Friday, June 15, 2012

Time to Define Cholesterol

Time to Define Cholesterol

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like chemical compound that is naturally produced by the body - a building block for cell membranes and for various hormones.

It is naturally found in our cell membranes in the brain, nerves, muscles, skin, liver, intestines, and heart.

Studies have shown that roughly 80% of the body's cholesterol is produced by the liver; the remaining cholesterol comes from food you eat.

Foods that come from animals (i.e. eggs, meat, dairy products) contain cholesterol while foods coming from plants don't contain cholesterol. Certain foods that are high in saturated fat can also raise your cholesterol levels.

After you eat, cholesterol (from your diet) is absorbed from the intestine and stored in the liver. The liver regulates cholesterol levels in the blood stream and secretes cholesterol when needed by the body.

What's so bad about cholesterol?

Your genetics and diet play a significant role on your LDL (bad), HDL (good) and total cholesterol levels.

As mentioned, the body uses cholesterol to produce many hormones and certain vitamins. But only a small amount of cholesterol is required in the blood to meet these needs.

If there is too much cholesterol in the bloodstream, the excess may be deposited in the arteries.

This can cause narrowing and blockage of arteries which can eventually lead to a stroke or a heart attack.

How do I eat properly to lower my cholesterol?

Consume more of these foods:

· Fish and poultry

· Fruits and (steamed) vegetables

· Baked potatoes

· Egg whites

· Unsaturated vegetable oils: corn, canola, safflower, sesame, sunflower, olive, · ·

· soybean

· Soups (clear)

· Milk (skim, low-fat)

Consume less of these foods:

· Red meat

· Saturated fats: butter, coconut oil, palm oil, lard, bacon fat

· Sausages and organ meats

· Egg yolks and bacon · Refined carbohydrates and sugar

· Whole milk

· Buttered or fried vegetables

· French fries

· Creamed soups

· Pastries, doughnuts

· Junk foods (i.e. potato chips)

Srdjan Popovic is a certified trainer and an opinionated fitness buff. He has created the popular blog Bloom to Fit where he helps readers understand the fundamental concepts of fitness and nutrition. With the right knowledge, anything is possible.

Article Source:

Article Source: