Dangers of cholesterol
May 14, 2012 • Sydney Esquer, Staff Writer
Filed under Health and Fitness
Cholesterol percentile has escalated in the last two years. Recent studies found that 35 percent of Arizona locals suffer from high cholesterol.
“I have to make healthy food choices and that makes my life difficult because healthy food is not always at reach, or an option”, said Alejandra Rubio, a victim of cholesterol. Cholesterol is located on the outer layer of every cell in the body, it is a waxy lipid (fat) that is produced by the liver. Having a high level of cholesterol can affect the body’s function and blood flow through the arteries. Plaque will begin to build up and stick to the walls of the arteries, eventually blocking them and keeping oxygenated blood from reaching the heart.
Your body is constantly producing cholesterol, for it is what produces hormones and vitamin D for the body. Your liver will produce about 1,000 milligrams of cholesterol a day, and the average human will consume 150 to 250 milligrams through the foods they eat. Cholesterol can either produce itself or come from food sources such as: eggs, dairy products, meat, and poultry. Cholesterol can not travel alone through the blood stream, so it combines with certain proteins that are also produced by the body, and this forms a lipoprotein.
There are low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). LDL is known as the “bad” cholesterol, it is the one that causes blood vessels to clog up and cardiovascular troubles. HDL is rare, it is known as the “good” cholesterol. It eliminates cholesterol from the blood vessels and carries it back to the liver to be transmitted out of the body. Each vary depending on the person.
High cholesterol often starts during childhood and will begin to build up as time goes by. Having higher levels of cholesterol can either be hereditary or based off of your daily diet. Other causes may be sedentary lifestyles, bodyweight, alcohol, or smoking. The dangers of having high cholesterol levels are: high heart disease risk, heart attack, strokes, and other cardiovascular conditions. Normal cholesterol levels are less than 200 mg to 239 mg and the highest being 240 mg.
Avoiding cholesterol or maintaining a low level of it can result in great health and longer life span. Exercising, eating fruits and greens, avoiding foods with saturated fats, avoiding alcohol and smoking, and getting plenty of sleep are ways of keeping your body healthy and cholesterol free.