Cholesterol is not a big issue as long as it doesn’t accumulate on the walls of your blood vessels (typically on the artery walls). In its healthy levels, it can help the body to run some crucial functions such as helpful to produce healthy cells. But when it comes too much or raises higher than normal, this can be very harmful for your cardiovascular system. And as you age, your risk to have high cholesterol increases. But how does it occur? And what else you need to know to keep it off on its healthy level as you get older?
LDL, HDL, and triglycerides – all of them are the major parameters you need to concern when it comes to help improve the health of your heart.
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Heredity (having family history of high cholesterol or heart disease) and age are uncontrollable risk factors. There is no any option you can do to change both risk factors.
But fortunately, there are still lots of options that can be powerful enough to help control and keep your cholesterol off.
HDL stands for high density lipoprotein, and it is also much familiar known as ‘good’ cholesterol. This nickname is reasonable since HDL can help control the amount of cholesterol in the blood. For more detailed information on how HDL helps lower your LDL, visit this section!
As you age, your chance of getting more episode of lower HDL increases. And decreased HDL in the blood means increased LDL – this can be bad for your blood flow.
However, the level of HDL can be improved ‘no matter how old you are’.
Many studies found that physical inactive (sedentary lifestyle) is the major reason behind the decreased HDL. Therefore, to help improve your HDL, you need to become active or at least moderately active.
Get regular exercise! It’s not only helpful to improve your HDL levels but also great for the entire health. According to Mayo Clinic, the moderate consumption of omega-3 fatty acid can be effective along with regular exercise to improve HDL.
Fatty fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acid, particularly such as mackerel and salmon. You can also use appropriate fish oil supplements rich in omega-3 fatty acid to boost your HDL. But to keep safe, consult first with your GP or doctor before taking any supplement!
As mentioned before, LDL is bad cholesterol that stands for low density lipoprotein. In many cases, it is the major cause behind heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, when it comes to lowering cholesterol, the main goal is typically purposed to lower LDL.
Excessive LDL in the blood can cause the plague build ups on the artery walls that can be very harmful for the blood flow inside the blood vessels.
When the blood cannot flow as well as it should – the transportation of essential nutrient and oxygen to the cells of the body is affected. If left untreated, this can be potential life-threatening condition because can cause some serious complications such as stroke and heart attack.
In general, the elevated of LDL is often triggered with bad foods. Foods high in fat (especially saturated fat /unhealthy fat) can increase your LDL. Trans-fat foods such as fried foods also can increase your LDL. In other words, a poor diet plays a key role in causing increased LDL.
So, make sure to restrict trans-fat foods, foods high in saturated fat, and other high-cholesterol foods from your diet. On the other hand, full your diet with more low-cholesterol foods such as foods high in fiber and plant-sterols products (like margarine-like spreads). Here is a complete guide of foods that can increase LDL.
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Like in improving HDL, exercise is also helpful to help make your LDL as low as possible. But how far your LDL and HDL should go (considered normal)? Find the answer on this section!
Triglyceride is another kind of bad cholesterol. It may be less popular than LDL, but this doesn’t mean you can ignore it. Typically, it travels through the blood carried by very low density lipoprotein. In the body, it is stored in fat cells.
You will get more triglycerides if there are more excess calories, sugar, and alcohol that you consume from the diet.
Therefore, if you are being overweight, your triglyceride levels are more likely to rise higher than when you are at your healthy weight. For this case, losing weight has a positive effect to improve your triglyceride.
Other strategies include drinking alcohol in moderation, limiting sugar in your diet, and cutting back on your calories if you do believe that you often get excess calories from your diet. Moreover, eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acid and eating more whole foods (such as whole grains) can help.
High cholesterol can occur at any age. But in fact, it is not common in kids and young adults. It is more common in adults and older adults. This suggests that the risk of getting it increase as we get older.
According to a statistic released by NCEP (the U.S Government National Cholesterol Education Program), when it comes to the age for the risk factor – women in their 55 /over and men in the age of 45 /over are at the greatest risk of high cholesterol than others.
However, this doesn’t mean you resignedly follow this nature formula without doing anything. As written before, age is only one of risk factors that cannot be controlled – but again, there are plenty of options that can help control your cholesterol.
So, how does your age plays a key role? Keep reading!