Heart Health – What You Need to Know About Cholesterol and a Healthy Heart

Heart Health – What You Need to Know About Cholesterol and a Healthy Heart

Cholesterol and heart health are some big buzzwords in the medical and healthy living community, but if you don’t know what cholesterol, it’s unlikely that you’re going to know how it can affect the health of your heart. With a few basics, however, you can get a better understanding of this offender, or not, what it can mean for your heart.

It’s All So Confusing

Learning about cholesterol and heart health can be confusing. We only ever hear about the bad stuff, so it’s often not impressed upon us that cholesterol is a lipid which our livers make and we need it to survive. In fact, you probably didn’t know that there is cholesterol in nearly every cell of our bodies, because that’s what makes up the protective coating of the cells in the body. In fact, this lipid helps all of our cells to maintain the essential shape and stay living.

When you add this to the fact that cholesterol is also the building block of nearly all the hormones in the body, including testosterone and estrogen, which determine sex drive and fetal development, as well as the hormones that help us to maintain mineral and liquid balance and the essential hormones which help us to regulate blood sugar and digest carbohydrates, it’s pretty easy to see that cholesterol has a pretty big, important job. It might seem like cholesterol and heart health would hardly go hand in hand at all, but it does.

So Why Is It Bad?

While the naturally occurring cholesterol in your body is essential, we also consume a certain amount of it when we eat food. Cholesterol is often found in meat, as well as foods like milk, eggs and butter. Most of the time, the liver will adjust its production of this lipid according to how much we consume, but the problem is that there are two different kinds of cholesterol and it’s likely that you’re consuming too much of the wrong kind.

LDL, or low density lipoprotein is the bad cholesterol that can affect your heart health. This is thought of as the “bad” type of cholesterol. When you’re trying to remember, think you want to keep the LDL low. When you have high cholesterol, it means that the LDL, or the stuff the body doesn’t use, is beginning to cling to the walls of the arteries. This can cause blockages and affect your overall heart health by making it more difficult for the heart to do it’s job, which is pump the blood all around the body.

HDL, or high density lipoprotein, is the good cholesterol, which can also affect your heart health because if you don’t have enough of the “good” type of cholesterol, your body cannot transport the LDL from the blood into the liver. You can remember good cholesterol as wanting to make the HDL go higher.

When you are told that you need to lower your cholesterol, remember that you not only want to decrease the amount of LDL that you have in your body, but you also need to work to increase your HDL, so that your body is more able to flush the bad stuff from your body and prevent blockages.

Just remember a health heart is not all about cholesterol as many people believe. You may not always need cholesterol medications to heal your heart. There are ways you can heal your heart naturally.