High Cholesterol and Obesity

One of the benefits of a weight loss diet is that it is likely to be beneficial to your cholesterol count. It’s common for a healthier diet which includes more unprocessed foods and “good fats” to lower cholesterol levels.

In particular, you are likely to see your LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein), which is the “bad” and threatening-to-your-health cholesterol drop, if you follow the diet guidelines we suggest at here dietMD Hawaii.

What is High Cholesterol?

High cholesterol usually describes a condition in which three types of fats in your bloodstream are measured to be out of balance.

  1. LDL, or “bad cholesterol”, is too high.
  2. HDL, or “good cholesterol”, is too low.
  3. Triglicerides are too high.

If you are overweight or obese, you are significantly more likely to have high cholesterol.

Why is LDL Cholesterol Bad?

LDL Cholesterol deposits thicken the walls of the arteries, hindering the passage of blood and affecting the structure of the arterial walls. This is also known as atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.

It occurs when fat, cholesterol, and other substances build up in the walls of arteries and form hard structures called plaques. Over time, these plaques can damage or block the arteries and cause significant problems with your cardiovascular system. High cholesterol is also commonly associated with high blood pressure (hypertension).

Reducing high cholesterol reduces your risk of heart attack or stroke.

Don’t I Need Cholesterol?

Yes, your body needs some cholesterol to build membranes, cell walls, nerve sheaths, manufacture bile and produce hormones. Cholesterol is an essential fat that your body gets from your diet, and also produces in your liver. It’s carried in your blood by proteins called lipoproteins that pick up and carry cholesterol. The two types of lipoproteins are HGL and LDL.

However, when there’s too much LDL cholesterol, some is deposited in the walls of arteries. The body responds by sending white blood cells to try to clear the LDL, but the white blood cells convert the LDL to an oxidized form that is toxic, so more white blood cells respond… and inflammation occurs. Over time LDL and other cells collect in the area and become a plaque deposit.

To learn more about how cholesterol functions in your body, you can view animations on the American Heart Association website.

Obesity and High Cholesterol

Isn’t There Good Cholesterol?

Yes, “good” cholesterol is HDL (high-density lipoprotein), and your doctor will work with you to adjust lifestyle and diet factors to increase the ratio of HDL to LDL. HDL is considered “good” because it helps remove LDL which causes arterial plaque. Because of this, a healthy level of HDL is believed to help protect against heart attack and stroke. Low levels of HDL cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease.

Losing weight typically improves the amount of HDL in your bloodstream. One study found that for every kilogram (2.2 pounds) of weight a person loses, they may be able to raise their HDL by .35 mg/dL. Quitting smoking also helps HDL levels, increasing a person’s HDL by an average of 4 mg/dL.

Diet alone can lower LDL levels up to 30%, and adding exercise improves these results even further. In some cases, of course, medication is necessary, depending upon your age, weight, whether you are diabetic, blood pressure, smoking status, genetics, and other factors that can affect your chance of having heart problems.

How Do I Reduce Cholesterol?

The best ways to reduce high cholesterol are to:

Everything on that list will also help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight!

Lose Belly Fat and Look Great Free eBook

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6 Responses to High Cholesterol and Obesity

  1. zararian December 7, 2014 at 5:51 am #

    Right, it does not mean that if you are not overweight, you will not have a high cholesterol. So even not obese, we should still avoid eating those foods that are high in bad cholesterol and avoid those things that can cause high cholesterol like the bad vices mentioned.

  2. FreiFreiFrei December 8, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

    Something i’d like to add, is that egg yolks, while high in cholesterol, aren’t as bad as they are made out to be. Eggs, enjoyed in moderation can be great for you as they are a good source of amino acids and proteins!
    Fried and processed foods are the true culprits. Avoid them like the plague!

  3. Jmichelle December 16, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    As someone who has never been necessarily interested in the science of bodily functions. I have never really understood the proper meaning of high cholesterol and how it affects a person’s overall health. This is a very informative article that makes the cholesterol process easy to understand. While doing research for a previous project I discovered several foods that are very effective when it comes to lowering cholesterol.( Nuts, Oatmeal, Fruits, Fish and other high fiber foods or fatty acids. I also discovered several foods that produce the good kind of cholesterol. (Dark chocolate, Salmon, Berries, Eggs, and Avocado are all foods that stimulate healthy cholesterol.

  4. Catherine July 30, 2015 at 12:40 am #

    The video that you have posted is really helpful! It helped me understand about cholesterol. When I was younger, hearing of “cholesterol”, I was visualizing about a person who weighs more than 200 lbs. It’s something that I am ashamed of, a proof that I a science subject isn’t my thing back then. Anyway, you have given/shared helpful information.
    Catherine recently posted…Sweet Dreams, InsomniaMy Profile

  5. Elden Gatley March 31, 2016 at 4:42 am #

    I agree that it’s not good for the walls of your arteries to be thick. I think it’s important to evaluate is how much cholesterol is right for your body. I’m sure it probably varies from person-to-person.

  6. Kam December 6, 2016 at 8:51 pm #

    I think this post does a great job of summarizing how to lower cholesterol and should be read by everyone! Sadly people are wasting their life by treating their bodies terribly by putting such harmful substances in. As Elden mentioned above, cholesterol monitoring is key to a healthy life and people should be aware of this! We just have to continue advising them, one patient at a time…
    Kam recently posted…Oprah Winfrey’s Weight Watchers encourages a healthy lifestyle to strengthen your heart. Here are tips to quickly lower cholesterol and blood sugar with nutrition, diet, and fitness to improve overall health.My Profile

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