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Cholesterol is oil like sticky substance – more like oil that gets into your kitchen sink and eventually sticks to the walls of the pipe. Our liver produces cholesterol and sends those all over the body through blood. If we have more cholesterol than required, it is going to keep roaming around in the blood and eventually going to get stuck to the blood vessel walls. If we don’t take care of it for long time, these are going to block the blood flow. Then all the trouble starts!

Most of you would know high cholesterol is bad for us. But can we survive without cholesterol? Answer is simple NO. We need cholesterol to survive. It contributes to the structure of every cell in the body. High cholesterol is bad but right level is required.

LET US UNDERSTAND THE FUNDAMENTALS IN SIMPLE TERMS
What can we do to make sure that we have right levels of it? It appears that, by virtue of normal human function, we are designed to have right level of Cholesterol. But most of us do not let our body live normal human function. We eat bad things, don’t get to do normal days physical hard work and keep dumping trash in our body.

Let me explain little more on what this normal human function is. I am going to sound like a rotten old record player. Eat balanced food. Eat between 2000 to 2500 Cal food and spend that calorie by doing physical activity. Don’t sit before that television all day and see how others live. Let us live our lives. It is that simple. But simple explanations do not bode well. Let me go few steps further to understand the mechanism behind how our body manages Cholesterol.

WHERE IS IT PRODUCED?
Our body has a machine inside that is designed to produce cholesterol. It is called liver. Liver produces right level of cholesterol. It we eat high saturated fats and trans-fat (bakery foods and other junk), liver is triggered to produce more Cholesterol than what is required.
Some foods have high amount of Cholesterol in it. Any living animal with liver would be producing cholesterol for its own use, If we eat those animals (liver of lamb, fatty beef for example), it is going to impact our cholesterol level significantly.
Step One towards lower Cholesterol is to avoid food that has direct cholesterol in it or the fats (Saturated Fat and trans-fat ) – Let us avoid trans-fat completely and moderate Saturated Fats ) that can trigger our liver to make more Cholesterol.

WHAT IS LIVER DOING WITH CHOLESTEROL?
Total cholesterol in your body has three segments.

(1) HDL Cholesterol
(2) LDL Cholesterol
(3) Triglycerides

HDL is called good cholesterol and LDL is called bad one. HDL job is to go all over the blood vessels and bring all the left-over excess cholesterol back to the liver where it can be processed and expelled as waste from our body.
LDL Cholesterol on the other hand, if we have more of it, it will roam around as lawless militant and eventually get stuck the blood vessel walls. This eventually will cause blocks in blood vessel that might lead to heart attack, stroke or high blood pressure.

SO, WHAT DO WE DO?
You need to have more HDL and less LDL. If we do, then blood flow will be clean. LDL will not be messing up the blood flow. It requires discipline to increase HDL and indiscipline to increase LDL.

Well balanced food (nuts, seeds, wholegrains, fresh vegetables and fruits) that is zero in trans-fat, low in saturated fat along with good physical exercise (running, jogging, swimming, playing intense games) will increase the HDL

All the above, will also reduce your LDL

Next time, when you buy any product (claiming to be nutritious), just read the ingredients. If you do not understand the ingredients, most likely you are looking at a junk food. Avoid it.

Control cholesterol, and we can control most of the lifestyle diseases.

Beauty in living is all about having a healthy life. Billions of dollars will not give back the healthy body we once had.

Let us set our priorities right