*Find below how to control cholesterol levels naturally
There is so much traffic in the morning. There is so much traffic in the evening. Nowadays, it has become impossible to travel anywhere in most Indian cities. Inching along, changing gears, clenching teeth, and hardly moving…
Wait a minute! Why are we talking about traffic, and what has this got to do with a lipid profile test, or how to control diabetes.
Are you worried about Traffic Outside? It’s time you think about the congestion inside!
Our body is one of the greatest designs ever created. The sheer intricacy is mind boggling. Take the circulatory and cardiovascular system for example!
With its arteries, arterioles, capillaries, and veins, it beats the best of all the super highways and computer networks created by man in all parameters including aesthetics, and complexity.
Imagine, a system that spans 96, 560 km circulating blood in an adult human being constantly! And, we might be belittling this great wonder with our poor lifestyle choices.
Yes. We are constantly worried about the traffic outside, worried about being late to work, but shouldn’t we spare a moment to think about the congestion inside?
What is the congestion inside?
It so happens that our blood vessels, mainly the arteries, carry oxygenated blood from the heart to the tissues and organs of the body with the exception of pulmonary artery.
From the heart, blood enters the aorta (the largest artery), and then moves to the brachiocephalic artery, common carotid artery, and subclavian artery. Here, the oxygenated blood is supplied to the head and arms.
In a similar manner, the aorta travels across the whole body doing the great service of providing the life-giving oxygen to each and every cell through arterioles, and capillaries.
That’s enough of science for the day!
Now, what you need to know is how you are unknowingly affecting such a wonderful system with poor lifestyle choices.
Unfortunately for many diabetics and non-diabetics, cholesterol in blood vessels is something like a tenant that doesn’t pay rent and does not vacate!
What is cholesterol?
It is a waxy material and a fat-like substance that travels through the blood vessels. It contains lipoproteins (called lipids). Cholesterol is made by the liver in the body and is present in the food consumed.
Cholesterol contains low-density lipoproteins (LDL), high-density lipoproteins (HDL), and very low-density lipoproteins(VLDL).
As a matter of fact, people with diabetes tend to suffer from a double trouble where they have a condition called diabetic dyslipidemia. In this condition, they not only have high blood sugar levels, they also have high cholesterol levels. We’ll discuss this later.
Quick facts on cholesterol:
- Cholesterol is useful for us to make bile acid, vitamin D, and digesting food.
- Facilitates production of sex hormones like testosterone, progesterone, aldosterone, and others.
- It is a major component of cells and helps build, protect, and support them.
- It is important for brain and neurological development. It’s vital for communication among the nerve cells.
- 25% of body’s cholesterol is in the brain!
So, how come this great cholesterol becomes a villain that congests the arteries and leads to fatal heart attacks? Perhaps, we are the culprits!
We constantly hear in cooking oil ads about the good and bad cholesterol and the omega-3 fatty acids that these oils have. But, do we really understand them?
First up, low-density cholesterol or LDL is the bad cholesterol. It is found in foods containing saturated fats and transfats -Foods like dairy products, red meat, egg yolks, processed foods, fried foods, and all the junk foods that our parents vehemently refused to give us, but we ended up eating them anyway!
Good cholesterol is the high-density cholesterol (HDL) that is found in fish, nuts, seeds, fruits, grains, beans, red wine, olive oil, and vegetables. We all know the health benefits of nuts, fruits, and vegetables, but there is a kind of resistance when it comes to health foods.
Now coming back to the congestion, with all our sedentary lives, bad dietary choices, genetic predisposition, and of course diabetes, there is a buildup of cholesterol. This cholesterol colludes with fat and calcium, and forms a deadly mixture called plaque that tends to obstruct the blood flow in the arteries.
This leads to serious complications like atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral artery disease, and heart attack. And, that’s how dangerous the congestion can be.
In order to avoid this congestion, Lipid Profile Test is one good diagnostic test that can forewarn you to take precautionary measures.
Importance of Lipid Profile Test
Lipid profile test or lipid panel test is a blood test that is done to assess a person’s cardiac risk factor. It is done by drawing venous blood after a period of 9-12 hours of fasting.
This test measures the total serum cholesterol, serum triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, & VLDL cholesterol.
The normal range for adults.
Total Serum Cholesterol Level
|Less than 200 mg/dL||Healthy|
|Between 200 to 239 mg/dL||Borderline high|
|240mg/dL & Above||High|
LDL Cholesterol Level
|Less than 100 mg/dL||Optimal|
|Between 100 to 129 mg/dL||Above optimal|
|Between 130-159 mg/dL||Borderline high|
|Between 160-189 mg/dL||High|
|190 mg/dL and above||Very high|
HDL Cholesterol Level
|Less than 40 mg/dL||A risk factor for heart disease|
|40-59 mg/dL||Optimal, but can be higher.|
|60 mg/dL & above||Reduced risk of heart disease.|
So, after having seen these tables, you can understand how important a lipid profile test is to avoid the risk of a heart disease. As such, diabetes leads to a condition called diabetic dyslipidemia. It is a condition coupled with high cholesterol and high blood sugar levels having a detrimental effect on diabetes control and overall health.
Along with blood sugar control , people with diabetes need to have an eye on their cholesterol levels. They need to get periodical lipid profile tests as advised by their doctors.
Okay, I had promised that I would not be giving you a science lecture, but that was inevitable and would be useful for you in the long run.
And now, for something exciting and something that you can put to use every day!
*How to control your cholesterol levels naturally
1. Stop Smoking. Do whatever it takes, but kick the butt.
2. Stop red meat.
3. At all costs, avoid junk and processed foods.
4. Get nutty and fishy. Eat nuts and fish regularly.
5. Don’t get high with alcohol.
6. Reduce caffeine.
7. Go for olive oil.
8. Munch in flax seeds.
9. Discover a new recipe of spinach as it is known to reduce triglycerides.
10. Consume foods with soluble fiber.
11. Increase intake of onions and garlic (500 mg per day).
12. Use herbs like basil and turmeric.
13. Talk to your doctor about vitamin B 3 supplementation.
14. Reduce stress and get adequate sleep.
15. Try to stay outdoors more.
16. Get moving. Start exercising or do some yoga.