Saturday, May 7, 2011

How To Reduce High Blood Fat Levels

Blood fats, or lipids, include cholesterol and triglycerides. The body needs a certain amount of cholesterol, but when there are too many fats in the blood (hyperlipidaemia), fatty deposits build up in the arteries, increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

“Good” and “bad” cholesterol:
Cholesterol cannot dissolve in blood, so it needs “carrier” proteins to transport it around the body. The carrier proteins are called lipoproteins.

There are two main kinds:
High density lipoprotein (HDL): When cholesterol is carried by HDL, it is called HDL cholesterol. This is “good” cholesterol, and reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes.

Low density lipoprotein (LDL): When cholesterol is carried by LDL, it is called LDL cholesterol. This is “bad” cholesterol, and increases the risks of heart attacks and strokes.

What causes high blood fat levels?
High cholesterol levels may run in some families. But most often, high blood fat levels are caused by an unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity. High blood fat levels rarely produce symptoms or warning signs. When cholesterol levels are very high, some people develop skin growths called xanthomas. To check your blood fat levels, ask your doctor for a simple blood test.

In some cases, a high blood fat level may be associated with an undiagnosed medical condition, like diabetes.

What should I do if I have a high blood fat level?
• Eat a healthy diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, and low in animal fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol .
• Maintain a healthy body weight.
• Stay active.

If these things do not lower your blood fat levels enough, your doctor can prescribe medicines. You must take these regularly, even if you cannot feel their effects, and you must keep following a healthy lifestyle.

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