Cholesterol is very important for a variety of reasons and it is absolutely necessary to maintain a healthy cholesterol level. Normal cholesterol levels will vary by person but generally there is a range that you can follow to make sure you do not have any major cholesterol problems. However, first you should know why it is so important to always maintain normal cholesterol levels and the affects cholesterol has on your health.
Cholesterol is used to keep your body healthy but when there is too much cholesterol it will have negative effects on your health. Most of the necessary cholesterol is produced in your liver but about 20% of the needed cholesterol is received from your diet plan. If you eat too many high cholesterol foods it could cause you to have an abundance of cholesterol and this could cause various health issues.
High Cholesterol Problems
There are a variety of issues that could occur as a result of a high cholesterol level. Most importantly would be that if you have a cholesterol level that is too high that you will develop an abnormally high blood pressure level. However, it is also important to note that thickening of the arteries and developing cardiovascular diseases is also very common when you have an extremely high cholesterol level.
These high cholesterol level problems can be prevented if you stay within the normal cholesterol levels at all times. In order to do this you will need to make sure you are not getting too much cholesterol in your daily diet. The American Heart Association gives recommendations of how much cholesterol should be in your daily diet so their range is a pretty accurate guideline and you should follow it.
American Heart Association Cholesterol Recommendations
First off, keep in mind that 80% of the necessary cholesterol is naturally produced in your liver. The other 20% is coming from foods or supplements if completely necessary. Here is a list of the normal cholesterol levels you should follow, and the unhealthy levels to avoid: (mg/dl is the measurement of milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood)
The normal cholesterol level that will not cause any health problems would be under 200mg/dl but you do not have to worry too much if it is just a little bit over that amount. If you do have an extremely high cholesterol level then you will want to change your diet accordingly. It could be possible that your body is naturally producing too much cholesterol but a high cholesterol level is usually a result of having too much of it in your diet.
Not only should you look at the amount of cholesterol in your diet but you should look at the type of cholesterol you are consuming as well. There are two types of cholesterol – LDL and HDL cholesterol.
LDL cholesterol is the bad cholesterol as it usually gets stuck on your artery walls and can cause atherosclerosis and possibly lead to serious heart problems. Make sure you are consuming under 100mg/dl of LDL cholesterol each day if possible. Anything over 130mg/dl can cause health problems and 190mg/dl or higher is an extremely high LDL cholesterol level. The normal LDL cholesterol level is between ~100mg/dl and 129mg/dl.
HDL cholesterol is the good cholesterol as it can bring any excessive cholesterol back to your liver where it was originally produced. A higher amount of HDL cholesterol can help prevent you from having health problems as a result of too much cholesterol in your diet. Even though this is a good cholesterol to have you still do not want to have too much of it in your diet.
The minimum level of HDL cholesterol you should have each day is 40mg/dl for men and 50mg/dl for women. However you will want to aim for much higher than this as it has many benefits compared to LDL cholesterol which is actually very unhealthy. Make sure you keep above the minimum level of HDL cholesterol each day as anything under it could cause heart problems.
Besides knowing what cholesterol is better for you and the normal cholesterol levels it is also important to know how to get enough of the right cholesterol. In order to get a healthy amount of HDL cholesterol and minimize the amount of LDL cholesterol in your body you will want to add various fresh and low fat foods to your diet, and exercise frequently. A minimum of 40 minutes of exercise each day could show great results on your cholesterol readings.
Dropping a bad smoking habit could also help maintain a higher HDL cholesterol level which is optimal. There are many different ways to go about making sure you always have readings that are within the normal cholesterol levels. Take a look online for various lists of foods that are helpful when trying to improve your cholesterol as your cholesterol level primarily depends on the foods you are eating.
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