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Good cholesterol; facts &myths

Good cholesterol; facts &myths

Most people think that cholesterol is just harmful substance and affects badly on human health. In fact, cholesterol is one of the secondary structural components of the human cells; also it's one of the constituents of bile as well as male and female sex hormones.

Liver is the organ responsible for synthesis of cholesterol the body needs; but due to overconsumption of junk food (processed food, fast food, fatty food… etc.) blood cholesterol level start to elevate, which causes multiple problems such as; atherosclerosis, stroke, myocardial infarction… etc.

On the other hand, cholesterol generally is divided into two main types:

  • Good cholesterol: it's also called high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, it carries the particles of bad cholesterol found in the arteries and moves it to the liver to be destroyed and excreted outside the body. So doctors encourage increasing levels of good cholesterol, this is done by the following...
  1. Regular physical activity and exercise.
  2. Avoid obesity as it increases the level of bad cholesterol and reduce the level of good cholesterol.
  3. Avoid smoking.
  4. Avoid junk food.
  5. Eating food rich in omega-3 and fatty acids such as nuts and fatty fish.
  • Bad cholesterol: it's also called low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol; it's deposited on the inner lining of the arterial lumens and causes hardening and narrowing of these arteries (atherosclerosis). To avoid elevation of bad cholesterol levels, you should do the following:
  1. Red meat should be replaced with fish and chicken.
  2. Restriction of fat of animal origin as well as high cholesterol foods such as egg yolk.
  3. Eat plenty amount of fresh vegetables and fruits, especially those rich in vitamin C (anti-cholesterol vitamin).
  4. Full-fat dairy products should be replaced with skimmed ones.
  5. Regular exercise and avoid smoking.