Remnant Cholesterol’s Role in Heart Attacks

If you’ve never heard of remnant cholesterol then the definition is found in the name itself, “remnant.” They are triglyceride-rich remnant particles leftover after removing HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol from total cholesterol.

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is made by all animal cells. It is a key ingredient in making new cells and keeping the shape of cells. Cholesterol is needed for well-being. It is extremely important in the synthesis of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone, and also to make steroids that fight inflammation and stress. Cholesterol plays a protective role in the body, it helps to digest fats and is essential in the production of vitamin d3 from sunlight, which is used to strengthen bones.

HDL is known as good cholesterol because it takes the leftover cholesterol to be processed in your liver and ultimately removed from your body. Your ultimate goal with cholesterol is to lower your total cholesterol and LDL (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol), while increasing your HDL (high-density lipoprotein ). You’ll understand why after we go over how to calculate remnant cholesterol. Remnant cholesterol is what creates the problems in the body to ultimately cause heart attacks.

How Do You Calculate Remnant Cholesterol?

How to Calculate Remnant Cholesterol

Remember that remnant cholesterol is the remnant, or leftover, cholesterol after removing HDL and LDL from total cholesterol. For example, if your total cholesterol is 250, your LDL is 100, and your HDL is 40, then the leftover is your remnant cholesterol. The higher the number of remnant cholesterol, the higher risk for the different diseases that can ultimately lead to a heart attack. Remnant cholesterol below 17 is best, between 18 and 23, is okay, between 24 and 29 should cause concern, and anything above 29 is usually a time bomb. Now you can interpret your cholesterol levels in a different way!

Remnant Cholesterol’s Association With Heart Attacks

Heart Attack is an Emergency!

Unfortunately, having a high amount of remnant cholesterol is linked with a higher risk of myocardial infarction. In fact, those who have high remnant cholesterol have a higher chance of developing ischemic heart disease. There is a difference between ischemic heart disease and myocardial infarction. They’re all scientific terms for all the ways your heart can kill you if you don’t start taking better care of yourself. Infarction means the tissue itself has died because of a lack of blood to the organ or tissue. Myocardial ischemia is caused by reduced blood flow to the heart. This all sounds very dangerous, and is all caused by high levels of remnant cholesterol, but how do we reduce it?

How To Reduce Remnant Cholesterol To Healthy Levels?

Remnant cholesterol can be lowered without medications. Medications aren’t always the answer, and one should always seek alternative and natural lifestyle changes in order to live a longer and healthier life. Obviously, the first step in a natural approach would be to look at diet, sleep, and exercise.

Reducing Remnant Cholesterol With Exercise

It’s good practice, even with general heart health, to get at least thirty minutes of cardio exercise daily. This significantly reduces blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. If you’re overweight, then you’re at a higher risk of high cholesterol. Even just a few extra pounds can really drive the cholesterol numbers in the wrong direction. Exercises from taking your bike to work instead of driving, taking the stairs, or a walk during your lunch break will go a long way in stabilizing your cholesterol levels. Remember, medications aren’t the only way to reduce your cholesterol levels. Don’t think pills can help mask bad food decisions and a sedentary lifestyle. Of course, before starting any new exercise or diet regimen, be sure to speak to your doctor and have your cholesterol checked.

Reducing Remnant Cholesterol With The Right Foods

Reducing the trans fat found in deserts and fried foods and baked goods from the supermarket shelf alone will go a long way in not only reducing your cholesterol but reducing your risk of obesity as well. Increasing your fiber intake means you’ll reduce the amount of cholesterol absorbed into your bloodstream, thus preventing any clotting and risk of heart disease. Fiber can be found in greens like broccoli, or delicious fruits such as pears and apples, also in peas, and beans. Garlic and onions are also excellent foods to reduce cholesterol.

Reduce Remnant Cholesterol With Sleep

In an article on Very Well Health, Jennifer Moll, PharmD, asked the question: “Could Your Sleep Habits Affect Your Lipids? She indicated that consistently getting less than 6 hours or more than 8 hours of sleep can affect your cholesterol and triglycerides levels. The American Sleep Association, in an article, reported that a study done at the University of Helsinki showed reduced HDL levels in people who are sleep-deprived. HDL is responsible for the transport of remnant cholesterol to the liver. Reduced levels will increase the remnant cholesterol, thus increasing the chances of a heart attack. See also my blog on sleep here.

Having a heart attack is not a pleasant thing, believe me! I am blessed to have survived 2 of them. I wish I knew then what I know now. I told myself that would never happen to me, I hope you do not make the same mistake. No one can take care of you better than you can. Make the right choices about your health and just do it!

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