Cholesterol is one of the notable inspection items in health checkups and comprehensive medical checkups. This is because an imbalance of cholesterol in the blood can cause various diseases.
However, not all cholesterol is bad for the body. Cholesterol is also a material that makes up the human body, and is an essential substance for us to live.
In this article, we will provide an overview of cholesterol, guidelines for intake, and foods high in cholesterol.
Cholesterol is one of the lipids present in the human body.
Cholesterol is one of the many lipids present in the human body. When we think of lipids, we tend to think of them as fattening and bad for the body. However, cholesterol is a material that makes cell membranes, hormones, and bile acids, and the body cannot be built without cholesterol.
Lipids are classified as:
<Types of lipids>
Simple lipids: Neutral fats, etc.
Complex lipids: Phospholipids, lipoproteins, etc.
Derived lipids: Cholesterol, fatty acids, etc.
20-30% of cholesterol is taken in through diet, and 70-80% is synthesized in the liver using sugar and fat in the body. Normally, the total amount is well regulated in the body to maintain an appropriate amount.
Health is adversely affected when, for some reason, there is too much or too little cholesterol in the blood. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to the value of cholesterol in health checkups.
Cholesterol has good and bad
Cholesterol includes LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is called bad cholesterol and HDL cholesterol is called good cholesterol because of their different functions. Specific features are as follows.
LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol)
LDL cholesterol is responsible for transporting cholesterol made in the liver throughout the body. As long as you have the right amount of LDL cholesterol, you should be fine. However, when LDL cholesterol increases too much, it gradually accumulates in the walls of the arteries, narrowing or clogging the arteries and causing arteriosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a condition in which the arteries lose their elasticity and harden. Atherosclerosis causes myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, and cerebral infarction. In this way, too much LDL cholesterol is called bad cholesterol because it causes disease.
HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol)
HDL cholesterol collects and removes LDL cholesterol that has accumulated in blood vessels or accumulated in the walls of blood vessels and returns it to the liver.
Contrary to LDL cholesterol, it is called good cholesterol because it regulates the amount of cholesterol in the body and prevents disease.
Guideline for Cholesterol Intake
As explained in the previous section, cholesterol does not harm the body as long as it is in balance. Rather, if you don’t meet the required amount, your hormone balance will collapse, affecting your physical condition and weakening your immune function.
To keep your cholesterol in balance, you need to adjust the amount of cholesterol you take in from outside your body.
In the Dietary Reference Intakes for Japanese established by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the upper limit was abolished from the 2015 edition, as there was insufficient evidence to determine the upper limit of cholesterol intake. However, in the 2020 edition of the same document, a new guideline for the amount of cholesterol intake per day was described in order to prevent the aggravation of dyslipidemia caused by an imbalance in cholesterol levels.
The recommendation is to keep cholesterol intake below 200 mg per day.
How to improve dyslipidemia
Dyslipidemia is a condition in which there is an excess of LDL cholesterol or triglycerides in the blood or an insufficient amount of HDL cholesterol. Women need to be especially careful after menopause, as LDL cholesterol levels rise as the female hormone estrogen decreases.
If you have been diagnosed with dyslipidemia and are taking drug therapy, you will be asked to improve your lifestyle. Concretely, it is effective to control diet, aerobic exercise, smoking cessation, and abstinence from alcohol.
If you have high LDL cholesterol and are consuming a lot of saturated fatty acids found in fatty meat such as ribs and minced meat, chicken skin, butter, lard, and fresh cream, you should review your diet. In many cases, reducing saturated fat intake from the diet improves LDL cholesterol.
For dyslipidemia, it is considered effective to improve blood lipid levels through exercise therapy. Aerobic exercise also raises HDL cholesterol. It doesn’t require high-intensity exercise, so it’s easy for people who don’t have a habit of exercising.
For exercise therapy, aim for about 30 minutes every day, centering on moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. The total exercise time should be 30 minutes, or you can take three 10-minute walks between work or study.
According to the National Institute of Health and Nutrition’s ” Revised Physical Activity METs Chart ,” moderate-intensity exercise includes walking, cycling, and walking in water.
Smoking not only makes your blood more likely to clot, it can also reduce HDL cholesterol and increase LDL cholesterol. Smoking habits can be said to be a major risk factor for the progression of dyslipidemia.
If you are concerned about your cholesterol level, we recommend reducing or quitting smoking.
Neutral fat in the blood increases due to alcohol intake, which causes dyslipidemia. Consuming high-fat foods increases the risk of dyslipidemia.
On the other hand, alcohol not only synthesizes and increases HDL cholesterol, but also reduces its decomposition. In other words, the more alcohol you consume, the more HDL cholesterol you have. However, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to diseases such as obesity and high blood pressure, so if you drink a lot of alcohol every day, you should start by cutting down on alcohol.
Watch out for animal fats that contain a lot of cholesterol
Common foods high in cholesterol are: LDL cholesterol is mostly found in animal fats. People who like the following foods should pay attention to their intake.
<Foods rich in cholesterol>
・Eggs: chicken eggs, quail eggs
・Seafood: sardines, dried shrimp, surume squid, firefly
squid ・Fish roe: Kazunoko, dried mullet,
salmon roe, cod roe ・Internal organs: pork liver, chicken liver, monkfish liver
・Animals Fats: chicken skin, lard, beef tallow, fresh cream, etc.
Recommended foods for people concerned about LDL cholesterol
There are foods that reduce LDL cholesterol and those that block cholesterol absorption. If you are concerned about LDL cholesterol, we recommend that you incorporate these foods.
Blue-backed fish such as horse mackerel and saury contain unsaturated fatty acids such as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). These unsaturated fatty acids help maintain HDL cholesterol and reduce LDL cholesterol.
Food made from soybeans
Soy protein contained in soy-based foods such as tofu and natto suppresses the absorption of cholesterol.
Foods rich in vitamins, beta-carotene, polyphenols, etc.
Foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, β-carotene, polyphenols, etc. suppress the oxidation of LDL cholesterol accumulated in the walls of blood vessels.
Frozen home delivery bento is recommended for those who want to know the amount of fat
Even if you are concerned about your fat intake, it is not easy to prepare meals while calculating your fat intake.
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“Kikubari GozenⓇ ” is a frozen home delivery lunch box with 9 g of fat or less, 300 kcal of energy or less, 2.0 g of salt equivalent or less, and 100 g or more of vegetables (including potatoes, mushrooms, seaweeds, and beans; perishable equivalent). We have an assortment of test kits. The main dish and side dish are set, and you can also enjoy meat dishes.
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“Kikubari GozenⓇ ” trial 4-meal set.
Improve your cholesterol levels with lifestyle changes
When the balance of cholesterol in the blood is lost and dyslipidemia occurs, it induces arteriosclerosis, which causes myocardial infarction and cerebral infarction. If your cholesterol level is pointed out at a medical checkup, don’t ignore it. Start by reviewing your diet and exercise habits.
What Happens If You Have High Cholesterol?
High levels of LDL cholesterol can lead to arteriosclerosis, myocardial infarction, and cerebral infarction.
What causes high cholesterol levels?
Causes of high cholesterol levels include eating too much fat, which increases the amount of cholesterol synthesized in the body, and eating foods rich in cholesterol. Women need to be careful because their cholesterol levels rise after menopause due to the decrease in the female hormone estrogen.
Welcome to my blog. My name is Muhammad Hassaan. I am a blogger and have a knowledge of five years of blogging. I also belong to the field of health as a D pharmacy student. That’s why I am running this health blog. I am very much interested to read articles on health and love to share information with other people and also get information from them. If you have any questions you can ask me through the contact us page. Thanks for Visiting us and Have a great day.