Lowering your Cardiac Disease Risk by Control of Your Cholesterol

Cholesterol and decreasing your threat of heart disease are linked increasingly today as people become more aware of a connection between their {blood cholesterol level} and the risk of heart attack, stroke, or other cardiac disease.

LDL cholesterol is often called the “bad cholesterol“, because higher levels of it in your blood stream have been associated with an increased risk for coronary heart disease. When diet, exercise and healthy living is not enough to lower the LDL numbers or elevate the HDL numbers it may be time to tackle the issue head-on and make some medical decisions. Some of us want to steer clear of drugs just because of the side effects that may accompany them. Other people prefer not to have to put up with the cost of prescription medications. Your general practitioner can make suggestions on this next step in the quest to control your cholesterol and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

If you want to lessen the bad cholesterol and raise the good cholesterol it’s important to understand what can determine these levels in your bloodstream. Your liver produces and also secretes into your bloodstream LDL cholesterol. Your blood removes some LDL from your bloodstream. When you have a deficiency of LDL receptors you will have high LDL levels.

Heredity and diet can play a major role regarding an individuals LDL level, your HDL level and your total cholesterol level. Individuals with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) have a decreased number of or in some cases nonexistent LDL receptors on the surface of their liver cells. Some of these individuals can also have a tendency to develop coronary artery disease as well as to have heart attacks during their early adulthood. Other people can have increased levels of LDL caused by the other way we get LDL in the blood, through dietary cholesterol. Diets which are high in saturated fats and cholesterol can tend to elevate the blood LDL level. You get saturated fats from meat and dairy products. Some vegetable oils – made from cocoa, palm, or coconut oils – also tend to be high in saturated fats.

Currently, cutting down LDL cholesterol is the primary target of the medical community in the fight to avoid heart disease and strokes. This is why doctors and nutritionists concentrate on diet. The medical community has shown its belief that there are many benefits to reducing the LDL cholesterol including:

  • Stopping or lessening the development of new cholesterol plaques in the walls of the arteries leading to the heart and brain
  • Lowering the plaque that has already accumulated on the artery walls
  • Having the ability to widen the arteries that have already narrowed to improve blood flow
  • Avoid blood clot formation by stopping the rupture of cholesterol plaques.
  • Decrease the risk for heart attack and for stroke and help the carotid and cerebral arteries that lead to the brain by retarding the formation of atherosclerosis in those arteries.