption of lipids and not eliminate it : correct your excess intake of foods rich in saturated fatty acids (butter for example, cheese, cold meats, pastries, etc.)
2. Limit the consumption of cooking fats: use olive oil or peanut oil which are heat resistant oils. Favor cooking in a wok or papillotes for example.
3. For your salads: season with oils rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (beneficial effects on cholesterol) such as rapeseed, corn, olive, sunflower, etc.
Don't just deal with fats. Certain foods have protective effects, promoting the lipid profile thanks to the presence of antioxidants such as vitamin C, polyphenols, pectin, soluble fibers and carotenes.
We always talk about foods to eat but we never talk about foods to focus on.
1. Eggs: Contrary to popular belief, eggs are good for your health: Eggs are first of all low in calories: 60 calories for the yolk and 20 calories for the white. It has lower saturated fat than some foods.
By way of comparison: 50 g of crisps provide 18 g of lipids against an egg which provides 5.3 g.
Indeed, egg yolk contains cholesterol but it has little influence on blood cholesterol.
Dietary cholesterol is only partially absorbed by the intestine: this cholesterol contributes only up to 25% in the amount of cholesterol present in our body. The remaining 75% is produced by the liver (from saturated fatty acids in our diet). From your food (which contains cholesterol) to the arteries, the path of cholesterol is therefore not linear.
2 . Fish: Rich in omega-3, fish protects against cardiovascular disease while lowering the level of triglycerides in the blood. Eat fish 2-3 times a week (even oily fish have beneficial effects).
3 . Whole grains: To fight against bad cholesterol, choose whole grains. These are rich in soluble fiber, especially beta-glucans.
4. Apple: This fruit, rich in pectin and soluble fibers, helps reduce the absorption of fats and lipids by the body. The apple, low in calories (around 80 calories), has antioxidant properties that help limit the risk of cardiovascular disease. To observe such an effect, it should ideally be consumed 3 times a day.
5. Soy: Contains proteins which will reduce the level of lipids in the blood. Ideally, combine 25 g of soy protein daily with a low-fat diet to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.
6. Olive oil: Thanks to its content of monounsaturated fatty acids and oleic acids, olive oil helps reduce the level of lipids in the blood. However, do not overdo it: 1 tablespoon per meal is recommended
Do not forget to reduce the consumption of certain foods : red meat for example or even cheese. Consume the lowest fat cheeses (like goat cheese, and mozzarella…) and avoid those with a safe paste which are higher in fat.
Being overweight (even slight) promotes the occurrence of hypercholesterolemia so to control your cholesterol start by controlling your weight . You can add a sporting physical activity to this to obtain an ideal cocktail :)