Search This Blog

What is cholesterol?

What is it?

Cholesterol is a fat (lipid) necessary for the agencies. It is the starting point for the manufacture of many substances such as hormones, vitamins or bile. It is also a constituent of the envelope (or membrane) that surrounds our cells.

Where does it?

Cholesterol we have is for 1 / 3 of our diet (e.g. eggs, offal, some deli ..) and the remaining 2 / 3 are directly manufactured by our liver.

The good and bad cholesterol

Cholesterol can be divided into two broad categories:
Bad cholesterol called "LDL - Cholesterol" can be deposited on the walls of our arteries that may eventually cause an obstruction.

It said the good cholesterol "HDL - Cholesterol" is recycled by the body or eliminated.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is naturally present in blood at a rate lower than 2 g / l. Beyond this threshold; we can speak of hypercholesterolemia.

There are 2 main types of cholesterol:
  • The hypercholesterolemia-called "pure", which correspond to an increase exclusive of cholesterol in the blood.
  • The hypercholesterolemia "mixed", which involve both an increase in cholesterol and triglycerides (triglycerides are fats needed by the body as an energy reserve. Contrary to cholesterol, they come mostly from food).
I do not feel sick, so why is it so important to lower my cholesterol?

The excess cholesterol is deposited on the walls of arteries (including a coronary arteries are the arteries feeding the heart) at the risk of clogging.

Indeed, cholesterol deposits cause narrowing that limit the blood supply and therefore, oxygen it carries to the heart muscle. It can occur when the so-called "angina pectoris" or myocardial infarction if the artery is completely blocked.

High cholesterol is a major risk factor is the occurrence of cardiovascular events and complications. It is therefore, essential to reduce cholesterol levels to normal.

However, there are other factors associated with high cholesterol increases the risk of cardiovascular events (the number of factors, the risk is high). It may influence some of these factors (e.g. tobacco), but others are not modifiable (e.g. age).

What are the modifiable cardiovascular risk factors?

There are 4:
1. Tobacco:
There is evidence that smoking is a major risk factor in the occurrence of cardiac events in young adults and especially among women, particularly if she takes a pill. It is therefore, important to stop smoking when cholesterol is detected.

2. Hypertension:
Hypertension predisposes to heart attacks by limiting the possibility of dilation of the arteries of the heart during exertion. Physical exercise and reduced alcohol consumption help reduce tension. If the voltage is too high, the doctor may prescribe an anti-hypertensive. (See the list of food's high potassium and low in sodium )

3. Diabetes:
diabetes, characterized by excess sugar in the blood, is responsible for the long narrowing and hardening of the arteries and all acceleration mechanisms of deposition of cholesterol.
Dietary measures (including a limitation of consumption of sugars and lipids) and physical activity help regulated blood sugar.
If blood sugar is too high, your doctor may prescribe a diabetes drug.

4. A HDL-cholesterol low:
if your HDL - cholesterol ("good cholesterol) is less than 0.35 g / l, this is considered an additional risk factor. However, if this rate is greater than 0.60 g / l is a factor" Guardian ".

What factors are not modifiable cardiovascular risk?

There are 3:
1. The age and sex
So much for the man to the woman's age increases the risk of developing cardiovascular events. Age is considered as a risk factor from 45 years in men and in women 55 years or in case of early menopause. Indeed, the woman enjoys a natural hormonal protection until menopause.

2. The history called "family":
Genetically, some families are more at risk than others. Therefore, if one of your close relatives (father, mother, brother, sister, uncle, aunt ...) suffered or suffers from cardiovascular problems (myocardial infarction before age 55 ...) you are more exposed to cardiovascular risk.

3. The history called "personal":
If you have had a myocardial infarction, or if you already suffer from angina pectoris, or arterial disease, you are considered at risk. As we saw earlier, the fact that you, yourself have such a history leads to additional risk to your children are advised to monitor adulthood.

How far should we lower my cholesterol?

What is important to judge is the bad cholesterol, LDL - Cholesterol "and not the total cholesterol because it depends on him essentially the risk of occurrence of a stroke?

Experts have determined LDL - Cholesterol achieved depending on the number of risk factors. The taller the number, the higher the LDL - Cholesterol should be reduced (e.g. to a value less than 1g / l in patients without a history of cardiovascular problems).

Your doctor is the only one able to determine specifically the LDL - Cholesterol that you must achieve.

How to lower my cholesterol?

It's always the diet that we begin to treat hypercholesterolemia. However, it may be necessary to combine it with medication.


The principles of dietary cholesterol are simple. We must reduce the consumption of harmful fats and cholesterol. Your doctor will first give dietary advice. Meanwhile, it will help you to improve your lifestyle.

Drug treatments:

If dietary measures are insufficient, drug therapy will be proposed to normalize your cholesterol levels. This treatment will not prevent the continuation of dietetic measures or precautions of good hygiene. There are several families of drugs that can lower cholesterol and triglycerides. Your doctor will choose the best treatment for you. This treatment will mostly continue indefinitely.

What to avoid fat and fat to keep?

A diet designed to lower cholesterol requires daily attention on the consumption of foods rich in fat (lipids). Especially as some foods contain fats called "hidden."

Visible fat

  • Olive oil
  • Rapeseed
  • Peanut oil (for frying)
  • Sunflower oil
  • Corn oil
  • Grape Seed Oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Plants soft margarines
  • Butter
  • Cream
  • Lard
  • Palme (margarines)
Hidden fat

  • Fish
  • Poultry (skinless)
  • Lean pork (tenderloin)
  • Ham
  • Lawyer
  • Sheep
  • Beef
  • Pork fat
  • Fat Delicatessen
  • Cheese fat
  • Whole milk