Holiday cholesterol

Holiday is a time that is inseparably associated with greed. Easter dishes are usually neither easily digestible nor low-calorie. The consequence of a few days’ feast may be not only the increase in body fat, but also the deregulation of the lipid economy, which may manifest itself in abnormalities in the level of cholesterol and its individual fractions. The dependence is quite interesting and it is worth looking at it deeper, because it encourages a few interesting reflections. 


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According to the current state of knowledge, disturbances in lipid metabolism are a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases, such as peripheral atherosclerosis. In practice, with regard to these abnormalities, the term – dyslipidemia, which can have various forms, is used. Recognized specialists dealing with this issue Fredrickson et al. In the 1970s specified five phenotypes of dyslipidemia, introduced into the medical vocabulary the concept of hyperlipoproteinemia, which differs in lipid composition, clinical picture and response to various treatments. In later years, the adopted specification met with criticism, which resulted in another change. In 1992, the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) proposed a new division of dyslipidemia 

Hypercholesterolaemia – total cholesterol> 190 mg / dl (5 mmol / l), bad cholesterol> LDL-C 115 mg / dl (3 mmol / l). The goal of treatment is to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. 

Hypertriglyceridemia – TG> 150 mg / dl (1.7 mmol / l) 

TG 150-199 mg / dl (1.7-2.3 mmol / l) – is not a direct goal of treatment,

TG 200-499 mg / dl (2.3-5.6 mmol / l) – the primary goal of treatment is to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, 

TG> 500 mg / dl (5.6 mmol / l) – the main goal is the prophylaxis of acute pancreatitis. 

Hyperlipidemia – TC> 190 mg / dl (5 mmol / l), LDL-C> 115 mg / dl (5 mmol / l) and TG> 150 mg / dl (1.7 mmol / l) rarely exceed 500 mg / dl (5.6 mmol / l) – the main goal of treatment is to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. 

Low HDL – in men <40 mg / dl (<1 mmol / l), in women <45 mg / dl (<1.2 mmol / l) – the main goal of treatment is to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease 

If the LDL-C concentration is not determined by direct method, its value is calculated using the Friedewald formula, which is reliable if the level of triglycerides does not exceed 400 mg / dl (<4.5 mmol / l). At higher concentrations of TG, the algorithm significantly lowers the LDL-C values. 

From the point of view of the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, not only the level of total cholesterol is important, but also the level of individual lipoprotein fractions and the amount of triglycerides. Currently, more and more attention is paid to the proportions between the abovementioned factions and it is increasingly said that the study of the level of total cholesterol is insufficient in the diagnosis of lipid disorders or in particular when prescribing certain pharmaceuticals. 

Of course, we will not now consider the aspect of clinical dyslipidemia more widely. We are only interested in the fact that lipid metabolism disorders may be associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease, and the most important is that one of the factors affecting the body’s ability to metabolize lipids is our lifestyle, especially diet. Meanwhile, the Christmas diet is governed by its laws and is rarely healthy and low-calorie. So should we be concerned about its impact on metabolic health? Can a few days of greed affect the functioning of the lipid economy? Which Christmas dishes should be considered as high-risk foods? 

Theoretically, a few days’ feast should not hurt our health or our body in any particular way. However, this assumption is very hypothetical, because as you know – greed may have a different form and different severity. Completely different effects are caused by eating a little more eggs than usual, and other all-day feasting and crossing the limits of propriety. Thus, the first factor to consider is the qualitative aspect. Lack of restraint in eating and drinking is in itself unhealthy. Overeating with valuable foods can be dangerous. If these products are saturated with refined sugars and fat, the effects may turn out to be much more severe. And here we come to the qualitative aspect. The more processed and sugared foods we eat, the more havoc (this is not a very strong word), they do in our lipid economy. 

Of course, nobody will get atherosclerosis in two or three days, nevertheless, in such a short period, you can really harm the overloading and digestive system and circulatory system, especially if you are already struggling with some problems (even if they do not exist) we know). With this issue, it is worth stopping for a moment and calling them accordingly. Well, the current metabolic condition of the body is one of the factors that is responsible for whether the festive gluttony will affect health. Let me say that the relationship is simple and hits people with existing disorders such as excess fat. The higher the level of fatness of the body, the greater the activity of the endocrine adipose tissue and the worse the metabolic condition of the body and – attention – the lower the resistance to various food antics, such as Christmas greed. Similarly, the less fat and more muscle tissue the less severe are the negative effects of a few days of letting the belt pass. 


You can read also: How to lower cholesterol?

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