So you thought Cholesterol is always bad? Let’s get some facts right first. Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is formed in the body (it is required for many normal functions) and also comes into blood from the food we eat. Not all cholesterol is bad. In the blood, there is ‘good cholesterol’ (High Density Lipoproteins or HDL) and there is ‘bad cholesterol’ (Low Density Lipoproteins or LDL). The good cholesterol protects the heart whereas high levels of the bad cholesterol can cause damage to the heart and blood vessels. A balance is required to be maintained between the two. Clinical tests have proven that high levels of bad cholesterol dramatically increase your chances of heart disease, sometimes by up to 200%.
What causes cholesterol levels to go haywire? What increases the bad cholesterol in blood? Let’s have a look here. A combination of unhealthy lifestyle and poor dietary habits is the prime cause. Diet that is rich is saturated fat, foods like meat, egg yolks, cheese, fried junk foods, etc. typically cause high cholesterol levels in blood. Genetic causes also result in high cholesterol levels running in families. Thus if either or both your parents suffer from high cholesterol, your chances of getting the same are much higher that any other normal individual.
High cholesterol levels usually don't present with any symptoms and this is one of the prime reasons why a large number of cases are diagnosed only too late. The only way to know if you have high cholesterol is to get a blood test done.
Again it's important to test yourself if you are fall into the high-risk group i.e you don't exercise, consume a high-fat diet, smoke, are above 30 years of age, have diabetes and/or thyroid problems and have a family history of high cholesterol.