Causes of High Cholesterol
If You Have High Cholesterol, Diet, Lifestyle Choices, and Other Factors May be to Blame.
Got high cholesterol? Start by taking a look at what's on your plate. Poor diet is a leading culprit when it comes to unhealthy cholesterol levels. Eating a diet high in saturated fat and trans fats increases LDL and reduces HDL cholesterol. Meats, eggs, and full-fat dairy products are particularly high in saturated fat, and any foods made with hydrogenated vegetable oils contain trans fats.
Too much dietary cholesterol can also affect blood cholesterol levels, although each person absorbs a different amount from his or her food, depending on his or her genetic makeup. Dietary cholesterol is found almost exclusively in foods of animal origin, such as eggs, meats, and dairy.
Inactivity and other lifestyle choices, such as smoking, also contribute to unhealthy cholesterol levels.
Several conditions and diseases can elevate cholesterol levels, too. These include diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, hypercholesterolemia, kidney disease, obstructive liver disease, and familial disorders such as familial hyperlipidemia. Only a small portion of high cholesterol cases are a result of these medical conditions.
Medical conditions that don't cause high cholesterol, such as high blood pressure, can interact with unhealthy cholesterol levels in such a way that they increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease even more. If you have high blood pressure or other heart conditions, it's even more important to work with your doctor to keep your cholesterol in check.