Cholesterol has a vital role in sustaining our life. It is an agent for repair – produced by our liver and transported to “accident” sites to prevent inflammation from spreading and worsening. In this aspect, excessive cholesterol is a sign of excessive and uncontrollable inflammations occurring. Therefore, we need to maintain cholesterol at an acceptable level and to decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke. In this article, we’ll be sharing what cholesterol is, why the human body needs cholesterol, and the benefits of having a good cholesterol ratio. Read on to find out more!
What is Cholesterol?
Many of you have heard the terms cholesterol, High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL), and Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL), and may have used them interchangeably. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is produced by the liver and also found in the food we eat. However, HDL and LDL are not actually cholesterol, but are lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are substances made from fat and protein that carry cholesterol through the bloodstream. Cholesterol is insoluble in water, the main component of blood. Hence, cholesterol needs to be transported to different parts of the body using carriers. HDL and LDL are those carriers.
The continuous cycle of cholesterol starts from the liver, then to the blood vessels by LDL, and back to the liver by the HDL. LDL carries cholesterol from the liver to your tissues and arteries. On the other hand, HDL transports excess cholesterol from the blood and returns it back to the liver, where the liver will either recycle or flush them away.
While HDL and LDL are not cholesterol, they are good proxies for it as they carry cholesterol throughout the body. Hence, to find your total cholesterol level, you add HDL level + LDL level + 20% of your triglycerides level.
Cholesterol is Necessary for You – In Moderation!
The common misconception of cholesterol is that it is something unnecessary and is often associated with risks of heart diseases and strokes. However, cholesterol is an essential substance for health! Cholesterol helps to repair damaged inflamed blood vessels quickly by forming a covering, known as a plaque, over the inflammation. Once a blood vessel is inflamed, the cholesterol in your bloodstream react quickly to the affected area to repair the damage, like applying a bandage over a wound.
It is important to note that too much cholesterol is bad for you. The greater the buildup of cholesterol, the bigger the plaque. Hence, blood is forced through the smaller opening with more force, resulting in a higher blood pressure. This high blood pressure can cause the plaque to dislodge and move to the heart or brain, causing a heart attack or stroke which are fatal in some cases.
What is Cholesterol Ratio and Why is it Important?
Instead of looking at LDL and HDL individually, a more sensible indicator is to review the cholesterol ratio of total cholesterol over HDL number. For example, if your total cholesterol is 225 and your HDL is 78, your cholesterol ratio is 2.9. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), your cholesterol ratio should not be higher than 3.5.
Why is lowering cholesterol ratio so important? Firstly, lowering Total Cholesterol is essential as an indicator of low inflammation and controlled triglyceride levels. Needless to mention, high rate of inflammation is bad, and high level of triglyceride causes stress to the liver thus leading to inflammatory responses. Secondly, HDL transports excess cholesterol from the blood back to the liver, where it can be processed. Dividing total cholesterol by HDL amount is therefore an indicator of whether you have excess cholesterol that require the production of HDL to transport back to your liver. If the ratio is more than 3.5, it potentially means that inflammation rate is high. This correlates with higher number of LDL and lower number of HDL. More cholesterols are required at sites to conduct repair works. In fact, studies have shown that people with less than 3.5 cholesterol ratio have less than half the average risk of heart disease.
How To Lower Cholesterol Ratio
While there are many ways to lower cholesterol ratio, one obvious solution is to reduce your total cholesterol level by consuming vinegar, particularly coconut vinegar. A study conducted in 2017 has shown that coconut vinegar has reportedly lowered inflammation and total cholesterol levels in the body.
The Best Source of Coconut Vinegar in Singapore
Coconut vinegar may not be as familiar to you as other types of vinegar, but here at PRIMEST, we have the best source of coconut vinegar for you – organic coconut aminos! Coconut aminos is a savoury seasoning that is similar to soy sauce, made from the fermented sap of coconut palm. This fermented sap contains coconut vinegar, that is perfect to reduce total cholesterol levels.
Cocomi Organic Coconut Aminos are the best coconut aminos in Singapore for 2 reasons. Firstly, it contains an abundance of organic coconut vinegar carefully aged from the sap of the coconut tree, that lowers inflammation and total cholesterol levels. Secondly, it contains pure sea salt. Pure sea salt, unlike cheap salt, is anti-inflammatory as it does not contain trace amounts of tiny sand, also known as grit. Grit injures your blood vessels, causing inflammation and the build-up of cholesterol and the unhealthy cycle stated in the previous paragraph.
These 2 factors make Cocomi Organic Coconut Aminos the best choice for your health, and you can find them here.
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At PRIMEST, we aim to provide only the truth for holistic health for you and your family. However, everything here is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing medical advice. You should contact your doctor to obtain advice with respect to any health issue or condition. Also, some of the links in this post may be affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you.