We know high cholesterol is bad for your heart – but what causes cholesterol in the first place? Learn about cholesterol and its effects.
High cholesterol is a significant factor in heart disease, so the instinct is to lower it – but is all cholesterol bad? As it turns out, not all cholesterol is the same, and the substance is not bad in and of itself.
The body needs it to make cells, vitamins, and other hormones. However, too much cholesterol can definitely cause problems for your health.
Cholesterol comes from two main sources: your liver and food. The liver makes all the cholesterol you need, while animal-derived foods like meat and dairy products provide dietary cholesterol.
High cholesterol is generally a result of dietary sources, as these foods contain saturated and trans fat. In turn, these fats cause the liver to make more cholesterol than it needs.
How Cholesterol Affects Your Health
The substance travels through your blood and too much of it can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, it’s important to measure your levels and know if they’re too high.
There are two main types of cholesterol: LDL and HDL. LDL is the bad kind, as it can result in plaque formation in the arteries. On the other hand, HDL is the good kind as it helps removes excess cholesterol.
Too much LDL cholesterol will lead to narrow arteries and atherosclerosis. As a result, you can experience blood clot formations and eventually a heart attack or stroke.
What Causes Cholesterol
One of the main factors behind high cholesterol is an unhealthy lifestyle. These habits include lack of physical activity, being overweight, an unhealthy diet, and smoking (or being exposed to smoke).
However, not all people increase their levels from their lifestyle; some are affected by their genes. Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) is a condition that affects LDL levels and can result in premature atherosclerotic heart disease.
If you have FH, it’s important to get your levels checked and follow the guidelines set by your doctor. However, if this doesn’t apply to you, then a great first step for your health is to make the necessary lifestyle changes.
Start by exercising regularly; the American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. You don’t have to overexert yourself at the start – simply go for a brisk walk around the neighborhood.
Consider changing your diet and limit the amount of fast food and processed foods you eat. Instead, opt for fresh produce and whole grains as a large part of your meals.
Finally, consider adding a heart health supplement like L-arginine Plus to your routine. Its ingredients work to naturally increase the production of nitric oxide.
As a result, your blood vessels dilate and relax, improving your blood flow and circulation. Try L-arginine Plus along with regular exercise and a healthy diet to lower your cholesterol levels and boost your health.