Know Your Fats
Ice-cream sundae, chocolate cake!’ is your lipid profile normal? The term unheard of a few decades ago is a buzz-word in new generation. What exactly is this lipid and how does it affect us?
Physical inactivity, erratic eating hours and relying on junk food has disturbed the normal functioning of our body making the level of blood-glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure far exceeding the normal range. We need to monitor these to keep fit.
Lipid profile is one such measure to determine the amount of cholesterol in our body. No matter if you are a vegetarian or having a lean body you need to do the lipid profile test. As high blood-cholesterol does not show any symptoms.
Lipids: Lipids are fatty substances found in the blood-stream. There are many kinds of lipids such as fats, cholesterol, fat-soluble vitamins and phospholipids. Sources of these are either from the diet or endogenous ie. they are made inside the body.
Functions of Lipids:
- Fats serve as a protective cushion and help prevent injury to vital organs in our body.
- Fat cells or adipose tissues insulate our body from heat loss and extreme temperatures.
- Phospholipids are the building-blocks of cell membrane.
Forms of Lipids: The two basic forms of lipids are cholesterol and triglycerides, apart from the four types of carrier proteins called lipoproteins. Wherein triglycerides provide energy to the body, cholesterol are used to build cells, certain hormones and protect nerves. Since both the forms don’t dissolve in the blood, they are carried by the lipoproteins.
Cholesterol & lipoproteins: Cholesterol have been classified according to high-density and low-density cholesterol. Since these are not soluble in blood they are carried by lipoprotiens to various parts in the body. These lipoproteins are defined according to the type and concentration of cholesterol they carry. The first two are HDLs & LDLs which are important for calculating the lipid profile. The other two are VLDL (very low density lipoprotein) & IDL (intermediate density lipoprotein).
HDL (high density lipoprotein): These transfer very little cholesterol and more of protein from the liver into the blood stream. It also removes excess cholesterol and LDL particles from the walls of blood vessels and carries it to the liver where the cholesterol is broken down and removed in the bile. Therefore it is also called as good cholesterol. High HDLs lowers the risk of heart disease.
LDL (low density lipoprotein): It carries mainly cholesterol which gets attached to the walls of the arteries forming plaque. Since it initiates the formation of plaque which triggers heart disease it is also called a bad cholesterol. High LDL increases the risk of heart disease.
Lipid profile: is a series of tests done to find the following in the blood;
Elements Optimal levels
LDL cholesterol < 100
HDL cholesterol > 60
Triglycerides < 150
Total cholesterol < 200
Excess of fats & lipids:
- High fat intake increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, cancer and arthritis.
- Excess cholesterol can block the arteries. If the arteries supplying blood to the heart gets blocked it results in a heart-attack and if it the artery is to the brain, paralytic-stroke occurs.
Prudent ways to healthy-living:
- Avoid too much of fat in your diet such as coconut, butter, cheese, chocolates and fried food.
- Limit eggs and meat.
- Switch to skimmed milk with less fat content. Curd or Yogurt is much healthy option.
- High triglycerides are also called the ‘rice eaters disease’ so reduce carbohydrate consumption.
- Include 5-10 servings of fresh fruits & vegetables in your diet.
- Use olive oil for salad dressings.
- Add more fiber rich diet of wholegrain, vegetable and dried fruits and nuts.
- Include flax seeds and nuts to boost your HDL count.
- Restrict all the three culprits in white, sugar, salt and refined flour.
- Exercise your way to good health. Walk, jog, cycle or do yoga for at least 15-20 minutes a day.
These are views and information gathered from various sources for my personal use. Would be glad, if you can add your valuable comments and information on the same for the benefits of all readers.
Know your fats and work-it-up to stay healthy!