We say "I have high cholesterol" by giving up a sweet or a seasoned cheese, without specifying whether it is good or bad cholesterol. Instead, it is important to understand that this is an aspect to be investigated to discover that cholesterol is necessary and only in some situations is it a negative presence that leads to damage to health. So let's try here to distinguish between good and bad cholesterol by understanding how to make the former prevail.
Good cholesterol: what it is
To understand what the cholesterol it is necessary to define what lipoprotein means. It is a particle composed of a lipid core wrapped in a protein shell. Like a chocolate with a filling, let's imagine it like this. All the fats that circulate in our blood they are enclosed in lipoproteins, cholesterol also therefore travels in our body, and it is the only condition with which it can proceed by going to reach the various tissues as it should be.
The lipoproteins are therefore essential in the cholesterol distribution process to the cells and the cholesterol in the cells has to get there, so it's not always bad. Now let's see when it turns into an enemy to fight.
Good cholesterol and bad cholesterol
The low density lipoprotein, abbreviated with the abbreviation LDLare called bad cholesterol and are harmful when they are in excess and oxidized. If this is not the case, if their level is up to standard, then they are essential for the good health of the body.
There are instead high density lipoprotein, called HDL, good cholesterol, and are those that act as "scavengers" because they do nothing but collect all the cholesterol we have in excess, bringing it to the liver, an organ in which it is incorporated in the bile salts, poured into the intestine and expelled at least in part, through the feces.
Let's go back to bad cholesterol by going to see why it is. Let's take LDLs and see what happens when they are in excess in our blood. In this case, they can undergo structural modifications, caused by oxidizing agents such as free radicals, and become able to infiltrate the walls of large arterial vessels. What does this mean in practice?
There are three disadvantages that follow. They become an obstacle for the flowing blood, reduce the elasticity of the arteries and can lead to thrombus formation. Let's look at these three negative elements linked to cholesterol one by one.
When the oxidized LDL are englobed by macrophages and are deposited on the wall of the large arterial vessels, gradually the muscle cells of the walls do nothing but begin to swell. In this way, a sort of atherosclerotic plaque is formed that grows over time and reduces the space in which the blood can flow. Here then is that the circulation results hampered by excess LDL.
If too many LDLs can lead to a reduced elasticity of the artery walls, which is not a nice thing because the arteries need to be elastic to push the blood downstream, thanks also to the propulsive action of the heart pump. The third bad consequence is the thrombus formation, this happens when parts of the atherosclerotic plaque actually detaches and begins to spin in the arteries. It is a danger because at any moment it can occlude a vein or a capillary creating a circulation block. One of our tissues could at any moment no longer receive blood flow.
Good cholesterol: what to eat
Eating in a healthy, balanced, careful and varied way can help fight bad cholesterol by letting good cholesterol prevail. They help a lot antioxidant foods and there are also some vitamins that they are capable of counteract the harmful activity of free radicals.
Although LDL may be present in excess due to a bad diet, it's not always the fault of what you eat. It has been proven that there are situations in which theexcess circulating cholesterol it has an endogenous cause in the blood, namely the fact that it is synthesized by all the cells of the body.
Almost always the cause of an excessive concentration of LDL in the blood lies in the increased endogenous production of cholesterol, however it can also be of exogenous production and therefore derive from a exaggerated consumption of food of animal origin.
Also making the distinction between good and bad cholesterol, many people are faced with the problem of lowering their levels, which is why different strategies come into play that include both a healthy diet and a good level of physical activity that is able to increase the concentration of HDL in the blood.
As for the diet, from limit is the consumption of foods of animal origin, especially aged cheeses, then there are studies that show that those who consume a lot of plant foods enjoy a lower cardiovascular risk. If we love cheeses we can dedicate ourselves to cheeses without cholesterol
Good cholesterol: how it is measured
With blood tests usually one goes to measure not the good cholesterol but the total cholesterol, a parameter that reflects the overall amount of cholesterol contained in the various lipoproteins. If you have values below 200mg / 100ml of blood, that's okay.
However, it would be necessary to understand "how good" the measured cholesterol is, usually the HDL should not be less than 40 mg / 100 ml and it is what we should be most interested in to investigate the rideal ratio between good and total cholesterol or the bad guy.
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