Thursday, January 19, 2012

How Can Cholesterol Work In Your Favor? by Andy Guides Jr

While most experts tend to focus on the bad effects of too much fat, cholesterol is an important building block that the body needs. It contributes to the process of building cell membranes and improving their ability to function. It also helps with creation of several vitamins and hormones.

Cholesterol is also important to the digestive process, especially where fats or lipids are concerned. Since the blood can't dissolve it, it has to be whisked away and disposed of. High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are the answer. They carry lipids to the liver, which is the gateway to the system that eliminates substances from the body. It is also possible that HDL helps protects arteries by working to dissolve plaques or deposits and ensures better blood flow to the heart. Researchers continue to explore the healthy benefits of high HDL.

Most people know that cholesterol is found in animal products. These include meat and dairy items like milk and cheese. However the body can make its own; usually as much as it needs. As discussed above, the body can also eliminate extra cholesterol but not always and not completely if large amounts are consumed. To avoid excess, diets should be rich in plant products, alternative proteins, lean meats, dairy products that are non fat or low fat, and foods that have little or no saturated fat or trans fat.

Some studies have shown that moderate consumption of alcohol may increase HDL. A moderate amount is defined as no more than one or two drinks each day. No one should start drinking to gain HDL as this can lead to other problems. The point is that some alcohol may help heart health.

The best news is that physical activity may help increase HDL. That means that improving health may be as simple as getting moving. Exercise will also increase the chance of avoiding diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. No marathons are required. A daily walk is a good start.

Sometimes, good habits are not enough. Family history can also affect blood levels of fats and the propensity toward forming plaques. In this case, doctors have drugs that can assist the body counteract the deleterious effects of foods. Soon, they may also have options to help build HDL.

In any case, working to keep a healthy heart and clear arteries is one of the best choices a person can make. Many of us have room to improve our choices and limit cholesterol. Our lives and health are worth it.