Risk of heart disease & stroke lowered by lifestyle changes: quitting smoking, losing weight, exercise, drinking in moderation & eating the right fats.
Photo of a slice of brain from the autopsy of a person who suffered a stroke which can result from the wrong kind of cholesterol in the blood over long periods of time (Source: Wikipedia).
Click button to listen to Cholesterol Good & Bad to download
IN TOUCH: 'Good' and 'bad' cholesterol by Assoc Prof Dittakarn Boriboonhirunsarn
High cholesterol levels may adversely affect our health in various ways. It's not actually only the total cholesterol level in our bodies that counts, but also the breakdown between "good" and "bad" cholesterol. So, although our doctor may have told us to lower our total cholesterol, in order to improve our health it is also important to raise our level of "good" cholesterol.
Cholesterol is carried through your bloodstream attached to proteins called lipoproteins, which are low- and high-density lipoproteins (LDL and HDL). LDL is often referred to as "bad" cholesterol while HDL is often referred to as "good" cholesterol.
HDL VS LDL
LDL carries cholesterol throughout your body, delivering it to different organs and tissues as needed, while the excess keeps circulating in our blood. Over time, LDL cholesterol can penetrate the walls of our blood vessels and start laying down deposits within these walls, called plaques, which can narrow the blood vessels and cause serious health conditions like heart disease and stroke.
On the other hand, HDL acts as a cholesterol scavenger, picking up excess cholesterol in your blood and taking it back to the liver where it is broken down. The higher our HDL level, the less LDL cholesterol we will have in our blood.
Just lowering your LDL cholesterol might not be enough for people at high risk of heart disease and stroke. But increasing HDL cholesterol also can reduce your risk of heart disease.
MODIFY YOUR LIFESTYLE
Lifestyle has the greatest impact on your HDL cholesterol. Even small changes to your daily habits can help you increase your HDL level.
Don't smoke. And if you do, just quit. Quitting smoking can increase your HDL cholesterol by up to 10%.
Lose weight. Losing even a few pounds can improve your HDL level. It is estimated that for every 2.7 kilogrammes you lose, your HDL may increase by 1 mg/dL.
Get more physical activity. Your best bet for increasing HDL cholesterol is to exercise briskly for 30 minutes, five times a week. Brisk, aerobic exercise can be anything that increases your heart rate; for example, walking, running, cycling, swimming, etc.
Choose healthier fats. In a heart-healthy diet, between 25 and 35% of your total daily calories can come from fat, but saturated fat should account for less than 7% of your total daily calories. Avoid foods that contain saturated and trans fats, which raise LDL cholesterol. Nuts, fish and other foods containing omega-3 fatty acids are other good choices for improving your HDL cholesterol.
If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Moderate use of alcohol has been linked with higher levels of HDL cholesterol. This means no more than one drink a day for women and everyone over the age of 65, and two drinks a day for men. But don't start drinking just to try to raise your HDL levels.
If you don't know your HDL level, ask your doctor for a baseline cholesterol test. If your HDL value is not within a desirable range, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes or prescribe medication to boost your HDL cholesterol.
Dittakarn Boriboonhirunsarn is an associate professor at the Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital.
(Source: Bangkok Post, IN TOUCH, 'Good' and 'bad' cholesterol, 13/12/2011, Assoc Prof Dittakarn Boriboonhirunsarn, link)
cholesterol - a chemical found in food, consuming high quantities over time is associated with heart disease (See Wikipedia)
stroke - a medical condition is which the blood flow is suddenly stopped and cannot reach the brain, also called a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) การอุดตันของเส้นโลหิตที่ไปเลี้ยงสมอง อาการเส้นโลหิตในสมองแตกอย่างเฉียบพลัน
autopsy - when a doctor cuts open a dead body to search for the cause of death การชันสูตรศพ, การตรวจสอบหาสาเหตุการตาย (See Wikipedia)
adversely affect our health
total cholesterol level
X counts - X is what is important
Y doesn't count - Y is not important
it's not actually only the total cholesterol level in our bodies that counts
breakdown - a list of what something is made of (a list of the parts of something)
the breakdown between "good" and "bad" cholesterol
improve - to make better ทำให้ดีขึ้น
improve health - make your health better
in order to improve our health it is also important to raise our level of "good" cholesterol
bloodstream - the blood that flows through your body
protein - complex chemicals in the body made of amino acids, that perform important functions in the body such as controlling chemical processes (enzymes, hormones) and providing structure to the body (collagen in cartilage and bone, proteoglycans, etc) (See Wikipedia)
lipoprotein - "a biochemical assembly that contains both proteins and lipids water-bound to the proteins. Many enzymes, transporters, structural proteins, antigens, adhesins, and toxins are lipoproteins. Examples include the high-density (HDL) and low-density (LDL) lipoproteins, which enable fats to be carried in the blood stream, the transmembrane proteins of the mitochondrion and the chloroplast, and bacterial lipoproteins" (See Wikipedia)
low-density lipoprotein (LDL) - "one of the five major groups of lipoproteins, which in order of size, largest to smallest, are chylomicrons, VLDL, IDL, LDL, and HDL, that enable transport of cholesterol within the water-based bloodstream. Studies have shown that higher levels of type-B LDL particles (as opposed to type-A LDL particles) promote health problems and cardiovascular disease" (See Wikipedia)
bad cholesterol - same as "LDL"
high-density lipoprotein (HDL) - one of the five major groups of lipoproteins... which enable lipids like cholesterol and triglycerides to be transported within the water-based bloodstream, HDL particles are able to remove cholesterol from within artery walls (atherosclerosis) and transport it back to the liver for excretion or re-utilization, which is the main reason why the cholesterol carried within HDL particles (HDL-C) is sometimes called good cholesterol... "Those with higher levels of HDL-C seem to have fewer problems with cardiovascular diseases, while those with low HDL-C cholesterol levels (less than 40 mg/dL or about 1 mmol/L) have increased rates for heart disease" (See Wikipedia)
good cholesterol - same as "HDL"
cholesterol is carried through your bloodstream attached to proteins called lipoproteins, which are low- and high-density lipoproteins (LDL and HDL)
LDL is often referred to as "bad" cholesterol while HDL is often referred to as "good" cholesterol
excess - greater than is usual; too much of something มากเกินปริมาณที่พอดี
the excess keeps circulating in our blood
penetrate - go into
penetrate the walls of our blood vessels
deposit - an amount of some substance left at a place (example: underground deposits of gold)
start laying down deposits
plaque - a hard substance forming on the surface of something such as your teeth or inside of blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
narrow - not wide; having a small distance from one side to the other, especially in comparison with the length แคบ
narrow the blood vessels
over time, LDL cholesterol can penetrate the walls of our blood vessels and start laying down deposits within these walls, called plaques, which can narrow the blood vessels and cause serious health conditions like heart disease and stroke
scavenger - search for things among waste or unwanted things
cholesterol scavenger - something that looks for cholesterol
HDL acts as a cholesterol scavenger
picking up excess cholesterol in your blood and taking it back to the liver where it is broken down
the higher our HDL level, the less LDL cholesterol we will have in our blood.
risk - danger, how likely or possible it is for a bad event that causes harm and damage ความเสี่ยง
just lowering your LDL cholesterol might not be enough for people at high risk of heart disease and stroke
increasing HDL cholesterol also can reduce your risk of heart disease
lifestyle - the living conditions and things people do everyday (fashion, home decoration, pets, cooking, music, tv, movies, garden, etc) รูปแบบการดำเนินชีวิต
impact - an effect or influence ผลกระทบ
lifestyle has the greatest impact on your HDL cholesterol
habit - things that a person do regularly (example: smoking is a bad habit) กิจวัตร, สิ่งที่ทำเป็นประจำ
daily habits - things that a person do everyday
even small changes to your daily habits can help you increase your HDL level.
quitting smoking can increase your HDL cholesterol by up to 10%
physical activity - moving around, walking exercising, using your body (not just sitting at a desk typing)
briskly - quickly อย่างรวดเร็ว
exercise briskly for 30 minutes
aerobic exercise - exercise such as walking, running, cycling, swimming that is good for the heart and improves the functioning and capacity of the cardiorespiratory system (heart, lungs, blood vessels) which is known as "aerobic capacity" (See Wikipedia)
rate - the level or speed at which something happens or changes, or the amount or number of times it happens or changes in a particular period อัตรา
heart rate - the number of times that your heart beats every minute, measured and used to control intensity of "aerobic exercise" by those who are serious about it (See Wikipedia)
saturated fat - a risk factor for cardiovacular disease and some types of cancer, examples of foods with a lot of saturated fat include animal fats such as cream, cheese, butter, and ghee; suet, tallow, lard, and fatty meats; as well as certain vegetable products such as coconut oil, cottonseed oil, palm kernel oil, chocolate, and many prepared foods (See Wikipedia)
trans fat - fats typically found in deep fried foods at fast food restaurants such as french fries (now outlawed in some places in the US), the consumption of trans fats increases the risk of coronary heart disease by raising levels of LDL cholesterol and lowering levels of "good" HDL cholesterol (See Wikipedia)
calories - a measure of energy that can be obtained from food (food energy), when too calories many are eaten beyond a person's energy needs the excess is stored as fats (See Wikipedia)
daily calories -
X accounts for Y% of Z - X is Y% of Z
saturated fat should account for less than 7% of your total daily calories.
avoid foods that contain saturated and trans fats, which raise LDL cholesterol
omega-3 fatty acids - believed to reduce coronary heart disease, reducing heart rate, blood pressure and atherosclerosis, common food sources include fish oils and plant oils such as flaxseed oil, algal oil, hemp seed oil and brain, α-linolenic acid (ALA) is the most well-known, (See Wikipedia)
nuts, fish and other foods containing omega-3 fatty acids are other good choices for improving your HDL cholesterol.
moderate (adjective) - not too much
drink alcohol in moderation.
moderate use of alcohol
linked with - connected เชื่อมโยง
moderate use of alcohol has been linked with higher levels of HDL cholesterol.
baseline cholesterol test - a test to see if a person has dangerous levels of cholesterol in their blood that could eventually lead to heart disease or stroke, "the American Heart Association recommends testing cholesterol every five years for people aged 20 years or older" (See Wikipedia)
within a range - between two numbers
within a desirable range - between the two numbers (that healthy people have)
not within a desirable range - outside of the numbers for healthy people (meaning: unhealthy person)
recommend - to advise someone that they should do something แนะนำ
recommend lifestyle changes
medication - a medicine, or a set of medicines or drugs used to improve a particular condition or illness
boost - to increase; to strengthen เพิ่ม; ทำให้มีกำลังมากขึ้น
boost your HDL cholesterol
if your HDL value is not within a desirable range, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes or prescribe medication to boost your HDL cholesterol
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