Saturday January 25, 2020

Urban lifestyle: The culprit behind high cholesterol levels among young adults

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By Nithin Sridhar

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A latest study conducted by Raman Puri, chairman of Lipid Association of India, has revealed that at least 23% of youths in Delhi who are below the age of 19-years have high cholesterol levels.

During the study, samples from 2,508 boys and girls were taken and analyzed. The study also revealed that females are more prone to cholesterol risks than males.

Ram Puri has been quoted as saying: “High prevalence of atherogenic lipid profile (reason behind heart attack and stroke), low HDL levels (good cholesterol) and high body mass index has been noted in the youth population in Delhi and its adjoining areas.”

The study has again shed light on dangers of cholesterol and associated unhealthy lifestyle.

What is cholesterol and how does it affect people?

Cholesterol is basically a fat substance that is produced in liver and released into bloodstream. It can also enter the bloodstream through the food one eats. Cholesterol plays a vital role in maintaining structural integrity and fluidity of cell membranes.

There are three types of cholesterol: High-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol, Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol and Triglycerides. The LDL causes cholesterol buildup and blockages in the arteries, whereas HDL relieves such blockages by expelling the extra cholesterol from the arteries. Therefore, LDL is bad for heart as it can cause chest pain, heart attack, kidney problems, strokes etc. whereas HDL is good as it prevents heart problems and lowers the risk of getting heart attacks.

Triglycerides are another kind of fats that are harmful to heart if present in high levels. They are most often found in people who are either alcoholics or have diabetes.

The total cholesterol level in the bloodstream should be maintained below 200 mg/dL and anything beyond 240 mg/dL is considered high and harmful. The LDL specifically must be below 100 mg/dL and anything higher than 160 mg/dl is considered very risky.

The HDL levels of good cholesterol should be at least 60 mg/dL and anything lower than 40 mg/dL is considered risky. Triglycerides are considered risky if their levels are beyond 200 mg/dL.

Cholesterol and Urban Lifestyle

The three major factors that give rise to high cholesterol are diet, body-weight and physical activity. The diet should be limited to low-fat foods. Foods containing high levels of fats like meat and full fat dairy products will give increased cholesterol level. Additionally, the junk foods and oily foods also contribute to obesity and increased cholesterol levels.

The urban lifestyle is such that people are too busy in their lives to spend time in taking care of their body. In an over populated city like Delhi, there is a dearth of parks and grounds where children can play and adults can go for a walk. Moreover, students are too busy watching TV or are occupied with their studies or are using computers, so they rarely go out.

Hence, the very lifestyle that is being followed in metros and other urban areas is the main culprit behind increased cholesterol levels in young people. The fast foods, the road-side foods, smoking and alcohol, excessive meat consumption, daily routine that includes school, homework, TV and internet with very less physical outdoor activities are all contributing towards increasing health issues among young adults.

Reducing cholesterol level

Instead of going for medical interventions to reduce cholesterol levels, one to should work on the three issues of diet, body-weight, and physical activity. People should eat foods which contain low levels of fat and more amounts of proteins, fiber, and other vitamins.

People should also reduce intake of meat and dairy products and must avoid fast-foods. Smoking and alcohol intake must be reduced and if possible, totally avoided. Physical workout in the form of walking, jogging, exercises or yoga must be practiced for at least 30 minutes daily.

These simple actions that regulate food and physical activity will go a long way in keeping cholesterol levels within permissible limits and improving the general health of the people.

Next Story

These Kitchen Items Can Aid Weight Loss

Fast track your weight loss with these kitchen essentials

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Weight Loss
Here are some kitchen items that can aid your weight loss by boosting your metabolism. Pixabay

Looking to lose some extra kilos? Look no further than some easy-to-find items in your own kitchen.

“Diet and exercise can help to lose weight in a healthy way but how well one knows their kitchen and its items, makes a world of difference to someone who has an urge to shred some extra pounds. Incorporating some food items from the kitchen in a day to day diet can have a big impact on one’s ability to lose weight,” says Dr. Partap Chauhan, noted ayurvedacharya and Director, Jiva Ayurveda.

His weight loss suggestion? Embrace Ayurveda!

He points to five kitchen items that aid weight loss by boosting metabolism and digestion at your best convenience.

Weight Loss lemon
Including lemon in food, sprinkling on salads or just making lemonade helps in rapid weight loss. Pixabay

Cinnamon:

Cinnamon has been used in Ayurveda for its disinfectant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. When it comes to weight loss, this sweet fragrant spice boosts metabolism, lowers blood sugar levels and cholesterol. Drinking cinnamon infused water first thing in the morning helps to suppress appetite, lower bad cholesterol and boost metabolism.

Black Pepper:

According to Ayurveda, black pepper is considered to be an effective agent for weight loss. It decreases blockages in the body, improves circulation and digestion while stimulating the metabolism. It also helps the body detox and inhibits it from accumulating fat.

Ginger:

This magic spice of Ayurveda boosts metabolism by 20 per cent, helps improve gut health, melts fat and flushes out toxins. It’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties aid digestion, while its appetite suppressant properties ensure that you don’t gorge on your favourite treats. Regular intake of these spices can not only help to lose weight but can dramatically improve overall health.

Weight Loss ginger
The antioxidant properties of ginger can aid digestion and weight loss. Pixabay

Lemon:

Including lemon in food, sprinkling on salads or just making lemonade helps in rapid weight loss. Lemons contain a high amount of vitamin C and soluble fiber that give them a number of health benefits. Lemons may reduce your risk of heart disease, anemia, kidney stones, digestive issues and cancer. The most important part is to eat it wisely and one won’t be far from one’s ideal weight.

Also Read- Home Remedies to Control Hair fall

Honey:

Consuming honey right before hitting the bed, can help burn more calories during the early hours of sleep. Essential hormones in honey suppress appetite and aid weight loss in much easier way. It also helps in reducing belly fat, which is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. (IANS)