The Connection Between Cholesterol and Mental Health

Connection Between

The Connection between Cholesterol and Mental Health and Health

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance in the body. Completely natural, it is actually essential for our survival. Our livers produce cholesterol, while the rest of it is obtained through the foods we eat. However, it is important to keep a balanced cholesterol level as when it is too high, there can be serious implications to our mental and physical health.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a type of fat found in our bodies, and it plays an important role in several bodily functions. This includes synthesis of hormones and manufacturing of vitamin D. It is also necessary for formation of bile acids, which are used to help our bodies digest fatty foods. There are two main types of cholesterol: HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and LDL (low-density lipoprotein).

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The Effects of Out-of-Balance Cholesterol Levels

When either of these types of cholesterol are out of balance, mental health and physical health problems can occur. If LDL cholesterol levels are too high, this leads to a build up of fatty deposits in the arteries, which increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases. High cholesterol also increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and affects the levels of serotonin in the brain – a chemical linked to depression and anxiety.

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How to Improve Mental and Physical Health

The first step to improving your mental and physical health is to change your diet. Food that is high in saturated fats should be reduced and replaced with foods consisting of unsaturated fats, like oily fish, nuts and seeds. It is also important to exercise regularly – 20 minutes of exercise three to five times a week – as this helps lower your LDL cholesterol levels and encourages your body to absorb more HDL cholesterol. In addition, reduce your daily stress levels to prevent hormone levels from becoming unbalanced, as this too can have an effect on cholesterol levels.

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Monitoring Cholesterol Levels

Regular check-ups with a doctor or health care provider are always recommended for monitoring cholesterol levels. The doctor or nurse will test your levels and suggest dietary and lifestyle changes if levels are too high. There are also prescription medications that can be prescribed to help lower cholesterol.

By taking positive steps to balance out your cholesterol levels, you can help improve both your mental and physical health. Eating a healthy and balanced diet and exercising can help lower your cholesterol and improve your overall wellbeing.