heart disease is a very commonly occurring condition. Previously
we saw it occurring among the elderly ( above 50 years of age).
Now even those in their late 20's are having attacks or finding
blocks in their blood vessels and women are showing high blood cholesterol
or triglyceride levels too. The main cause for this is genetics,
some ancestor has passed down heart disease genes to you.
this a leading cause is stress and work pressure. People are working
for much longer hours. Earlier it was 9 am -5 pm but today it is
9 am to 9 or 10pm. Also challenges and competition is much higher
and companies are pushing employees with targets which are way beyond
their human capacities.
habits have changed, instead of eating a good hearty breakfast and
lunch and labouring all day and eating a lighter meal at dinner
when you know you are just going to sleep, it has changed to meager
breakfast and lunch and very heavy, rich dinner. A lot of eating
out, especially at night, more oily food and a lot of fast foods
and café food throughout the day, even for children, as parents
are busy working.
Last but not
the least and a very major cause is the total decline in physical
activity. Nobody walks anywhere. Everybody can afford transport
and nobody has the time for a regular exercise session. All this
has to be changed or this generation may not even live beyond their
What is cholesterol?
is present in all animal fat like milk, butter, ghee, cheese, paneer,
egg yolk, prawns, poultry, organ meat and red meat. It is also manufactured
in the body from saturated vegetable fats like coconut, dalda, vanaspati
etc. Large consumption of any of the above fats will increase the
cholesterol levels in the blood. Cholesterol levels above 170 enters
the danger zone and precautions have to be taken immediately. This
cholesterol in the blood sticks to the walls of the arteries and
blocks blood vessels, which may lead to heart attacks.
is another fat in the blood. It is the simplest form of storage
fat. All excess amount of oil and carbohydrates like rice, bread
etc, as well as excess sugar or alcohol is converted to triglyceride.
South Indians consuming large amounts of rice are prone to having
high levels of triglycerides. Also, those consuming high amounts
of alcohol exhibit the same problem. Triglycerides too are deposited
on the walls of the arteries causing blocks and heart attack. Levels
above 150 are dangerous. Fat stored in the body is mostly in the
form of triglyceride. Triglycerides are the most common type of
fat in foods and in body fat stores. We have also seen that those
going through a period of very severe stress may find triglyceride
levels suddenly rising at an alarming pace.
are fat carriers?
HDL, LDL & VLDL are fat carriers or vehicles used to transport
cholesterol and triglyceride from the liver to the rest of the body.
HDL is called the good cholesterol
because its work is to carry cholesterol away from the heart towards
the liver. The level should be above 45 mg/dl. The only way you
can raise the HDL level is to walk for 30 minutes in the morning
and evening regularly.
LDL is the transporter of cholesterol towards
the heart and other parts of the body. Levels higher
than120-150 are dangerous. Total fat consumption in the diet must
be reduced to keep this level low.
VLDL is the transporter of triglyceride
from the liver to rest of the body. Its levels should
not be above 40 mg/dl. For lowering triglyceride and VLDL, total
fat in the diet must be reduced and overeating of any kind of food
or excess alcohol consumption must be strictly controlled .