The word cholesterol may immediately conjure up images of clogged arteries or lab reports circled in red. You may associate cholesterol with negative health outcomes because it frequently gets a bad rap. But in fact, cholesterol serves an important role in our bodies, such as creating new cells and helping produce hormones.

Your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, but high cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. With high cholesterol, you can develops fatty deposits in your blood vessels. eventually, these deposits grow, making it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries.

lets have a quick review on cholesterol and understand high cholesterol cause.

What is cholesterol ?

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is part of all cells in our body. The liver makes all the cholesterol our body needs. while cholesterol may be natural and essential for our bodies to function, its important to distinguish between the different types of cholesterol. They are:-

HDL – High Density Lipoprotein or Good Cholesterol

LDL – Low Density Lipoprotein or Bad Cholesterol

They are not created equally, and they don’t have the same impacts on your body.


known to cause plaques buildup in arteries. This  accumulation can eventually lead to interrupted blood flow.



High levels of LDL cholesterol is linked to progression of atherosclerosis, artery hardening, and progressive narrowing, which causes heart attack and strokes.

On the other hand,


help clean out the built-up cholesterol in the arteries. It causes the reverse transport of LDL, from the periphery to the liver for disposal.

Two types of cholesterol combines to form total cholesterol.

Total cholesterol = HDL + LDL


Now, we should know the ideal cholesterol levels.

Normal cholesterol level will differ based on many factors like health, age, sex, etc. However, its important to understand your specific health goals and what your cholesterol target should be so that you can understand lab reports and make healthy choices to maintain or change your cholesterol numbers.

  • Men and Women, 20 yrs or older should target
  • Total cholesterol – 125mg/dl to 200mg/dl
  • LDL –  less than 100mg/dl
  • HDL –  40mg/dl or more in women
  • 50mg/dl or more in men.
The first sign of high cholesterol

may be chest pain, breathing issues, or even a heart attack as a result of plaque built-up in arteries. High cholesterol or abnormal cholesterol levels are clinically silent conditions – there are no symptoms, which is why it is important to screen for them.

So, on general recommendations,

  • adults should screen them every 5 yrs
  • children should be first tested around 9-11 yrs old and then after every 5 years.
  • men ages 45 to 65 and women ages 55 to 65 should have cholesterol tested every 1-2 years.

It turns out that your lifestyle has a lot to do with you cholesterol levels, and it is one of the leading factors for high cholesterol. for example – smoking, lack of exercise, diet of unhealthy foods, contribute to increase in LDL cholesterol levels.

Good news is that cholesterol can usually be reduced by changing your lifestyle, including eating healthier and exercising more.

You can mainly add fibre in your diet. Fibre can help minimize the amount of cholesterol in body by blocking absorption of fatty substance and fibre can modestly reduce LDL levels by about 5 mg/dl per 3gm of soluble fibre.

soluble fibres include oatmeal, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruit, carrot, psyllium, barley.