How Do You Get High Cholesterol?
Doctors don't always know why some people get high cholesterol and others don't. However, there are certain risk factors that can make you more likely to develop it. Some of these factors can be controlled (such as physical activity and weight); some cannot (such as age and heredity). By addressing the risk factors that can be controlled, you can help prevent or control high cholesterol.
Your blood cholesterol level is affected not only by what you eat, but also by how quickly your body makes cholesterol and gets rid of it. In fact, your body makes almost all of the cholesterol it needs.
So how do people develop high cholesterol? Most of the time, there is no specific answer to that question. Yet while doctors and scientists do not know the specific causes of high cholesterol, they do know certain factors that can increase a person's chances of developing high cholesterol. These factors are known as high cholesterol risk factors.
There are certain risk factors for cholesterol that you can control; others you have no control over. Risk factors for high cholesterol that you can control include:
- Physical activity
Risk factors that you cannot control include:
Saturated fat and cholesterol in food you eat make your blood cholesterol level go up. While saturated fat is the main culprit, cholesterol in food is also a problem. Eating too much saturated fat and cholesterol is the main reason for high levels of cholesterol and a high rate of heart attacks in the United States. Reducing the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet helps lower your blood cholesterol level.
Trans fatty acids (trans fats) are made when vegetable oil is hydrogenated to harden it. These trans fatty acids also raise cholesterol levels.