Cholesterol is a type of fat that is normally formed in health by the liver. This fat is not water soluble and its transport in the blood stream is facilitated by another substance called lipoprotein which is also synthesized by the liver. Liver synthesizes adequate amount of cholesterol in health. In addition, the various foods that we take also are rich in this fraction of fat.
Two types of Lipoproteins are of importance to the health of heart, blood vessels and brain with its blood vessels. These are LDL and HDL fractions of lipoproteins.
The fats that we take in our food are converted into LDL which is called “bad” type lipoprotein as it causes damage to the cardiovascular system and blood vessels in the brain. Hypercholesterolemia is high levels of LDL in the blood.
HDL is termed as “good” type of lipoprotein because it clears all the bad deposits of fat from the blood vessels.
A person with high LDL and low HDL is a high risk person for developing heart attack or stroke.
Foods that cause hypercholesterolaemia are those with high saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol such as – red meat, liver, dairy products with full fat, egg yolk, deep fried foods, coconut oil, chocolate, muffins.
What are the symptoms of hypercholesterolemia?
Hypercholesterolemia is symptomless in most of the people. They are usually diagnosed when there is an episode of heart attack or stroke.
How is hypercholesterolemia diagnosed?
A simple test called “LIPID PROFILE” test is done on a fasting sample of blood. 12 hours fasting is required. This test gives the levels of –
Cholesterol, HDL, LDL and Triglycerides in the blood stream.
How is hypercholesterolaemia treated?
- Low fat diet.
Those with very high LDL are high risk persons and for them “STATINS” are given. “STATINS” have multiple roles in lowering cholesterol –
- They block liver synthesis of cholesterol
- Some “STATINS” also raise the HDL levels
- Certain combination drugs also reduce the absorption of fats from the intestine. They are given under medical supervision.
- Lose weight if there is obesity
- Daily physical exercise for 15 minutes
- Low fat diet with change of lifestyle – because weight loss and modified diet brings down 20-30% of LDL levels in blood.
These are different types of Lentils, Beans and Pulses when added take away the cholesterol from the foods you eat because they are rich in soluble fiber content.
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