You Ask, We Answer: Is High LDL-Cholesterol a Key Factor for Poor Heart Health?
Most of us tend to take up a preventive approach rather than a curative one, by taking up various health steps like - following a rule of whole butter v/s margarine to keep
the biggest health problem – cardiovascular diseases at bay. Nutritionist and Freelance Writer at Travellers Dietition – Kara Landau, investigates more about cholesterol, heart health and how we actually develop its risk in details, to clear all your doubts.
All of us have an assumption or have been taught that if someone has high LDL – cholesterol in a standard blood test, they are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in future.
- Triglyceride - HDL proportion is an independent risk factor for CVD and is definitely worth looking into. The triglyceride level increases due to consumption of dietary factors like refined carbohydrates, high glycemic index carbohydrates and alcohol. To reduce your risk to cardiovascular problems, you need to reduce the consumption of all theses dietary sources.
- There are various types of LDL, and by measuring the sub-fractions, rather than just the total LDL-cholesterol, will help us to get a clearer picture about our risk to cardiovascular ailment. By measuring sub-fractions, it will help you understand whether the LDL that is present is actually the type that increases your risk to CVD, or whether it is the benign form.
- Given LDL-cholesterol has been one of the key measurements looked at for so long in regards to its connection to CVD, she finds a very interesting meta-analysis and another information related to this connection. The reason why it is interesting is that if we are avoiding saturated fat (because they raise LDL-cholesterol, which supposable is the risk factor for CVD), then this study completely contradicts our thinking) Thus according to this study, LDL-cholesterol is not the root cause.
Kara says – it is important to replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats, to be safe. In your unsaturated fats consumption, include Omega-3 polyunsaturated fats. Thus decrease your saturated fat intake in general or consume just few grams of naturally occurring saturated fats in the form of full cream dairy or meat. These sources also provide an array of other nutrients, which may not be as harmful in the long run.
To stay away from cardiovascular ailments, slathering butter onto everything you eat, or making ‘health bites’ filled with copious amounts of coconut oil is not the answer; if you have a family history of high cholesterol or CVD, sitting on the conservative side is still recommended.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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