What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol and diabetes. Cholesterol is a waxy substance commonly found in the blood. A bio-organic component called lipid builds up this substance. Lipid plays a massive role in creating cell membranes, tissues, hormones and Vitamin D. On the other hand; they can also damage your overall health. Confused?

To put it in simple terms, an abundance of good cholesterol is excellent for your body. However, an amateur usually associates the word “cholesterol” with the bad one. That is why it is essential to know about cholesterol and its different types to make informed lifestyle choices. 

There are different cholesterol. These include:

  • Low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or “bad cholesterol” – We should always keep LDL under check. When LDL levels are too high, the arteries narrow their size, and a blockage occurs. The condition can cause cardiovascular disease. 
  • High-density-lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or “good cholesterol” – We can have this in abundance. It gives healthy stability to the cells in our body and reduces the chances of heart disease by fighting LDL.
  • Triglycerides are the most common type of bad fat in the body. Dangerous levels of this fat can lead to atherosclerosis, a condition referring to the buildup of fatty deposits in the artery walls. It can also cause cardiovascular disease. 

How do high blood sugar levels affect cholesterol?

There are two ways in which diabetes or high blood sugar affects our cholesterol levels and, eventually, our health. 

First, diabetes and high blood sugar reduce good cholesterol (HDL) levels and raise bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides. This condition is called diabetic dyslipidemia.

Diabetic dyslipidemia, the imbalance of lipids, can cause coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis. This condition is prevalent in almost 70% of all Type 2 diabetes cases. 

Secondly, uncontrolled diabetes can damage arterial linings. It means cholesterol, especially the bad one, can stick to them. This narrows the arteries, causing a blockage and leading to heart disease.

Steps to manage cholesterol or body fats 

Diabetes and high cholesterol both raise the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, you can manage them by following these steps:

  • Get your blood fat levels checked annually. If you are diagnosed with high cholesterol levels, you need to undergo a blood test to measure Triglyceride, HDL and LDL levels. 
  • If you are obese or overweight, losing extra weight can balance your cholesterol levels. 
  • Always eat a healthy diet. Remember to incorporate fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts into your meal plan. 
  • Stay active. Regular physical exercise can regulate blood sugar levels. This also prevents the onset of cardiovascular conditions. 
  • It is essential to quit smoking as early as possible. 
  • Avoid drinking an excessive amount of alcohol. Although drinking in moderation cannot affect your heart health, limiting your consumption can positively impact your overall health. 

It only takes a healthy lifestyle to have your cholesterol under check. Take extra preventive measures to ensure your overall health is protected and safe