The harm of cholesterol is written by everyone. This substance is considered the enemy number 1, causing many diseases of the cardiovascular system. But not everything is so unambiguous, cholesterol has positive qualities.
1 Cholesterol is needed for our body
“Cholesterol is important for the functioning of all cells in our body,” says Prediman K. Shah, MD and director of the Oppenheimer research center for atherosclerosis, at the Heart Institute in Los Angeles.
Cholesterol is a part of every cell of our body, so completely getting rid of this substance is a bad decision. Our body itself produces cholesterol, as from those products that are considered harmful (fast food, fatty meat), and from healthy foods.
2 Not everyone with high cholesterol suffers from heart disease
Diseases of the cardiovascular system are caused not by an increase in the level of cholesterol, but by the accumulation of this substance in the vessels. Some people with a high level of this substance in the blood are absolutely healthy and do not even realize that the cholesterol rate is significantly exceeded.
The level of cholesterol is just one of the factors that cause vascular and heart diseases. Very much depends on our genes. If your relatives have suffered from such diseases, you should also check with your doctor and monitor the level of cholesterol in your blood.
Such an indicator as the norm of cholesterol differs among different people. Some peoples of the north, for example, the Chukchi and the Eskimos, consume only fatty foods and can cope with a huge amount of cholesterol in the blood.
3 With age, the amount of cholesterol in the blood increases, especially in women
Usually men have higher cholesterol levels than women. But by the age of 60, the situation has changed radically. Although scientists have not yet fully studied this phenomenon, they associate the increase in cholesterol in women with a decrease in the level of the hormone estrogen.
Therefore, 60 years is a critical age. Even if you do not experience any negative symptoms, you should check with the doctor regularly. And do not forget about motor activity. Let not jogging, but at least long walks, must necessarily be present in your daily schedule. After all, activity helps slow the aging process .
4 Even cholesterol-free foods can increase the level of this substance in your body
Do not rush to buy those products, on the labels of which it says “without cholesterol.” Instead of this natural fat manufacturers put in them something worse. Saturated fats, trans fats, milk fats – all these substances our body also turns into cholesterol.
Doctors say that if you get 2% of calories from trans fats, then your cholesterol level will rise immediately by 20%. Dairy and saturated fats will give a smaller indicator, but not significantly.
Therefore, switching to margarine instead of butter is not the best way to protect oneself from cardiovascular diseases.
5 Cholesterol analysis is not always accurate
We used to give blood and other tests on an empty stomach. But in everyday life we rarely starve. Therefore, one analysis can give incorrect information. Go to donate blood to cholesterol – do not give up eating and do not overeat. Eat, as always, then the data will be as close to reality as possible.
Many people try to reduce cholesterol, take tests on an empty stomach, enjoy the result and return to the usual menu. Meanwhile, in their vessels, the very plaques that cause disease are formed.
Remember that lowering cholesterol is a long process that requires major changes in lifestyle. It is not enough to sit for a week on a diet, you need to completely revise your diet, increase physical activity and change your lifestyle.