Yes, you can have high cholesterol and still be skinny. It is possible because the cholesterol does not increase the body fat. Cholesterol stays as an unhealthy component in the blood. It is not as a fat that can increase the body weight. So people can stay skinny even if they have high cholesterol in their blood.
What is the purpose of cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a substance that the body uses for the synthesis of hormones, digestive juices etc. The body makes its own cholesterol. There is cholesterol from the diet as well. When the cholesterol consumption increases, it increases can elevate the total cholesterol level in the body. The body cannot utilize more cholesterol than what is necessary.
The unused cholesterol is not soluble in the blood. It floats through the blood increasing its concentration. Cholesterol serves its purpose as long as it stays within the normal limits.
Anything over the limit can be harmful to the body. At the same time, there is one type of cholesterol that is good and is okay to have in higher number than the normal range. Let’s get to know more about these cholesterol types. It is the value of this cholesterol that changes everything.
Types of cholesterol
Cholesterol is of 3 types in the body. They are triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein, and high-density lipoprotein.
Triglycerides are fatty acids that are formed by the conversion of sugar and the fats that we eat. It is also the primary energy resource that is readily available in the blood. Triglycerides are insoluble in the blood and can circulate in the blood for longer.
This fatty substance increases its concentration in the blood when there is excess sugar or alcohol present. These are converted into triglycerides. Excess triglycerides in the blood can lead to obesity and heart diseases. It hardens the arteries causing heart problems. It can also lead to pancreatitis when goes beyond a certain limit.
This is the most undesirable type of cholesterol. It is a lipid with a protein attached to it. This cholesterol is sticky in nature. It adheres to the blood vessel walls making the slower blood flow through them. The body needs this cholesterol as it is a precursor to many hormones and other needed substances. But when it goes over a certain limit it poses the threat of blocking the blood vessels.
LDL cholesterol level is easily flared. It is usually kept under check, by its counterpart HDL. When there is more LDL than HDL the body will be at risk.
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High-density lipoprotein is the good cholesterol that scavenges the other 2 types. The main purpose of HDL is to control the level of triglycerides and LDL. HDL catches the LDL and brings it to the liver where it is destroyed. When there are more of the other two, HDL cannot do much. This leads to high cholesterol levels.
When the total cholesterol has a high concentration of HDL than the others, it is beneficial even if the blood has high cholesterol levels. But the other 2 types should not be the ones that are higher in percentage.
How to stay skinny if you have high cholesterol
If it is HDL that makes the high cholesterol, you don’t have to worry about staying skinny and healthy. If the triglycerides or LDL are higher, you need to control the diet and immediately start some exercises to keep the body busy and fit. Each type of cholesterol needs a different approach to reduce their amount in the blood.
Triglycerides require you to reduce the consumption of high-calorie food items. Triglycerides are the stored calories available in the blood. So you need to control the calorie intake. Choose healthier calories that are slowly digestible. Calories coming from the fruits and vegetables take the number one priority here. You will also have to reduce the alcohol and sugar consumption. Reducing fat content is also important. Take cold water fish to get the triglycerides lower. The omega fatty acids in these fishes help reduce the triglycerides.
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LDL- The most dangerous of the cholesterol types requires you to avoid anything that has bad cholesterol in them. Choose omega fatty acids, polyunsaturated fats over the saturated fats. You have to avoid all trans fat. Eat more fiber and protein in the diet. Have plenty of soluble fiber as in oats, beans, peas, barley etc. he soluble fiber can get into the blood and absorb the LDL cholesterol and remove it from the body. Do some hardcore workouts. Heavy exercises help lower the LDL and increase the good cholesterol levels.
HDL- You need to increase the HDL levels in the body. Exercises come first on the list as it improves the body’s ability to have more HDL. A low carbohydrate diet with plenty of omega fatty acids is the best diet. Cut down the alcohol, sugar, smoking and try to shed some weight as well. Start using extra virgin olive oil as the cooking oil as it has the good fats in it.
Being skinny and having high cholesterol is not a healthy equation. You have to have the right type of cholesterol to stay healthy. Have your health check-ups regularly and see which type of cholesterol that you have in abundance. Identify the situation and act appropriately.