High Cholesterol Resources
Cholesterol may be a bad word in North American language, but it can actually be both a good and bad thing. It is important to understand its function and dysfunction.
Cholesterol is a soft, fat-like, waxy substance found in the blood and in every cell of the body. It is important for us to have some cholesterol in our bodies as it is important for creating cell membranes and some hormones as well as other body functions.
However, too much cholesterol is unhealthy and puts us at risk of heart disease, stroke and other health problems.
There are two kinds of cholesterol in the body: low density lipoprotein (LDL) is known as the 'bad cholesterol', while high density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as the 'good cholesterol'. LDL is the cholesterol that can eventually clog arteries and put us in danger, but HDL is created by the body to protect us - it carries the bad cholesterol away from the arteries.
Limiting the amount of fatty, animal-based foods such as meat and dairy products is a good way to reduce the amount of cholesterol we take into our bodies, but foods with saturated fats or trans fats also cause the body to produce more cholesterol so they should be eaten in moderation as well.
It is a good idea for adults to have their cholesterol levels checked by a doctor to ensure they are in the healthy range. If high LDL cholesterol is present, there are a variety of available treatments that can be discussed with a physician.
Cholesterol Resource Links
- Health Canada: Cholesterol
- Heart Canada
- American Heart Association
- National Cholesterol Education Program
- Keeping Cholesterol Under Control
- Medline Plus: Cholesterol
- Food Choices for Cholesterol