Cholesterol And Obesity. High levels of cholesterol, often found in overweight and obese people, usually lead to a higher risk of heart disease and strokes. Cholesterol is produced by the liver and found in high fat foods. It is a waxy substance that our body requires to help build cell walls, make vitamin D, make some hormones, and help us digest fats. Our bodies make it naturally so the added cholesterol we get from fatty foods; is not required. In fact it is in excess and thus why it can cause health issues.
Cholesterol is a type of lipid, the part of our cells that help with energy storage, found in all animals. Any products coming from animals like milk, cheese, meat, eggs, and anything produced from these products, all contain cholesterol. Our livers already make enough cholesterol for us to survive.
When eating foods high in cholesterol, we are taking in more than our bodies can handle, so it builds up. Unfortunately, one of the places it likes to build up is in the arteries leading to our organs, especially our hearts. Cholesterol travels through our blood and the excess tends to stick in spots and form plaques. When this happens, blockages occur. These blockages, if severe enough, then result in heart attacks and strokes.
Cholesterol is not the only cause of heart disease and strokes, but it is high up on the charts. There are many myths when it comes to cholesterol. One of the biggest myths is that only overweight and obese individuals have high levels of cholesterol. This is not true.
High levels of cholesterol are due to the types of food we eat. The more fast, convenience, and processed foods we eat, the more likely we are to have higher levels of cholesterol. A person could be six feet tall, weigh 180 pounds and yet have a higher level of cholesterol than the person next to them who is five foot seven and weighs 300 pounds. It’s all about the food.
Another myth is that we have to be old to have these high levels. Again, this is not true. Since children are exposed to fast foods at a very young age, they are more likely nowadays to develop heart disease at a younger age than their parents before them. Many doctors’ advise getting heart check-ups starting from the age of twenty.
Many people believe that taking certain vitamins – such as C and E – will automatically reduce our levels of cholesterol. This could not be further from the truth. Nothing but certain prescribed medicines can reduce the levels of cholesterol. However even the medicines cannot do it on their own. They have to be taken in conjunction with a change in diet and eating healthier foods. There are many different triglyceride and LDL cholesterol reducing medicines on the market, such as Lipitor, Niacin, and Vytorin.
Regardless of the method of treatment taken, having bad cholesterol is not permanent. It can be reduced. By lowering these levels, we are diminishing our risk of heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.