We can not live without cholesterol. It is essential for the proper functioning of our cells and organs. But can we have good cholesterol without the bad?
Good and bad cholesterol: what’s the difference?
What is the difference between “good” and “bad” cholesterol?
The cholesterol is a lipid that plays a vital role in many biochemical processes . It is a constituent of the membranes that surround our cells and has a leading role in the production of hormones produced by the adrenal glands and genitals. It comes to 30% of food, but 70% is synthesized by the liver. As this lipid is not soluble in water, it is transported in the blood by proteins called lipoproteins including LDL (low density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density lipoprotein).
HDL cholesterol transports cholesterol from tissues to the liver for disposal, thus avoiding its accumulation in the tissues and thus to prevent the risk of atherosclerosis. That’s why we say it is the HDL “good” cholesterol.
LDL-cholesterol carries cholesterol from the liver to the tissues where it is used. When there is an overflow of LDL cholesterol, it builds up on artery walls, thus reducing their size and form of fatty plaques thickening over the years. That is why it is called the “bad cholesterol”. Thus, when the blood does not pass, the cells deprived of oxygen and die. Is ischemic stroke which in the blocked artery, results in myocardial infarction, stroke, or peripheral arterial disease.
According to the French Federation of Cardiology, ” the likelihood of atherosclerosis is even stronger than the value of LDL cholesterol is high: it was the” bad “cholesterol LDL when equal or exceed 1.6 g / l. Conversely, higher the blood levels of HDL cholesterol, the higher the risk of atherosclerosis is low HDL equal to or greater than 0.6 g / L has a vascular protective effect. However a low HDL, ie less than 0.4 g / L in men and less than 0.5 g / L in women is a cardiovascular risk factor. Furthermore There is an association between low HDL levels and risk of occurrence of cancer . ”
But other risk factors are involved in the deleterious process of cardiovascular diseases: tobacco, alcohol, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, etc.
How can the “good” cholesterol naturally?
To improve the HDL / LDL ratio, the first instinct is to change your eating habits . There is no question, however, go on a diet or reduce the amount of cholesterol absorbed since the majority is synthesized by the body. However, to increase the “good” cholesterol, we recommend using olive and rapeseed oils, to focus on omega-3 fatty acids and regularly eat fatty oily fish, nuts ., lentils, and fruits and vegetables
When consume animal products, we must ensure that the animals they were derived were properly fed either they grazed the lush grass rich in omega-3 or their food have been complemented with flax seeds are also rich in omega-3. Better to focus on quality, we will taste even more, and will certainly lead to eating less.
You like good wine? A drink a day protects your arteries. Several epidemiological studies in the 90s in France, the USA, the UK, the Netherlands and Denmark have shown that moderate consumption of red wine is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. This is what is called the “French paradox” (French Paradox): We should have a positive attitude to food, would take time to eat and appreciate our meals more than in other countries.
Practicing physical activity is a great way to promote the ” good cholesterol ” and bring down the “bad cholesterol”. Numerous scientific studies have shown that the risk of heart attack is twice as high among sedentary people than in active people. Walking, running, swimming, biking, gardening, everything is good to drive up your HDL cholesterol! Just be regular. Better a brisk 30 minutes every day rather than two hours of exhausting cardio trainning in the gym once a week. It’s not the quantity that is at stake but the quality of the exercises you do.
And if you smoke, it’s time to stop. As you can see, not only is the tobacco climb your LDL-cholesterol levels but in addition, it leads you right to the heart attack. Preserve your heart and your arteries. They will make you a hundredfold. And above all, do you good because there is no question of suffering to be in shape, but rather to listen and to feel pleasure. Smile, sing, dance, move and your HDL cholesterol will rise naturally, without forcing, just because you have a little help …