High or high cholesterol: what it is, symptoms and how to lower it

The cholesterol is a chemical product generated internally by the liver, and that, in itself, is necessary for the proper functioning of certain hormones, digestive azygos and body structures.

There are two classes of cholesterol or lipoproteins that make up its structure. Those that are popularly known as bad cholesterol ( LDL) Y good cholesterol ( HDL).

On these we must know that LDL cholesterol is deposited in the arteries, thus increasing the different coronary risks, while HDL removes cholesterol from the arteries.

What does it mean to have high cholesterol?

The total intake of fat should not represent more than 30% of the total calories consumed per day, but of these only 10% should be represented by saturated fats.

Hypercholesterolemia is diagnosed when levels of Total cholesterol exceeds 200 mg / dl.; or also when the levels of LDL are greater than 130 mg./dl. or those of HDL are less than 35 mg./dl. in men and 40 mg / dl. in women. Cholesterol is fundamental for our body. But high or very high levels can be very dangerous, especially if it is LDL cholesterol.

Having high cholesterol, and no remedy to lower it, means that we are at risk of causing serious and serious health problems, such as cardiovascular disease or arteriosclerosis. In fact, having too much bad cholesterol can increase the likelihood of having a stroke, heart disease and other related problems.

We must also consider that those people who are smokers, with high blood pressure, with both diabetes and obesity problems, potentiate the harmful capacity of bad cholesterol.

What would be the consequences of keeping it high and not lowering it?

If in some blood tests we have been diagnosed with cholesterol over what is considered "normal", and we do nothing to lower it, over time its consequences for our health can be quite dangerous. Namely:

  • Arteriosclerosis: due to the obstruction of the veins due to cholesterol, restricting the correct circulation of the blood both to our heart and to the rest of the organism.
  • Stroke: as a consequence of the lack of blood supply to the brain. It is very dangerous, since it can cause death.
  • Angina pectoris: due to the lack of blood supply to a part of the heart. It occurs above all when some kind of effort is carried out, progressively disappearing when we rest.
  • Coronary diseases: It can end in a heart attack.

Symptoms of high cholesterol

There is no doubt that if there is a healthy way to prevent the onset of cardiovascular diseases, that is without any doubt knowing the different symptoms of high cholesterol that can help us in a very positive way.

Although it is true that the levels of high cholesterol tend not to cause symptom clear for a very long time, especially because it is usually a silent problem that can affect the person for years without knowing that he has high blood fat levels, if you can identify certain symptoms of high cholesterol:

  • Swelling of extremities.
  • Agitation when we move.
  • Balance losses and dizziness.
  • Chest pain.
  • Headache.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Heart attack caused by narrowing of the coronary arteries.
  • Cerebrovascular accident caused by a blood clot.

As we can see, the best way to prevent the possible consequences of high cholesterol levels is to enjoy a healthy life, based on following a healthy and balanced diet, as well as practicing physical exercise every day or at least three times a week.

It is also essential to perform a blood test once a year if we do not have any associated pathology, and every six months if we have it. Do not forget that prevention is extremely important.

What foods are dangerous? What causes high cholesterol?

There are a series of foods that, in themselves, are especially harmful to our body, which increase the levels of cholesterol in the blood.

Fundamentally they are:

  • Foods rich in saturated fats: red meats, lamb meat, pork, sausages (ham, sausages, bacon), hamburgers, crustaceans, animal lard.
  • Industrial bakery: muffins, cakes, donuts and buns, sweets, candies and trinkets, cookies ...
  • Junk food in general: burgers.
  • Certain oils: palm oil and coconut oil.
  • Salty snacks: especially chips, nachos with cheese, fried nuts, salty crackers ...
  • Whole milk products: whole milk, mature cheeses, milk creams ... Also avoid butter and margarine.
  • Certain sauces: as for example is the case of mayonnaise or ketchup.

Discover how to lower high cholesterol easily

Follow a healthy, natural and balanced diet

  • Opt in especially for foods low in saturated fat or cholesterol.
  • Avoid fried foods. It is better to opt for the olive oil or for vegetable oils, such as soy, sunflower or corn.
  • Add foods rich in fiber to your diet, which will help us lower high cholesterol. Among these, we can highlight cereals and whole grains, oats, rice, vegetables and fruits, legumes and vegetables.
  • Uses skim or skim milk (instead of whole).
  • Limit egg consumption to 3 or 4 per week.

Practice physical exercise on a regular basis

Physical exercise is essential when it comes to enjoying good health. Also, it helps positively when it comes to keeping our blood fat levels at bay. The best? Practice at least 40 minutes of physical exercise every day, especially aerobic exercise, since it slightly increases your heart rate: brisk or fast walking, running, swimming, cycling ... Choose between your favorite, you will see how in a short time you LDL cholesterol will be markedly reduced (including also triglycerides). Remember, the most important thing is not the intensity, but the duration of physical exercise.

Avoid tobacco

Did you know that tobacco, although it is true that it does not increase cholesterol levels, is capable of reducing HDL (or good) cholesterol? Therefore, it is advisable to reduce the number of cigarettes that you smoke daily, until you get rid of it completely from your day to day.

Are you overweight? In this case, reduce it

When high cholesterol is accompanied by excess weight, an appropriate option that helps in a very positive way to reduce their levels is to lose weight. We must bear in mind that obesity increases LDL cholesterol levels on the one hand, while on the other it tends to reduce HDL cholesterol. A useful option to reduce your weight is to practice physical exercise on a regular basis, follow a balanced diet and low in calories, and eat less amounts of food a day (that is, eat fewer calories than you actually consume according to your daily physical activity). ).

And how to increase good HDL cholesterol?

Choose above all for the following foods:

  • Oils: choose to include olive oil and sunflower oil in your diet, but without subjecting them to cooking so that they do not lose their virtues and properties.
  • Nuts: every day eat a handful (around 25 grams) of certain nuts, such as nuts, almonds and peanuts (yes, natural and never fried).

It also highlights the practice of regular physical exercise, which not only reduces bad LDL cholesterol, but also is able to increase the levels of good cholesterol. As indicated above, the best exercise is aerobic exercise.

Diet for high cholesterol

When routine analyzes appear high both cholesterol levels Like the ones of high triglycerides, it is necessary to opt for a diet for high cholesterol, that helps to lower those figures.

Needless to say that, as many experts say, the most advisable always from the start is to try to maintain a healthy life, with a balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables, and practice physical exercise on a regular basis.

Here is an example of how an ideal diet could be to lower high cholesterol levels, choosing foods that help achieve it.

Breakfast

  • Skim yogurt with muesli
  • Green tea or red tea
  • An orange juice or a glass of skim milk with decaffeinated coffee

lunch

  • A skimmed yogurt
  • An apple or a handful of nuts

Food

  • Boiled vegetables with boiled artichoke
  • Blue fish or grilled chicken breast
  • A curd or an apple

Snack

  • A cup of green tea
  • A handful of almonds or nuts

Dinner

  • Asparagus with baked tomatoes (or a salad or portion of boiled vegetables)
  • Cream of mushroom or grilled turkey breast
  • Wholemeal bread
  • Skimmed milk or an infusion

As we have seen throughout this note, and as we discussed in the previous section, the key is in opt for low fat foods, especially for foods of natural origin, that provide us essential nutrients and are low in fat. This article is published for informational purposes only. You can not and should not replace the consultation with a Nutritionist. We advise you to consult your trusted Nutritionist. ThemesCholesterol

High Cholesterol Levels: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment; Diet and Foods Advice (December 2019)