Test your cholesterol for a healthy life

Test your cholesterol for a healthy life

Cholesterol is a form of fat (lipid) that makes the outer membrane of our body cells stable. Our body also needs cholesterol to produce key hormones like testosterone and oestrogen etc. It isn’t entirely the health villain it’s made out to be. For decades, cholesterol has been linked to heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular diseases.

What is “bad” about cholesterol isn’t the substance itself, but how much of it is in the bloodstream. The body packages cholesterol in two main particles: low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the so-called bad cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the so-called good cholesterol. High cholesterol levels generally have no symptoms, which is why it is important to have your cholesterol levels checked at regular intervals.

Here are a few tips to lower your cholesterol levels:

* Practice weekly moderate-intensity aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.

* Avoid smoking and limit your alcohol consumption.

* Maintain a well-balanced diet and avoid high-fat and high-sodium foods. 

* Obesity is a common risk factor. Your doctor may encourage you to lose weight by cutting calories from your diet.

* Several types of medication, notably the family of drugs known as statins, can lower LDL.

(The author is COO, Oncquest Laboratories)