8 Tips to Improve Your Cholesterol and Lipid Profile

November 5, 2022 ,

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide, responsible for 30% of all deaths. A significant proportion of people have a high level of cholesterol, but many of them do not know it, because they do not feel sick. If left untreated, this problem increases the risk of suffering from CVD. A poor diet quality is strongly associated with an impaired lipid profile and incidentally a high risk of CVD. In this article, I give you eight tips to optimize your lipid profile.

Cholesterol is a fat made naturally by our body and is essential for good health. The problem is when there is too much. Excess cholesterol in the blood tends to settle on the walls inside the arteries: this is atherosclerosis. By accumulating, deposits can block the arteries. When cholesterol deposits build up in the arteries that bring blood to the heart, it can cause a heart attack. If the deposits are in the arteries of the neck or head, they can cause a cerebral vascular accident (stroke).

The lipid profile is used to assess the risk of developing CVD. It includes total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.

When we talk about “good” and “bad” cholesterol, we are not talking about the cholesterol found in food, but rather the cholesterol found in the blood. In fact, we should talk about “good” and “bad” cholesterol transporters, because cholesterol is insoluble in water and must combine with lipoproteins to circulate in the blood. There are two types:

  • HDL cholesterol, commonly referred to as “good cholesterol”, is involved in the elimination of cholesterol and therefore has a positive effect on cardiovascular health
  • LDL cholesterol, commonly referred to as “bad” cholesterol, is involved in the formation of atheromatous plaques in the arteries that increase the risk of having a heart attack and/or stroke

Triglycerides are another kind of fat useful for the proper functioning of the body. Too much triglyceride circulating in the blood can also contribute to the development of atherosclerosis and increase the risk of CVD. This is even more true in the presence of a high LDL level, a low HDL level, an increased waist circumference. The blood triglyceride levels are mainly influenced by the amounts of added sugars and alcohol in our diet.

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Kathryn Adel
Kathryn holds a Bachelor Degree in Nutrition as well as a Bachelor and a Master Degree in Kinesiology, all from Laval University. She is a Registered Dietitian and active member of the Ordre professionnel des Diététistes Nutritionnistes du Québec (ODNQ) and of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She holds the Monash University's certification for the FODMAP diet and IBS, and has considerable clinical experience in that area. She is also an accomplished athlete, having ran track and cross-country at a national level. Kathryn specializes in sports nutrition, weight loss, diabetes, as well as heart and gastrointestinal health.

One comment to “8 Tips to Improve Your Cholesterol and Lipid Profile”

November 6, 2022 Kathryn Pugliese said:

Loved your article. I basically understood the wording.
We’ll done for the non medical friends.
Thank you

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