Friday, June 7, 2024

What is cholesterol?: Fat-like substance found in the meat of animals that contain fat and lead to heart disease

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in your blood. Your body needs cholesterol to build cells, produce hormones, and make vitamin D. However, too much cholesterol in your blood can increase your risk of heart disease.

Types of cholesterol:

There are two main types of cholesterol:

- LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol:

is often called "bad" cholesterol. This is because it can build up in your arteries and clog them. Clogged arteries can lead to heart attack and stroke.

- HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol:

is often called "good" cholesterol. This is because it helps remove LDL cholesterol from your blood and takes it back to your liver.

Cholesterol in Meat:

Meat, especially red meat and organ meats, is a major source of cholesterol in the diet. The amount of cholesterol in meat varies depending on the type of meat and how it is cooked. For example, a 3-ounce serving of beef liver contains about 351 milligrams of cholesterol, while a 3-ounce serving of chicken breast contains about 73 milligrams of cholesterol.

Other Sources of Cholesterol:

Other sources of cholesterol in the diet include:
  • Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and eggs.
  • Fried foods.
  • Full-fat desserts.

How to Lower Your Cholesterol:

There are a number of things you can do to lower your cholesterol levels, including:

- Eat a healthy diet:

This means eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Choose lean meats and low-fat dairy products.

- Limit saturated and trans fats:

Saturated fats are found in animal products, such as meat, poultry, and dairy. Trans fats are found in processed foods, such as fried foods, baked goods, and snack foods.

- Get regular exercise:

Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.

- Maintain a healthy weight:

Being overweight or obese can increase your cholesterol levels.

- Quit smoking:

Smoking can damage your arteries and make it easier for cholesterol to build up.
If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may also prescribe medication to help lower your cholesterol levels.

Remember, high cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease. By making healthy lifestyle changes, you can lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.