High cholesterol levels don’t exhibit any symptoms. The only way to find out if you have high cholesterol levels is through a blood test. It is ideal to have yourself tested for cholesterol levels starting at the age of 20, and every 5 years thereafter—more if you have a family history of heart disease, hypertension or diabetes, and if you are a smoker. If you don’t have your blood cholesterol checked and managed, you may suffer from complications. Complications include chest pains, heart attack and stroke.
There are generally two kinds of cholesterols: LDL or more commonly known as bad cholesterol; and HDL or more commonly known as good cholesterol. LDL stands for low density lipoprotein, and this is the type that sticks to the walls of the blood vessels and arteries. HDL stands for high density lipoprotein, and this type picks up bad cholesterols in the bloodstream and brings it back to the liver. There are ways to lower your LDL levels and increase HDL levels.
The diet is the starting point for maintaining good cholesterol levels. Avoid high cholesterol foods such as foods that have high amounts of saturated fats and trans fats—such as coconut oil, palm oil, animal derived fats like butter and margarine, and fatty animal products such as bacon. When it comes to fats, choose products that have unsaturated fats like olive oil and canola oil. Other foods that are notorious for having high cholesterol are egg yolks, shrimp and duck meat. When consuming these foods, the idea to remember is to adjust the diet accordingly so that other foods throughout the day contain no cholesterol or very little. The daily recommended cholesterol intake for healthy adults is at 300 milligrams, while for people who are at a health disadvantage should not exceed 200 milligrams. To put things in perspective, the average cholesterol content in one chicken egg yolk is at 212 milligrams.