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The Curse of Cholesterol

The Curse of Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a growing concern for many. All our oil advertisements are selling us cooking oil that maintains healthy cholesterol levels. But oily foods increase cholesterol and high cholesterol is not good for your heart health. High levels of cholesterol in the blood can increase the risk of heart disease, as it can contribute to the buildup of plaque in your arteries. Plaque buildup can narrow and harden your arteries, making it more difficult for blood to flow freely. This increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems.

However, cholesterol also has other important functions in the body, such as being a building block for cell membranes and producing hormones, Vitamin D, and bile acids. So, while cholesterol is primarily associated with heart health, it has many other important roles in the body as well.

Let us look into what cholesterol is and how it is related to our body.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in the fats (lipids) in your blood. It is an essential component of cell membranes and is also used to produce hormones, Vitamin D, and bile acids that help with fat digestion. However, high levels of cholesterol in the blood can increase the risk of heart disease. There are two main types of cholesterol: 

Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) known as "bad" cholesterol, and High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) known as "good" cholesterol. High levels of LDL in the body causes an increase in plaque accumulation in arteries which brings many heart problems. HDL carries cholesterol from other parts of your body to the liver from where it is eliminated from the body.

Foods that are high in saturated and trans fats tend to increase LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. These foods include:

  • Fatty meats
  • Butter, lard
  • Cheese and other dairy products made with whole or 2% milk
  • Fried foods
  • Baked goods made with hydrogenated oils

On the other hand, foods that can increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels include:

  • Oats, barley, and other whole grains
  • Nuts, such as almonds and walnuts
  • Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna
  • Avocados
  • Olive oil

Smoking is extremely harmful for your lungs but also for your heart. Smoking increases LDL levels while decreasing HDL levels which results in high cholesterol in your body.

It's important to note that a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein, as well as low in unhealthy fats, can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Effects of Cholesterol

High cholesterol levels can lead to several harmful health effects, including:

  1. Cardiovascular disease: High cholesterol levels can increase the buildup of plaque in your arteries, leading to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.
  2. Atherosclerosis: Plaque buildup in your arteries can also cause them to narrow and harden, making it difficult for blood to flow freely and increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  3. Peripheral artery disease: Plaque buildup in the arteries that supply blood to your legs and feet can cause pain and reduce the ability to walk or move your limbs.
  4. Carotid artery disease: Plaque buildup in the arteries in your neck can reduce blood flow to your brain and increase the risk of stroke.
  5. Aortic stenosis: Plaque buildup in the main blood vessel that supplies blood to your body (the aorta) can cause it to narrow, making it more difficult for your heart to pump blood, and leading to chest pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue.

How To Control Cholesterol?

Some ways in which you can control cholesterol levels and maintain good health are:

  1. Eat a healthy diet: Incorporate more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein into your diet, and reduce your intake of saturated and trans fats.
  2. Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity most days of the week.
  3. Weight loss: If you are overweight or obese, weight loss can help lower your cholesterol levels.
  4. Quit smoking: Smoking can raise cholesterol levels and harm your heart and blood vessels in many ways. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your heart health.
  5. Limit alcohol consumption: Drinking too much alcohol can raise your triglycerides (a type of fat in your blood) and lower your HDL (good) cholesterol levels. You can limit your alcohol intake by choosing to go for non alcoholic beers like the 3Sisters non alcoholic beer.
  6. Take cholesterol-lowering medication: If lifestyle changes alone aren't enough to lower your cholesterol levels, your doctor may prescribe medication to help.
  7. Get regular check-ups: Regular check-ups with your doctor can help you monitor your cholesterol levels and make any necessary changes to your lifestyle or treatment plan. Cholesterol levels increase as you age so regular blood tests should be done for males aged 45 - 65 and women aged 55 - 65 years.


It’s important to keep an eye on your cholesterol levels and being conscious of what you eat and drink is crucial here. While cutting out wholly on oily foods is not possible, we would recommend making healthier choices when it comes to snacking. Eating healthy snacks and meals can go a long way. With the No BS healthy snacks, you get to munch on tasty and healthy things like makhana, ragi, multigrains, moong jor etc. They contain zero trans fats and zero cholesterol! 

To limit your alcohol consumption, you can choose non alcoholic beers like the 3Sisters non alcoholic beer which comes in 6 flavours. With regular exercise, a healthy diet and an overall healthy lifestyle, you can keep the curse of cholesterol away!

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