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Learn More About High Cholesterol

We often think of cholesterol as being harmful, but the truth is that our bodies need an adequate amount of it to function. Cholesterol is used as a building block to make everything from the walls of our cells to important hormones like estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol. It is essential for the production of vitamin D, which we need to build and maintain strong bones. It is also a central component of bile, which allows us to break down and digest fats from food.

However, the typical North American diet contains far too many foods that increase our cholesterol levels above and beyond what our bodies can use. Excess total cholesterol and LDL “bad” cholesterol will stick to the walls of our blood vessels, narrowing the space for blood to flow. This prevents oxygen and nutrients from reaching vital organs. Most dangerously, it can prevent oxygen from getting to the heart or brain, increasing our risk for heart attack and stroke.

Having high cholesterol is like having construction along a busy highway that narrows lanes and slows down traffic. If the construction closes the highway altogether, we never make it to our destination and there are negative consequences. This is what happens when cholesterol narrows our blood vessels and blocks blood flow to major organs: oxygen and nutrients don’t make it to their destination, and it results in organ and tissue damage.

A reduction in total cholesterol and LDL “bad” cholesterol levels, and an increase in HDL “good” cholesterol levels directly results in a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, so it is vital that we achieve healthy levels of cholesterol.

Dr. Hilary's Lifestyle Tips To Reduce Cholesterol

At ideal levels, cholesterol allows our body to function in a healthy way. However, many diets contain far too many foods that increase our cholesterol levels above what our bodies can use. Excess cholesterol can build up in our blood vessels, blocking oxygen from reaching our organs and causing damage to the body.

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