High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced by the liver that brings many important health benefits including making hormones and building cell membranes. Having too much of a good thing though will have the opposite effect increasing your risk of either a heart attack or a stroke.
When a person has high cholesterol, their body stores extra cholesterol in the arteries.
These are blood vessels which carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body.
A build-up of cholesterol in the arteries is known as plaque and over time these plaques can harden.
Large deposits of plaque can completely block an artery with cholesterol plaques also breaking apart, leading to formation of a blood clot that blocks the flow of blood.
A blocked artery to the heart can cause a heart attack.
A blocked artery to your brain can cause a stroke.
The symptoms of an artery blockage include shortness of breath, according to UT Southwestern Medical Center.
High cholesterol increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases including heart attack, or myocardial infarction with symptoms including shortness of breath.
Coronary artery disease is when there is an excess of LDL cholesterol building up as plaque in the heart’s small arteries, causing them to narrow and stiffen.
This reduces blood flow, which can make a person feel tired or short of breath.
Other common symptoms include angina, nausea or extreme fatigue.
How to lower your levels
Studies have found that simply walking for 30 minutes three times a week may help to lower cholesterol by one to three points.
Researchers have demonstrated that exercise even without weight loss can have a positive impact on improving cholesterol levels.
It is the amount of activity, and not necessarily any changes in fitness or intensity of exercise that is important for cholesterol improvement.
When it comes to diet, there are a few food types which surprisingly raise your cholesterol.
- Ground turkey
- Mashed potatoes
- Whole-fat dairy products
- Coconut oil
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