Cholesterol and Obesity: What You Can Do About It

In media surrounding health, cholesterol is usually described as an unhealthy aspect of the regular diet and weight management. The truth about cholesterol is that it is not all bad, and some of it is actually healthy. There are two types of cholesterol - high density lipoproteins (HDL) and low density lipoproteins (LDL) - and it is this last one that should be of caution. Excess LDL cholesterol cannot be properly managed by cells and accumulates in the blood, which leads to cholesterol deposits on artery walls. HDL cholesterol is important for the maintenance of healthy blood vessels as it provides an ample amount of protection from artery blockage, which poses significant health risks, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Obesity can greatly increase your bad cholesterol levels

Obesity is a strong indicator of high cholesterol; having a body mass index of 30 or higher poses a greater risk of high cholesterol. Most importantly, it is not high LDL cholesterol levels but rather low HDL cholesterol levels that are commonly observed among obese individuals, and this puts them at risk for severe health problems, including coronary artery disease; unhealthy cholesterol levels can result from personal lifestyle factors such as physical activity levels, diet, gender, and heredity. One study that tracked the weight, abdominal circumference, total cholesterol, and non-HDL cholesterol of a group of men showed evidence pointing to a positive relationship between increasing abdominal fat, total cholesterol levels and non-HDL cholesterol levels. Another study focusing on premenopausal women indicated that physical activity decreased body fat and also increased HDL cholesterol, which may lower their risk for heart disease. Additionally, high LDL cholesterol levels induce inflammation, which may also accompany obesity and also be exacerbated by asthma. Metabolic syndrome, even in healthy obese people, may indicate poor cholesterol levels and increased risk for coronary artery disease. Cholesterol can still pose health risks without any other signs of distress, which means obesity should be considered a primary risk factor for other health problems.

You consume most of the cholesterol you don't want through your diet. One in three Americans has high cholesterol, meaning high levels of LDL cholesterol. If you don't consume enough HDL or "good" cholesterol, there is a greater chance that your LDL or "bad" cholesterol level is too high. It therefore is important that you manage your cholesterol by increasing your HDL intake and lowering your consumption of bad cholesterol. There are plenty of ways you can improve your cholesterol count; here are a few strategies to get you started.

Increase Omega-3 Intake

A healthy balance of HDL and LDL cholesterol ensures the proper use of cholesterol by body cells. After age 20, LDL cholesterol concentration increases progressively , but studies have shown that increasing omega-3 consumption combined with restricting calorie intake may prevent such metabolic modifications from occurring. Omega-3 is an important feature of a healthy diet that promotes cardiovascular health. These fatty acids cannot be produced by the body, which means you can only get them through your diet or supplements. Omega-3 primarily come from fish such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna, but they can also be found in flaxseeds, walnuts, cashews, or almonds. In fact, some researchers now believe that having appropriate levels of omega-3 fatty acids in your blood can be an indicator of decreased risk for heart disease. Getting enough omega-3 through your diet requires that you consume at least two servings of fish per week (3.5 ounces per serving), and if already diagnosed with heart disease you should consume even more. In addition to creating more balanced cholesterol levels, omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and the risk of heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.

Consider Cholesterol-Lowering Medications

There are many types of medications that doctors prescribe to improve cholesterol counts. A number of the more popular prescriptions are statins, which block an enzyme the liver needs to produce cholesterol. They work specifically to lower LDL cholesterol and decrease plaque and clot formation by reabsorbing cholesterol buildup from artery walls. They also work to increase HDL cholesterol levels. Statins are effective for those at higher risk of heart disease; criteria that increase heart disease risk and the suitability of statins for improving cholesterol include diabetes, cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, family history of coronary artery disease, low HDL cholesterol, age of 45 or more for men and 55 or more for women, and elevated c-reactive protein level. Garcinia cambogia, a weight loss supplement containing flavanoids, has proven its weight loss inducing effects in studies while also reducing LDL cholesterol. This makes an important statement in health - weight loss is a successful strategy for improving cholesterol and supplementation may provide fast results to benefit your health.

Get Plenty of Vitamin E

Despite its absence from the list of most important dietary criteria, vitamin E holds an important role in health as it prevents and also reverses atherosclerosis, or the clogging and hardening of the arteries. Vitamin E is well known as an antioxidant that can greatly improve your cholesterol as it prevents the oxidation of LDL cholestorol, which is what makes it harmful to the body at high levels. In supplemental doses, vitamin E enhances vitamin E content in various body tissues, and especially in the liver. The study that revealed this information also showed how Vitamin E can ensure better protection of polyunsaturated fatty acids against oxidation processes and also can increase and restore liver cholesterol content , protecting the aorta from excess plaque buildup and decreasing the risk of stroke.

Sleep Regular Hours

Believe it or not, the amount of sleep you get greatly influences your health, and it even affects your cholesterol. During sleep, your body produces growth hormone, which helps regulate cholesterol levels by decreasing LDL cholesterol. When you don't get enough sleep, your body simply cannot metabolize cholesterol properly. Many studies have proven the effects of sleep deprivation on cholesterol and overall health; having a maximum of four hours of sleep for just three days increases LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels. Make sure you get enough sleep by setting a regular sleep schedule with a bedtime alarm, and prepare 30 minutes prior by turning off the TV, avoiding coffee and alcohol, and turning off the lights to distract from stimulating activities.

Choose Canola Oil

There are many varieties of cooking oil available, and they all have different health benefits and harmful effects. Among the most popular is canola oil, which can actually help improve your cholesterol. Canola oil contains essential fatty acids that improve heart health, improve immune functions, and promote brain health. A pilot study investigating the effects of canola oil on atherosclerosis indicated that it reduced LDL cholesterol and improved function of the blood vessels, which suggests that canola oil may contribute to cardiovascular protection. Using canola oil instead of other cooking oils may protect your health from unnecessary negative effects associated with excess LDL cholesterol.

Drink Green Tea

Containing antioxidants, tannins and flavonoids, green tea promotes overall health naturally and encourages weight loss. It works as an appetite suppressant while also increasing the body's regular metabolism and burns more fat. In addition to preventing cancer and boosting immune health, green tea reduces hypertension and appropriately adjusts cholesterol to proper levels. A study investigating the effect of green tea on the major lipid metabolizing enzymes revealed that green tea reduced the lowering effect that LDL cholesterol has on HDL cholesterol levels; it also lowered liver, plasma, and intestine cholesterol levels and increased the production of LDL receptors, which resulted in increased clearance of LDL cholesterol from the blood. The addition of green tea as part of a regular diet can have lasting health benefits including weight and cholesterol control for heart health.


Cholesterol is an essential part of maintaining proper health, but at inappropriate levels cholesterol can be damaging and life threatening. As you age, your cholesterol contributes to the continual buildup of plaque that narrows or blocks blood vessels regardless of your efforts to maximize good cholesterol and minimize bad cholesterol. What you can do is adopt a regular diet that includes foods high in HDL cholesterol and low in LDL cholesterol. Since carrying extra weight has been found to typically increase bad cholesterol levels using a weight management supplement such as Garcinia Cambogia Extract can prove helpful for weight control. This will help your body use these fats properly to optimize your health. Cholesterol doesn't have to be the most challenging aspect of healthy living - improving your strategies for cholesterol intake can result in greater health and living.

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