Today’s healthy habits will be about cholesterol, the good HDL, the bad LDL and the ratio.  Firstly it’s important to understand what cholesterol is and its importance in the body.

The information in today’s article has been taken from a collection of information from Statistics Canada, Heart health and cholesterol levels of Canadians, Life Labs medical laboratory services web site, The College of Family Physicians of Canada article on cholesterol and Principles of Anatomy and Physiology tenth edition Tortora & Grabowski.

Cholesterol is a vital component in the body and without cholesterol as a precursor some other functions like bile salts, Vit D absorption, the hormone adrenocortical which comes from the adrenal glands and our sex hormones would have a hard time functioning.  The liver actually synthesizes cholesterol.

The good cholesterol or HDL helps to prevent build up or the narrowing of the arterial walls, sometimes called plague, as well this is the cholesterol that travels out of tissues with the waste.  The bad cholesterol or LDL travels from the liver to tissues of the body for cell building, you can see how important cholesterol is, you need it to build your cells. With that said LDL is also the cholesterol that sticks to the arterial walls and builds up, so it is necessary in the body but has to be off set with the good cholesterol or HDL.  That is why it is important to understand your blood test results. It’s not just the LDL and HDL but it is also the ratio.

Here is the general rule of thumb for cholesterol results.  The HDL or good cholesterol should be above 1.0 for a male and 1.3 for a female. Maybe that explains why most females have bigger hips then males, they need more good fat, just kidding, but I think I will use that statistic to my benefit in the future.  The LDL or bad cholesterol should be less than 3.0 and the total Cholesterol/HDL level should be less than 6.0 another source states less than 5.2.  As well your triglycerides should be less than 1.7.  Side note, in the last two years these markers have fluctuated.

Bad cholesterol is what causes cardiovascular diseases.  But, you can be at risk of cardiovascular disease if your good cholesterol isn’t high enough as well.  Again it is about the numbers but also the ratio.

I am sure this isn’t new information but being physically active, maintaining a healthy body weight, not smoking and eating sensible are keys to lowering bad cholesterol.  Eating sensibly means decreased fatty and or fried foods.  Cholesterol only comes from animal sources which would include eggs, meat and dairy.

As well as trying to lower your bad cholesterol you want to raise your good cholesterol which sounds funny but you need to eat good fat to do that.  Here is where it can get complicated.  Depending on the source of information different trains of thought agree but mostly disagree on what is good fat.  The two biggest ones are eggs and butter.  Many feel egg yolks are bad cholesterol but in fact are very good for you in moderation, your brain needs what is in that yoke.  As well I still hear people say to eat margarine and processed oils, butter in my opinion outweighs any man made or processed oil, again in moderation.

Here are a few good fats that help increase HDL avocado, salmon, olive oil not heated and almonds.  Don’t forget the lecithin either.

Sometimes fat is where it is at!

Diane Elms D.H.M.H.S., CCI, CCII, Homeopath Specializing in Drugless Cancer Care, 2006 Iridologist of the Year, if you have any health related questions contact diane@choicesforhealthandharmony.com or 905 768 0848.

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