Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Is There Anything Good Regarding Cholesterol - Maybe? 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 helps with the digestion of fats or lipids. Since it doesn't dissolve in the blood by itself, it has to be carried around by transporters called lipoproteins. When these lipoproteins are high-density (HDL), they move away from arteries and toward the liver where substances are processed so they can leave the body. HDL also may help dissolve plaques, or deposits of fats, attached to artery walls. This helps reduce arterial disease and protect the body from heart attacks. More and more studies are showing how HDL contributes to good health.

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.

A moderate amount of alcohol can also help raise the ratio of HDL. A drink or two each day may help. However, it isn't advisable to add alcohol to the diet just to increase HDL.

In addition, staying active can help increase HDL. Just walking, running or sprinting can also help reduce the risk of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.

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.