Cholesterol is required in our body for keeping up the hormone level. Be that as it may, on the off chance that you are eating a lot of cholesterol than its level increments in the blood which expands your hazard towards the heart maladies. It is very important to know how to boost and maintain good cholesterol for better heart functioning.
The heart is an irregularly conical hollow muscular organ, lying obliquely in the middle mediastinum. Right atrium (RA) forms the right heart border, left ventricle (LV) mainly forms the left border and the inferior border is formed mainly by the right ventricle (RV).
The base is oriented superiorly while the apex points leftward, anteriorly, and slightly inferiorly (levocardia). The heart is retrosternal, two-thirds to the left of the centerline.
The adult heart weighs approximately 325 ± 75 g in men and 275 ± 75 g in women. It measures about 5 inches from base to apex and is 3 inches in width.
To evaluate a patient with cardiovascular disorder, one has to elicit a proper history, carry out clinical examinations, and routine investigations of the chest.
The patient may not be present with any symptoms and unaware of his underlying cardiac disease. The common symptoms are:-
- Difficulty in breathing
- Irritating, non-productive cough which worse at night
- Oedema over the dependent part
- Pain in the right upper abdomen
- Decreased urine and more urine at night
- Chest pain
- Syncope (transient loss of consciousness)
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A person with a high cholesterol level is more prone to cardiac diseases which can take severe form. So it is important to know the normal level of cholesterol in a normal adult.
It is seen that cholesterol level varies in range in different age, weight and in both sexes. To measure the cholesterol level and to know about the normal range, firstly we should know what cholesterol is.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is present in all cells of our body as waxy, fat-like substance. Cholesterol is required in our body for the synthesis of few hormones, vitamin D and for the digestion of the food.
If our body as high level of cholesterol level in the blood than this cholesterol gets combined with other particles in the blood and form plaque which is known as atherosclerosis, this plaque gets circulate in the blood and gets attach to the interior wall of arteries, as a result, the person suffers from coronary heart disease.
HDL:- It stands for high-density lipoprotein. It is also called good cholesterol as HDL carries cholesterol from different parts of the body back to the liver and the liver helps to remove this cholesterol from the body.
LDL:- It stands for low-density lipoprotein. It is also called bad cholesterol as a high level of LDL leads to the formation of plaques in the arteries.
VLDL:- It stands for very low-density lipoprotein. Few people called it a bad cholesterol level as it also helps in the formation of plaques in the arteries. But remember that VLDL and LDL are different as VLDL caries triglycerides while LDL carries cholesterol in the blood.
What are the sources for cholesterol
Cholesterol present in our body comes from two sources. Firstly our liver made cholesterol in the body and secondly animal foods which include:-
Milk and milk products:-
- Ice cream
- Cheese in all varieties
- Sour cream
- Cottage cheese
- Whipping cream
Meat and poultry:-
- Veal various cuts and cooked
- Lamb various cuts and cooked
- Chicken or turkey, various cuts and cooking
- Ground (beef, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey) cooked
- Venison, various cuts, and cooking
- Beef, various cuts, and cooking
- Pork, various cuts, and cooking
- Kidney (beef, veal, lamb, pork) cooked
- Liver (chicken, veal, lamb) cooked
- Liver (beef, pork) cooked
- Sausage cooked
- Deli meat cooked
- Bacon cooked
- Weiner cooked
Fish and seafood:-
- Squid cooked
- Shrimp cooked
- Perch cooked
- Oyster cooked
- Crab cooked
- Cooked eggs
- Fish oil
- Goat’s milk
How much cholesterol do we need in a day?
Cholesterol is needed in our body for maintaining the hormone level. But if you are eating too much cholesterol than its level increases in the blood which increases your risk towards heart diseases.
It is not an essential nutrient, as your body makes cholesterol when needed. You can have a little amount of cholesterol in your diet while having a nutritious diet. So how much cholesterol is needed for your body which is good for your health in relation with your heart, here is the suggestion:-
- If you are not a heart patient than it is advisable to eat less than 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol per day.
- If you are a heart patient or you are at the risk of having heart disease than it is advice less than 200 milligrams of dietary cholesterol per day.
What are the benefits of cholesterol in the body?
In our body, most of the cholesterol is produced by the liver and some cholesterol is produced by most of the cells in our body. After produced this cholesterol is carried into the blood by lipoproteins. Though cholesterol in the normal range is good for health and has many functions in the body like:-
Cholesterol helps in –
1. Building up the structure of the cell membrane.
2. Production of bile, this bile further helps in the digestion of fat and absorption of various nutrients in the body.
3. Hormones production like estrogen, testosterone and adrenal hormones.
4. Increase the metabolism in the body.
5. In the production of vitamin D in the body.
What is the normal range of cholesterol in the body?
Desirable normal serum cholesterol level is 140-200mg/dl for both men and women, while levels for borderline high are considered between 200-240mg/dl. An elevation of total serum cholesterol levels above 260mg/dl in men and women between 30 and 50 years of age has three times higher risk of developing ischemic heart disease as compared with people with total serum cholesterol levels within normal limits.
Normal serum triglycerides level is below 160mg/dl.
Normal serum Low density lipoproteins (LDL) is <130mg/dl. LDL is the richest in cholesterol and has the maximum association with atherosclerosis.
Normal serum Very Low-Density Lipoproteins (VLDL) is <160mg/dl.
Normal serum High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL) is <60mg/dl. HDL is protective against atherosclerosis.
What is the difference between LDL and HDL?
LDL is also known as bad cholesterol for our bodies. If this bad cholesterol level gets increased in the blood than this LDL gets stick to the wall of the blood vessel, as a result, the blood walls get narrow and stiffen which produces the obstruction in the normal flow of the blood.
As a result, the person is at a high risk of developing ischemic heart disease. LDL is the richest in cholesterol and has the maximum association with atherosclerosis.
HDL is known as good cholesterol for our bodies. It helps in the removal of LDL cholesterol from the blood to the liver where LDL breakdown takes place and removal from the body also takes place. HDL helps in reducing the level of cholesterol from the blood and prevent atherosclerosis. For this reason, HDL is known as good cholesterol for our bodies.
How to boost and maintain good cholesterol in the body?
For maintaining the good cholesterol level in the body one has to follow these following ways:-
Follow the ketogenic diet:-
The ketogenic diet has many benefits in the body. It helps to lower the body weight, blood sugar level as well as bad cholesterol level in the blood. It helps in increasing good cholesterol which further helps in the removal of LDL from the blood and prevents severe heart diseases.
A ketogenic diet also helps in reducing the triglyceride level and also helps in improving other factors that are responsible for heart diseases.
Consuming olive oil is said to be the healthiest fat for the body. Olive oil is the only source of monounsaturated fat which is responsible for reducing the risk of heart diseases. Olive oil also helps in increasing the HDL cholesterol in the body which is done by the antioxidant present in the olive oil known as polyphenols.
Besides this, raising the HDL in the body olive oil has been found in boosting up the HDL’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant in the aged people and those with high LDL cholesterol levels. Eventually, olive oil boost and maintain good cholesterol.
Consuming coconut oil in the diet has many benefits in the body. It reduces the appetite, increases the metabolic rate in the body, protects the normal function of the brain and many more. Besides this eating coconut oil has a benefit on the heart also due to its high saturated fat content.
So it can be said that it protects the heart. Coconut oil also helps in raising the HDL cholesterol in the body. Coconut oil also improves the ratio of bad cholesterol to the good cholesterol level in the body by reducing the bad cholesterol and protect from the severe heart diseases.
It is seen that a person who is overweight has a high level of LDL and a low level of HDL, as a result, they are more prone to heart diseases. Reducing weight lowers the LDL level and increases the HDL level which is good for the health. This can be done by carb restriction, low-calorie diet, intermittent fasting, and weight loss surgery.
Doing regular exercise has many benefits on health especially for the normal function of the heart. Exercise like strength training, high-intensity exercise and aerobic exercise helps in increasing HDL levels and reduces LDL levels in the body. With this regular exercise improves anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in the body.
How to reduce bad cholesterol and boost and maintain good cholesterol?
The normal level of blood cholesterol level is good for health. But too much of cholesterol level in the blood invites the severe heart diseases. Cholesterol in the body does not dissolve like fat so it is carried by the blood to the liver where its metabolism takes place.
If the cholesterol level gets increased, it is very important to lower down its blood level. So here are a few ways from which you can reduce the cholesterol level.
Stay away from Trans fat:-
Eating trans-fat increases the cholesterol level in the blood and also LDL level reduces the HDL level by 20-30% which is not good for the health. Trans fats are unsaturated fat which is modified by the process known as hydrogenation.
In a study of global health, it has been shown that those people who consume trans fat are at the risk of heart diseases which can even lead to death.
Exercise is said to be very good for health especially at the physical level to combat health issues especially obesity. As people with obesity have a high level of LDL and low level of HDL in their blood due to which they are at risk of heart diseases. Regular exercising helps in decreasing LDL and increasing HDL in the body.
Use alcohol in limit:-
Consuming alcohol in the limit is said to be good for working for a healthy heart, as ethanol in alcoholic drinks increases the HDL level in the blood which further reduces the risk of heart diseases.
Consuming alcohol in limit also improves the “reverse cholesterol transport” which means cholesterol is removed and taken back to the liver for its removal.
This process reduces the sticking of cholesterol in the blood vessels and reduces the risk of heart diseases.
Eat soluble fibers in your diet:-
Kike peas, beans, fruits, oats, whole grains, and lentils help in reducing the LDL level and reduces the risk of heart diseases. Soluble fiber is easily digestible by the healthy bacteria which are present in our intestine, even these bacteria require it for their own nutrition so that they can perform their function for digestion. These bacteria reduce the LDL level and increase the HDL level in the body.
Smoking has an adverse effect on the body. Cigarettes smoking increases the risk of heart diseases, lung diseases and many more diseases in the body. Smoking cigarettes also increases the LDL cholesterol and reduces the HDL cholesterol in the body which is not at all good for the health.
Many studies have shown that if a person quit smoking than the HDL level gets increased in the body which reduces the risk of heart diseases as well as HDL function also increased which results in less inflammation in the body.
List of low cholesterol foods
One question always comes in the mind that what should we eat which contains low cholesterol so that it can reduce the floating fats in the bloodstream. Here the list of foods that have low cholesterol in it.
- Barley and other whole grains
- Nuts- Walnuts and almonds
- Vegetable oils
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Eggplant and okra
- Dark leafy green vegetables
- Citrus fruits
- Apple, grapes, and strawberries
- Foods fortified with sterols and stanols
- Fatty fish
- Fiber supplements
- Dark chocolates and cocoa
How much cholesterol in daily food is good for health?
Boiled Egg:- 8mg
Whole chicken, meat only:- 75mg
Whole chicken, meat with skin:- 76mg
Milk:- one cup- 21-26 mg
Milkshake:- one cup- 27-40mg
Cottage cheese:- one cup- 10-29mg
How cholesterol and blood pressure are related?
Increased blood pressure is called hypertension. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 (+,-) 20 mmHg in a normal person. Hypertension is a risk factor for all clinical manifestation of atherosclerosis which includes:-
- Pain in the chest (angina)
- Pain in the part of the body where arteries get blocked
- Shortness of breath
- Fatigue and weakness
- If the blockage is present in the circulation of the brain than the patient suffers from confusion
- Muscles weakness due to decreased blood supply.
Hypertension doubles the risk of atherosclerosis. If the blood pressure gets increased it produces mechanical injury to the arterial wall due to increased blood pressure.
Elevation of systolic pressure of 160 mmHg or diastolic pressure over 95 mmHg is associated with five time’s higher risk of developing ischemic heart disease than in people with blood pressure within the normal range.
How cholesterol and diabetes mellitus are related?
Clinical manifestations of atherosclerosis are far more common and develop at an early age in people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
In particular, the association of type 2 diabetes mellitus characterized by metabolic (insulin resistance) syndrome and abnormal lipid profile termed as “diabetic dyslipidemia” is common and heightens the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The risk of developing ischemic heart disease is high, and frequency to develop gangrene of foot is about 100 times increased. The causes of increased severity of atherosclerosis are complex and numerous which include endothelial dysfunction increased aggregation of platelets, increased LDL and decreased HDL.
How cholesterol and heart diseases are related?
It has been seen that a person with increased LDL cholesterol levels and decreased HDL cholesterol level is at high risk of developing atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is the specific form of arteriosclerosis which means it includes all the condition which causes thickening and hardening of the arterial walls.
In atherosclerosis, the intima (layers) of large and medium-sized muscular arteries are affected which is characterized by deposition of fibrofatty plaques.
Though many large and medium-sized arteries may be involved the most commonly affected are the aorta and the coronary artery of the heart.
Therefore, the major clinical manifestations resulting from ischemia due to atherosclerosis pertain to the heart in the form of angina pectoris and myocardial infarcts or heart attacks. Due to coronary heart disease and ischemic heart disease, it is the most common cause of premature death in the developed countries of the world.
It should be noted that the person with a high level of LDL cholesterol and a low level of HDL cholesterol has a higher mortality rate from heart disease, especially ischemic heart disease.
So people with hypercholesterolemia (increased serum LDL level) should take care of their dietary regulation and should administer low cholesterol food which has been discussed in this article so as to reduce the risk of heart diseases.
They should modify their lifestyle as the lifestyle is considered the major risk factor for increased LDL cholesterol which is the reason for hypertension, heart diseases, and diabetes mellitus.
So if you feel chest pain, tightness around your chest with difficulty in breathing and palpitations than don’t delay to go to your doctor for the check before it becomes too late.
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