What Causes High Cholesterol?
1. Nutrition - although some foods contain cholesterol, such as eggs and some seafoods, dietary cholesterol does not have much of an impact in human blood cholesterol levels. However, saturated fats do, as well as *trans fat! Foods high in saturated fats include red meat, sausages, hard cheese, lard, cream and butter.
2. Sedentary lifestyle - people who do not exercise and spend most of their time sitting/lying down have significantly higher levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and lower levels of HDL (good cholesterol).
3. Bodyweight - people who are overweight/obese are much more likely to have higher LDL levels and lower HDL levels, compared to people who are of normal weight.
4. Smoking - this can have quite a considerable effect on LDL levels.
5. Alcohol - people who consume too much alcohol regularly, generally have much higher levels of LDL and much lower levels of HDL, compared to people who abstain or those who drink in moderation.
(This list is not exhaustive. Some diseases, certain medicines, and family history may also impact cholesterol levels).
*Trans fat is found in many processed foods, such as cookies, crackers, snack foods, and other processed foods made with shortening, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, or hydrogenated vegetable oils, including some margarines and salad dressings. Really, try to avoid!