LDL Cholesterol, or known as “bad cholesterol”, is the form of cholesterol that can accumulate in the arteries and cause heart disease. This happens because too much of cholesterol. Heart disease occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle become hardened and narrowed by a buildup of excess cholesterol in the blood.
High blood cholesterol usually has no signs or symptoms, so many people are unaware that their cholesterol levels are too high. Therefore, it is important to find out what your cholesterol levels. The earlier high cholesterol is addressed and treated, the lower your risk of getting heart disease.
What Causes High LDL Cholesterol?
There are many factors that can cause an increase in LDL cholesterol levels. Some factors can be modified and some can not.
Factors that can be modified are:
Eating too much saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol foods can cause high cholesterol. Saturated fat and cholesterol are mostly found in foods that come from animals, such as meats, egg yolks, butter, and cheese, and milk. While trans fat is found in fried and packaged foods, such as cookies, crackers, and French fries. Limiting or avoiding these foods can help you control your LDL cholesterol levels.
- Lack of physical activity
Lack of physical activity contributes to overweight and thus can raise LDL cholesterol levels. You can reduce this high cholesterol risk by getting some exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days a week.
- Being overweight
Being overweight is a risk factor for heart disease because it raises LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol. Losing few pounds may help lower your LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, a fatty substance found in the bloodstream and fat tissue, while increasing your HDL levels.
Smoking damages artery walls, making them more likely to accumulate fatty deposits and contribute to high LDL cholesterol. By quitting smoking, you can prevent some of the damage that smoking can do to your heart and whole body.
Factors that can not be changed are:
The older a person has, the greater their risk of having high cholesterol. According to the guidelines from the National Cholesterol Education Program, men who aged 45 years or older and women 55 years or older are at an increased risk for having high cholesterol. Before age 50, women’s total cholesterol levels tend to be lower than men of the same age. But after the age 50, women’s LDL levels tend to rise.
If you have family members with high cholesterol, then you are more likely to have high cholesterol than a person whose family members do not have high cholesterol problems. However, very few people get stuck with high LDL cholesterol just by genetics and everyone can take action to lower this cholesterol.