Learn the difference between the good and the bad cholesterol!
GOOD AND BAD CHOLESTEROL
IN THIS ARTICLE, YOU WILL NOT ONLY LEARN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE GOOD AND BAD CHOLESTEROL BUT YOU WILL SURELY KNOW HOW TO AVOID THE BAD ONE AND LIVE LONG.
When I started to research for this article, I spent nearly two months in Nigeria traveling from the village to the cities and cities to cities. In all, I visited about six cities namely, Port Harcourt, Aba, Owerri, Onitsha, Nnewi and Lagos.
I made a nuisance of myself each time I give talk or ask questions about healthy eating diets in a restaurant. Worse still, when I talked about the good and bad cholesterol. It was not a joking matter! On many occasions, I escaped my face being slapped for telling them to avoid most of the foods I thought are unhealthy diets.
From one restaurant to anther, and from one bear-parlour to the other, I was laughed to stupor when I asked them if they had eaten cheese. "Cheese...cheese! "Where is your camera...e.e take photo?" I was ridiculed and jeered at! In fact, I realised that even in the cities, many people have not physically seen a piece of cheese not to mention eating it!
When I asked about "Cholesterol", I heard some shout on top of their voices in Igbo dialet,thus: "Nna, Osi Kolonsta...ha, ha, ha!" "Eh..Ee..Kolonstra..ha, ha, ha!" "Nna tell this Oyibo man, this is 'chop, chop' plasi,not plasi fo big grama!" There were really an avalanche of uncontrollable laughter and ear deafening uproars as I tried to explain the meaning of Cholesterol and the reason why we have the good, and the bad ones.
In one restaurant, in Port Harcourt the lady proprietor warned me never to near her beer parlour again else, she would have me arrested by the police and locked up for months. I was called all sorts of names like "Njo Ahia!" One who brings bad luck or bad market.
Researching for a topic like this in Nigeria is really stupid I must confess! To be frank, it is only in those restaurants and beer-parlours most men enjoy eating meat like "Anu Nchi, anu enwe, Ngwongwo, Nkwobi and Isi ewu" Some Nigerian men are so selfish that they can never give their wives money to buy and cook some of these finger-licking dishes in their homes.
In the villages, majority of the people have not had the privilege and luck to eat eggs, red meat, cheese and butter or anything to give them the so called Cholesterol!
To be frank, Cholesterol is a "rich man's and whiteman's disease!" one principal of a college told me. "Definitely, he argued that it is not an African or Nigerian type of disease! He went on, only the rich people in the cities and Nollywood actors and actresses can suffer from cholesterol! "As for me, I can't afford such luxury especially when I have not received my two months salaries as at this moment!"
I have always said it and will continue to say it that in the third world countries, "Poverty can sometimes be a blessing in disguise!"
By that, I mean how on earth can an average Villager in Nigeria suffer from Cholesterol which is equally like obesity which is the scourge of the western world? "Studies shows that 2 out of 3 people in the UK have more cholesterol in their bodies than is recommended"
WHAT REALLY IS CHOLESTEROL?
The Webster dictionary defines cholesterol as "A fatlike substance found in bile, gallstones, blood and the brain, also in egg yolks, etc."Some dictionaries gave different types of definitions but in reality it is a kind of substance that is produced naturally in our liver,biles and other organs in our body.
How does it come about you may ask? The answer is that we absorb cholesterol from eating foods or diets such as cheese, butter,eggs; liver and other foods which are very high in fat! Now you can see why average villagers in Nigeria call it "Rich man or White man's disease!" In some Nigerian villages you can find many people who have not eaten eggs for a whole year let alone red meat or cheese they have never physically seen or eaten!
But I must be sincere, our bodies need some or certain amount of cholesterol especially to make some cell membranes, insulate our nerves and produce hormones.But then,everything have to be in moderation because too much of cholesterol can affect our livers and hearts.
THE 'GOOD' AND 'BAD' CHOLESTEROL
To be sincere, the reason why we have the 'good' as well as the 'bad' cholesterol is determined by the way it carries in our bodies.The carriers are called 'Lipoproteins' and ther are two types-low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL).
The job of the LDL is to transport cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body. However, when there is more LDL cholesterol in the blood than the body needs,cholesterol accumulates in in body tissues, such as the walls of coronary arteries. Here, it can build up and can have adverse effect on our hearts. That is why LDL cholesterol is called 'bad' cholesterol!"
The function of "HDL cholesterol is to transport surplus cholesterol from the body tissues back to the liver, where it is broken down and passed out of the body. That is why HDL cholesterol is called 'good' cholesterol!"
TO MEMORISE THIS , NOTE: YOUR 'HDL' SHOULD BE HIGH!
WHILE YOUR 'LDL' SHOULD BE LOW!
DIETS TO LOWER YOUR CHOLESTEROLS:
ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOU EAT HEALTHY FOOD AND IN THIS CASE YOU NEED PLENTY OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES INCLUDING APPLES, SPINACH,FLUTED PUMPKIN LEAVES, AT LEAST FOUR-FIVE TIMES A WEEK. YOU SHOULD DRINK PLENTY OF WATER AT LEAST A LITER A DAY!
You must eat food rich in protein and fibre such as Beans,fresh fishes, moi moi regularly.
You must make sure you engage in physical exercise especially walking every day.
Avoid cream cakes, biscuits, smoking,and other foods or diets high in saturated fats.
Eat plenty of foods rich in carbohydrates such as potatoes, rice,wholegrain cereals or bread.
And finally get your cholesterol checked by your GP regularly and by following these advices, you will not only avoid bad cholesterol but live a healthy long life!