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These days the term cholesterol has almost become synonymous with heart problems. More so for people who have reached midlife. But that is a very unfair, lopsided judgment. As a matter of fact, cholesterol is a very essential lipid (a ‘sterol’, i.e. combination of steroid and alcohol) found in all the body tissues, performing important functions in the physiological system. It is very vital for the structure and functioning of each and every cell (cell membranes) in the body. Cholesterol also has anti-oxidant properties, and assists in the production of bile. It is key to the synthesis and functioning of several vitamins and hormones in the body as well.
Despite its importance, high density of cholesterol in the blood can prove extremely hazardous. It can lead to a condition where there is deposition of fat and cholesterol in the wall of the arteries. Such condition is medically termed as artherosclerosis. This forms a potent cause for coronary heart disease and several other cardiovascular diseases.
Abnormally low cholesterol levels, i.e. hypercholesterolemia, too has been considered to adversely affect body functioning. However, medical science is yet to clearly identify the hazards that such a condition may give rise to.
Cholesterol problems – taking care.
Cholesterol is present in all sorts of foods that contain animal fats. The major food sources that contain good amount of cholesterol are eggs, meat (including beef and mutton), and poultry. Hence, it is always advisable for a person suffering from high cholesterol problem (or those who have heart related problems) to intake foods that are devoid of such rich sources of cholesterol. A vegetarian diet contains almost negligible amount of cholesterol.
There are several remedies to this problem ready at hand at your home. For instance, onion juice doles wonders in reducing cholesterol level in blood. The same also holds true for sunflower seed. Using sunflower oil in place of solid fats like cream and butter are ideal for people who either suffer from this problem or have the tendency of cardiovascular diseases.