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Anatomy and Cell Biology
Anatomy and Cell Biology 2221
Eric Ball

www.hc-swww.hc-sc c.g\ 1. What is cholesterol? Cholesterol is a fat-like substance found in every cell in your body. It is used to make steroid hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, as well as bile acids. Most of the cholesterol in your body is produced by the liver and circulates in the blood. Some cholesterol in the blood is necessary, but a high level of cholesterol in the blood can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Some animal based foods like meats, egg yolks and dairy products also contain cholesterol. This dietary cholesterol from foods has only a small impact on blood cholesterol levels. You can lower your blood cholesterol by eating well, being physically active and achieving a healthy weight. Dietary cholesterol: Cholesterol found in food sources. Only foods of animal origin contain cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol is not essential because the body can make all the cholesterol it needs. How to Achieve Healthy Blood Cholesterol Levels When blood cholesterol levels are high, cholesterol is more likely to deposit in artery walls and harden, forming plaque. Over time, a buildup of plaque can lead to blockages in blood flow that may result in a heart attack or stroke. That‟s why it‟s so important to take control of your blood cholesterol levels now.  LDL cholesterol is commonly known as “bad” cholesterol. This is the type of cholesterol that contributes to a build up of plaque in your arteries. If you have high LDL cholesterol, lowering it can help you reduce your risk of heart disease.  HDL cholesterol is commonly known as “good” cholesterol. This is the type of cholesterol that can help clear excess cholesterol from your body. That‟s why higher HDL cholesterol is desirable. Other Factors that increase the risk of CV in addition to High Cholesterol include family history and age, being a smoker, lack of exercise, unhealthy eating, being overweight, high blood pressure, diabetes and stress. In addition, certain populations, including Aboriginals and certain ethnic groups, such as South Asians, are at an increased risk for CV diseases. How you can take control of your blood cholesterol levels It‟s important to talk to your doctor about your blood cholesterol levels and take action if your LDL cholesterol level is high. A healthy lifestyle can help you achieve healthy blood cholesterol levels. Remember that dietary cholesterol has little effect on blood cholesterol in most people (other factors play a role). What matters most is your weight, physical activity level and eating habits. Take control of your blood cholesterol levels with these three steps:  Manage your weight - Excess weight, especially around your waist, is linked to higher LDL cholesterol levels. If you are overweight, even a little weight loss may help improve your blood cholesterol levels.  Get moving more – Regular physical activity is linked to higher HDL cholesterol levels and healthier weights, which are both good for your heart. Every bit of activity can help and the more active you are the better. Aim to be physically active for at least half an hour each day.  Make healthy food choices – A healthy eating pattern that‟s low in saturated and trans fat and rich in fibre is linked to lower LDL cholesterol levels. While saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol can have a bad effect on your blood cholesterol levels, unsaturated fat can help improve them. Unsaturated fat, which is found mostly in plant foods, such as canola oil, olive oil and nuts, can be used regularly in small amounts. Omega-3 fat, an unsaturated fat found in ground flax seed and fish, is also a healthy fat and should be eaten more often. Choose Foods Lower in Saturated Fat, Trans Fat and Cholesterol such as: Lean cuts of meat Skinless poultry and fish Legumes (e.g. kidney beans, soya beans, chick peas, lentils) Egg whites Skim or 1% milk, yogurt with 1% milk fat or less, low-fat cheese Unsaturated oils such as canola, olive, peanut, safflower, soybean, sunflower or corn Non-hydrogenated soft margarine made from unsaturated oils Steps You Can Take  Limit the lean meat and poultry you eat to 2 to 3 servings per day (a serving is 75 grams or 2 ½ oz, about the size of a deck of cards).  Choose fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, Atlantic herring, sardines or trout at least twice a week. They are good sources of omega-3 fat.  Replace some of the meat in your meals with legumes or soy protein meat substitutes. They are low in saturated fat and legumes are high in fibre.  Replace a whole egg with 2 egg whites in
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