What May Affect the LDL Cholesterol Level

Cholesterol levels are important because they can tell you a lot about your overall health status. There are various types of cholesterol, which are often considered bad or good for your health. High levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) are considered dangerous and unhealthy. This substance builds up fat-like substances in the arteries and can cause various health problems. Factors that can increase your LDL levels include genetics, being overweight, and not being able to exercise. Understanding these causes will help you manage your cholesterol problems.


High in LDL cholesterol level

It is critical that LDL is measured in order to establish a healthy lifestyle. A lipid profile is a blood test that measures the level of LDL or bad cholesterol. It requires only a small sample to be drawn from an artery or vein. Fasting for at least 9 to 12 hours before the test will help determine the ideal level.


What is the ideal LDL level?

A healthy level of low-density lipoprotein or LDL is measured in milligrams per deciliter of blood. It’s a complex process that involves taking into account various factors such as age and lifestyle.

  • For young kids, doctors want to see a level of less than 110 mg/dL. In older adults, doctors want to see a level of less than 100 mg/dL.

  • If you have heart problems, lower the figure to 70 mg/dL.

  • For adults over 20 years old, a 100 mg/dL to 129 mg/dL range is considered optimal.

  • For children and young adults, this range is considered borderline.

  • Those younger than 20 with a score of 130 mg/dL are considered to have high levels of LDL.

  • In adults older than 20, the range of 160 to 189 mg/dL is considered high.


LDL level can be affected by lifestyle

Your doctor will talk about what can be done to lower your low-density lipoprotein levels. One of the most important factors that will help lower these numbers is making lifestyle changes.


Diet

Your LDL levels can affect how much fat you consume each day. One key factor to consider is saturated fat, which is the main driver of these levels. They should be reduced to around 5% to 6% of your daily calories.

Below are some of the foods that are high in saturated fat which you might want to avoid to keep LDL levels low;

  • Beef and its fat

  • Pork

  • Lamb

  • Chicken (skin-on)

  • Palm oils

  • Dairy products (full-fat butter and cheese)

On the other hand, you still can enjoy similar food mentioned above if you know what to look for.


Unsaturated fats - Unsaturated fats are easily processed by the body and can help lower bad cholesterol levels and raise good cholesterol levels. A variety of fruits and vegetables can help lower these levels.


Low-Fat foods - Vegetables and fruits are low in fat and contain no saturated fat. Fat-free or low-fat dairy products are also commonly found in these foods.


Lean proteins - Instead of fattier meats, choose lean sources of protein such as fish, chicken, or vegetables. Milk is also low in fat.


No added sugar - Many fast foods and frozen food items contain added sugars, which can be very dangerous for people who are sensitive to sugar and/or corn syrup. This indication may be found under food labels.


Fiber - High-fiber foods include fruits (bananas and apples), vegetables, and beans. They can help lower bad LDL and maintain a healthy weight.


LDL level can be affected by your weight

Being overweight or obese can limit your body's ability to remove low-density lipoprotein from the bloodstream. This contributes to high levels of LDL.


These weight statuses are based on the body mass index (BMI), which is a standard measure of body fat. If your score is less than 25, you’re considered normal or underweight. If it gets worse, you’re considered obese.


While BMI is not ideal for everyone, it should be used as part of a healthy lifestyle. Higher scores can be managed through diet and exercise.


Exercising

Not enough physical activity can also lead to higher levels of LDL. Getting more exercise can help improve your health and lower your risk of suffering from chronic diseases. In fact, even a modest increase in exercise can help improve your health. Getting up to 90 minutes of physical activity each day can help improve your health.

The surgeon general generally encourages adults to get at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise each week. This includes walking, swimming, and other physical activities.


Smoking

One of the most damaging effects of tobacco smoke is high blood pressure, which lowers the HDL level and can trigger cancer. Being able to quit is also beneficial for managing cholesterol. Second-hand smoke is very dangerous and can cause chronic illness. It can also be triggered by accidental cigarette smoke exposure.


Alcohol

Being heavily intoxicated can also increase your risk of high cholesterol levels. This issue is linked to alcoholism and excessive drinking.


LDL level can be affected by your age and sex

Your age and sex can also affect the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL). For men, the effects of age and sex can increase the risk of having high LDL levels. Women going through menopause can also affect the level of LDL in their bodies. Being monitored for this condition is also beneficial for them.


LDL level can be affected by your genetics

A family history of high cholesterol can increase your risk of developing this condition. It is considered an uncommon illness that can be easily detected and treated. High LDL levels are known to cause early heart attack and stroke.


In these cases, the defective gene that produces the protein is known to cause a variety of metabolic disorders. It is also known to cause heterogenous FH. This condition occurs when both parents carry the defective gene.


Treating patients with high cholesterol may require genetic screening. Also, being in a family with a history of heart disease or being obese can trigger scrutiny.


LDL level can be affected by other health conditions

  • Type 2 diabetes is when the body doesn't produce enough insulin to break down sugars. This impairs the body's ability to process LDL.

  • Chronic kidney disease is a condition that occurs when the kidneys fail to remove waste from the bloodstream. It can also cause high blood pressure and other health issues.

  • High levels of Cholesterol can be observed in pregnancy. This condition increases the risk of various complications for women.

  • High levels of LDL are known to be caused by the underactive thyroid gland. If this condition is elevated, you should get checked by a doctor.



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