Table of contents:
Cholesterol is a type of fat which, if the levels are too high, can have a bad effect on he alth. One of the effects of high cholesterol is the buildup of plaque in the arteries that can cause a heart attack or stroke
High cholesterol can be triggered by many factors, such as an unhe althy lifestyle, smoking, lack of exercise, and frequent consumption of fatty foods.
Why Is High Cholesterol Dangerous?
In most cases, high cholesterol does not cause any symptoms. This makes this condition often not realized by the sufferer. And if left unchecked, high cholesterol can cause atherosclerosis or plaque buildup on blood vessel walls.
As a result, blood flow to a number of organs can be not smooth, even blocked. This condition can trigger the emergence of a number of diseases, such as:
- Heart attack
- Angina (chest pain)
- High blood pressure
- Peripheral arterial disease
- kidney disease
How to Overcome High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a type of fat that actually has a good function in the body. Cholesterol is bound to protein and is divided into 3 types, namely LDL (low density lipoprotein), HDL (high density lipoprotein), and TGL (triglycerides).
Ideally, total cholesterol levels in children and adolescents aged 19 years and under are less than 170 mg/dL. Whereas in adults, normal total cholesterol levels range from 125-200mg/dL.
The treatment of high cholesterol will be adjusted to the total cholesterol level and the ratio of the levels of the three types of cholesterol. In general, high cholesterol can be managed with lifestyle changes and the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Lifestyle changes you can make to lower cholesterol levels include:
1. Regular exercise
Doing light exercise regularly every day, for a total of 2.5 hours a week, can increase HDL levels and lower LDL levels. Some of the exercise options you can do are brisk walking, swimming, or cycling.
2. Stop smoking
The chemical content in cigarettes can increase cholesterol levels.If you smoke, stop this habit as soon as possible. Quitting smoking and adopting a he althy lifestyle will lower cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of various diseases caused by high cholesterol.
3. Choose foods rich in good fats
Another way to deal with high cholesterol is to eat foods that contain good fats, such as nuts, especially almonds and walnuts, and fish that contain omega-3s, such as salmon or mackerel.
In addition, other food choices, such as wheat, dark chocolate, and fruits, such as berries and grapes, are also good for preventing high cholesterol.
4. Avoid fatty foods
The type of food that people with high cholesterol should avoid is food that contains a lot of trans fat, which is a type of unsaturated fat that can increase LDL cholesterol levels and reduce HDL cholesterol levels.
Some types of food that are high in trans fats are fried fast food (such as french fries or fried chicken), packaged snacks (such as potato chips), cakes, breads, biscuits, pizza, and sausages.
5. Choosing the right cooking oil
Selection of unhe althy food types and ingredients, including choosing the type of cooking oil, can increase cholesterol levels. One of the things that must be considered when choosing cooking oil is its smoke point.
If you want to fry, use cooking oil that has a high smoke point or is resistant to heat. One type of oil that has a high smoke point is soybean oil. Besides having a high smoke point, soybean oil also contains unsaturated fatty acids and phytosterols, which are often associated with lowering cholesterol levels.
As mentioned above, high cholesterol usually does not cause any symptoms.So, if you have an unhe althy lifestyle, have diabetes, are obese, or have a family history of heart disease, check your cholesterol levels with your doctor regularly.
Checking cholesterol levels can be started from a young age. In adults, cholesterol checks should be carried out regularly every 4-6 years.