Cholesterol: It’s not all about fat!

Want to keep your heart healthy? Cholesterol regulation is one of the best methods you can try! Don’t know what is cholesterol or the importance of cholesterol? Read this section to get important information on dietary source of cholesterol and more.

It’s not all about fat!

Showing all articles for Cholesterol

Cholesterol is the wax-like fatty substance found in the cells of your body. Despite being a ‘fatty’ substance, it plays an important role in your overall health. From producing hormones to affecting your metabolism and boosting heart health, cholesterol plays a part in everything. Read on to understand the importance of cholesterol, different sources and cholesterol regulation. This way you can take one step forward to better heart health.

What is cholesterol?

Despite the negative notion attached to cholesterol, not all types are bad. Cholesterol helps in producing vitamin D, hormones, and other substances that help with digestion. There is a type of cholesterol that helps your body remove excess cholesterol. This is known as HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol. The ‘bad’ cholesterol or LDL is the one that may cause plaque in your arteries. High level of LDL can lead to plaque buildup known as atherosclerosis. This poses a risk to your heart and may cause coronary artery disease or other heart conditions.

What is the importance of cholesterol for our overall health?

Your body needs a little bit of everything to stay healthy. Here’s where cholesterol’s clinical significance comes into the picture. Your body needs the cholesterol for proper body function. The HDL present in your blood helps maintain your cardiovascular system. It removes excess LDL and helps maintain the right cholesterol levels in your blood. High HDL levels also protect you from certain heart conditions.

Apart from this, importance of cholesterol also comes from its ability to

  • Build a base for tissues
  • Produce bile in the liver
  • Build sex hormones

What is dietary cholesterol?

Your body has two main sources of cholesterol – non-dietary and dietary source of cholesterol. Non-dietary cholesterol is produced by your body without any external force. It is also known as cholesterol biosynthesis. Dietary cholesterol is the one that enters your body through the food you eat.

Contrary to popular belief, not all dietary cholesterol is bad for you. When you get eat foods rich in cholesterol, your body produces less by itself and vice versa. Some high cholesterol foods are also full of nutrition! But for some people, dietary cholesterol may increase the risk of a heart condition due to genetics.

What are some dietary sources of cholesterol?

Some rich dietary sources of cholesterol are

  • Cheese
  • Shellfish
  • Sardines
  • Yogurt
  • Egg yolks or whole eggs
  • Fish oil
  • Red or processed meat

Though dietary cholesterol is good for you, make sure that your intake is not too high and that you have the right dietary sources of cholesterol. High cholesterol consumption may lead to high LDL levels too. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you see any signs of a heart condition.

How to go about cholesterol regulation?

Cholesterol regulation is an important aspect of maintaining your heart health. To better understand this, you must know what triggers cholesterol regulation. The amount of dietary cholesterol present in your body leads to cholesterol biosynthesis. The synthetization is closely dependent on your cholesterol consumption. A high consumption will decrease cholesterol biosynthesis and vice-versa.

This means, you can regulate your cholesterol levels. One of the ways for cholesterol regulation is consuming the right foods. You can do the following to maintain your cholesterol levels

  • Reduce trans and saturated fats in your meals
  • Increase the content of soluble fiber in your diet
  • Consumes foods that have high levels of omega 3 fatty acids
  • Have a balanced diet
  • Make lifestyle changes to support your cholesterol levels

How to track cholesterol?

Now that you understand the importance of cholesterol levels, it is also vital to know how to keep track of them. Keeping in mind cholesterol’s clinical significance, you can take a lipid profile test to determine your levels and evaluate your risk of a heart condition.

Choose between full body checkup plans and heart tests available on Bajaj Finserv Health. These will help you know your cholesterol level and take the preventive measures to keep your heart healthy! To address any symptoms of high cholesterol, you can also book an appointment with a cardiologist or general doctor on Bajaj Finserv Health. Take an online appointment to stay safe at home while addressing any problems before they worsen.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Normal cholesterol levels depend on various factors such as your age, gender, and medical history. However, generally recommended cholesterol levels for different gender and age group are:

Children under the age of 19
Total cholesterol level should be less than 170 mg/dL
Non-HDL level should be less than 120 mg/dL
HDL levels should be higher than 45 mg/dL
LDL levels should be less than 100 mg/dL

For women over the age of 20
Total cholesterol level should be between 125-200 mg/dL
Non-HDL level should be less than 130 mg/dL
HDL levels should be higher than 50 mg/dL
LDL levels should be less than 100 mg/dL

For men over the age of 20
Total cholesterol level should be between 125-200 mg/dL
Non-HDL level should be less than 130 mg/dL
HDL levels should be more than 40 mg/dL
LDL levels should be less than 100 mg/dL

Here are some dietary sources of cholesterol that have a high level:
Processed, red or lean meat
Fried or baked food
Full fat dairy and yogurt
Cheese or fast food

Yes, age is one the factors that may affect your cholesterol levels. Your body produces more cholesterol as you get older. This is why, you should go for regular tests as you age.


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