The question remains, is cholesterol really a problem for people with heart issues? Let’s find out.
Cholesterol and heart disease: The high-risk problem
As mentioned, cholesterol in itself is beneficial for the body. However, high levels of cholesterol are dangerous for the body and can cause numerous issues. Here are the risk factors that trigger a high level of cholesterol and consequently heart diseases:
- No workout
- Poor diet which includes trans and saturated fats and high-cholesterol foods such as red meat and full-fat dairy products
- Age is also a factor; the more your age, the higher the risk
- Smoking is known to damage your nasal vessels, thus making it an easy space for the accumulation of cholesterol
As a result of the aforementioned, the relationship between cholesterol and heart disease starts turning clearer with time. Some of the complications are:
- Stroke which occurs when a blood clot blocks the supply of oxygen to the brain
- Heart attack, which happens when a blockage stops the supply of oxygen to the heart
- Angina, i.e. chest pains due to damaged coronary arteries
Cholesterol and heart disease: Which is the good cholesterol?
Do you what are lipoproteins? These are the proteins on which the cholesterol travels through the blood. There are two types of lipoproteins:
HDL or High-density Lipoprotein, the ‘Good’ Cholesterol
This one is known to absorb cholesterol and transfer it to the liver, which eventually flushes it out of the body. Low levels of HDL can be tackled by talking to your doctor about the lifestyle changes involved.
LDL or Low-density Lipoprotein, the ‘Bad’ Cholesterol
This is the bad guy who forms the majority of cholesterol that is found in your body. A high level of LDL is usually tackled by lifestyle changes and medicines.
The presence of good cholesterol poses the question: Is cholesterol really a problem? Well, the answer is yes. That’s because, despite the good cholesterol, the bad one exists too.
Cholesterol and heart disease: What are the benefits of good cholesterol?
Cholesterol and heart disease are linked not only in a negative manner but also in a good way. The High-density Lipoprotein or the ‘Good’ cholesterol provides numerous health benefits to the system, including the heart.
- High-density Lipoprotein actually removes the ‘bad’ cholesterol or Low-density Lipoprotein from the body.
- It maintains the inner walls of the blood vessels, thus preventing any damage that can cause issues like stroke and heart attack.
- HDL helps in recycling LDL by sending it back to the liver.
Thus, you can see that the relationship between cholesterol and heart disease is two-fold, majorly because of the two types of cholesterol that exist. As much as we focus on lowering the levels of the ‘bad’ cholesterol, as much focus should be on increasing and maintaining the levels of the ‘good’ cholesterol.