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Cholesterol is actually a fat-like substance that your body needs. Under normal circumstances, cholesterol is found in a variety of foods that you eat, including eggs and meat. Certain lifestyle choices - like smoking or drinking - can also lead to cholesterol problems. Before we get into how to lower you cholesterol, it is important to know the different types of cholesterol.
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"Cholesterol" is a bit of a misnomer. There are actually three types of cholesterol. They are:
Cholesterol becomes a problem only when there is an excess amount. When this happens, cholesterol may build up in your arteries in the form of plaque. Plaque is created when cholesterol combines with other substances in your body.
Plaque in your arteries can be deadly. It can raise your blood pressure, forcing your heart and other organs to work harder and adding unnecessary wear and tear to your body's various systems. If an artery becomes blocked, this can lead to coronary heart disease or a fatal heart attack. High cholesterol can also lead to a number of other deadly consequences, including major artery problems or a stroke.
Thankfully, with medication, diet, and exercise, high cholesterol can be controlled. Healthy lifestyle changes are also associated with an improvement in cholesterol levels. This includes less sitting, drinking, and smoking. Foods associated with lower cholesterol include fatty fish, nuts, beans, barley, oats, apples, grapes and strawberries.
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