What Makes Your Cholesterol High or Low?

The level of cholesterol in the bloodstream greatly affects the risk of developing heart disease.

What Makes Your Cholesterol High or Low

The higher the level of blood cholesterol, the greater the risk for heart disease or heart attack. So let’s look at what makes your cholesterol high or low…

The Importance of Monitoring Your Cholesterol

When there is too much cholesterol (a fat-like substance) in the blood, it builds up in the walls of arteries. Over time, this buildup causes arteries to become narrowed, and blood flow to the heart is slowed or blocked. If the blood supply to a portion of the heart is completely cut off, a heart attack results.

High blood cholesterol itself does not cause symptoms. You may not know your blood cholesterol level is too high. So, it’s important to have your cholesterol measured. Adults age 20 or older should have their cholesterol checked at least once every 5 years. It best to have a blood test called a lipoprotein profile. This test measures total cholesterol, “good” and “bad” cholesterol, as well as triglycerides, another form of fat in the blood.

High cholesterol is treated with lifestyle changes – a heart healthy eating plan, physical activity, and loss of excess weight – and, if those do not lower it enough, medication.

What Makes Your Cholesterol High or Low?

Your blood cholesterol level is affected not only by what you eat but also by how quickly your body makes LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and disposes of it. In fact, your body makes all the cholesterol it needs, and it is not necessary to take in any additional cholesterol from the foods you eat.

Exercise Plays an Important Role in Maintaining Health

Exercise Plays an Important Role in Maintaining Health

Exercise increases circulation and helps remove the toxins and impurities that have accumulated in the physiology

These deposits are a major factor in the breakdown of the resistance of the body. Exercise is a key procedure for helping the body’s natural internal cleansing processes.

Exercise Instructions for all body types

Various Factors Affect Cholesterol Levels:


Your genes influence how high your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol is by affecting how fast LDL is made and removed from the blood. One specific form of inherited high cholesterol that affects 1 in 500 people is familial hypercholesterolemia, which often leads to early heart disease. But even if you do not have a specific genetic form of high cholesterol, genes play a role in influencing your LDL-cholesterol level.

What you eat

Two main nutrients in the foods you eat make your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol level go up: saturated fat, a type of fat found mostly in foods that come from animals; and cholesterol, which comes only from animal products. Saturated fat raises your LDL-cholesterol level more than anything else in the diet. Eating a lot of saturated fat and cholesterol is the main reason for high levels of cholesterol and a high rate of heart attacks in the United States. Reducing the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol you eat is a very important step in reducing your blood cholesterol levels.


Excess weight tends to increase your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol level. If you are overweight and have a high LDL-cholesterol level, losing weight may help you lower it. Weight loss also helps to lower triglycerides and raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.

Physical activity/exercise

Regular physical activity may lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.

Age and sex

Before the age of menopause, women usually have total cholesterol levels that are lower than those of men the same age. As women and men get older, their blood cholesterol levels rise until about 60 to 65 years of age. After the age of about 50, women often have higher total cholesterol levels than men of the same age.


Alcohol intake increases HDL (“good”) cholesterol but does not lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Doctors don’t know for certain whether alcohol also reduces the risk of heart disease. Drinking too much alcohol can damage the liver and heart muscle, lead to high blood pressure, and raise triglycerides. Because of the risks, alcoholic beverages should not be used as a way to prevent heart disease.


Stress over the long term has been shown in several studies to raise blood cholesterol levels. One way that stress may do this is by affecting your habits. For example, when some people are under stress, they console themselves by eating fatty foods. The saturated fat and cholesterol in these foods contribute to higher levels of blood cholesterol.

Related Topics:

What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is something your body makes to build cell membranes, hormones, and for insulating nerves. It’s also a vital part of the digestive process….

Lowering Cholesterol and Treatment Options
For some people, it is necessary to combine cholesterol lowering medications with changes in life habits to get enough of a reduction in cholesterol …

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