Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that exists in all your body’s cells. The level of cholesterol in your body is an indicator of your heart and overall body health. High cholesterol levels mean that your risk of heart problems is higher and you need to take the needed steps to prevent and treat this. Take a blood test to know the total level of LDL (bad), and HDL (good) cholesterol as well as triglycerides levels. Besides these know facts about cholesterol check out these 5 facts that you must know.
1. You can’t live without cholesterol
Cholesterol is present in our bodies at the moment of our birth. In fact, babies get cholesterol from breastfeeding and some baby formula contains it. Cholesterol is important because our cells and hormones need it to operate well. It is a building block for the cells of our body and helps our liver to produce the acids needed to process fat.
2. One out of every three adults has high cholesterol
The number of people who have high cholesterol is high as well. It is recommended that people above 20 years old, check their level of cholesterol every once in a while, to prevent developing heart problems that might be hard to fight later on. Many other factors can affect our cholesterol levels such as stress and diet, for this reason, you need to perform two tests with a one week period apart for more accurate results.
3. High cholesterol could be genetic
While we put too much effort into our diet and physical activity to reduce or prevent cholesterol, sometimes it is caused by unpredictable or unpreventable reasons like genetics. Your body is able to get rid of an amount of cholesterol that is indicated by your genes. Some people have familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), which is an inherited condition where their bodies cannot effectively lose the excess of cholesterol consumed. If your family has a history of high cholesterol or some of its members had early heart attacks (before the age of 50), then you might have FH. Make sure that your check-up with your doctor to test your cholesterol levels in case you belong to that category.
4. Even children can have high cholesterol
You might think that cholesterol is an issue that only adults go through, however, it is recommended that children between the ages of 9 and 11 start checking their cholesterol levels as well. This needs to be done regularly for kids whose parents have suffered from high levels of cholesterol or ones who are overweight.
5. Sweating can raise your good cholesterol levels
Working out is important to improve your overall health, and can also positively affect your cholesterol levels. Medium intensity interval training is seen as the best type of training to fight unhealthy cholesterol levels. A study has proven that three weeks of high-intensity interval training can increase HDL levels by 21 percent and lower triglycerides by 18 percent.