Dyslipidemia is a term used to describe all quantitative or qualitative abnormalities of lipids (fats) in the blood. Dyslipidemias can be of different types:
- an increase in triglycerides
- an increase in cholesterol
- a combination of the two previous factors (mixed dyslipidemia)
- and even a reduction in HDL levels (high-density lipoproteins, the “good” cholesterol)
Let’s now know the real meaning of each of these terms.
- Natural substance, largely produced by the liver and present in every cell in the body. In normal amounts, it is essential for metabolism: it participates in bile salts (important for the digestion of fats), in the constitution of sex hormones and is essential for the constitution of cell membranes. However, when in excess, it leads to problems such as atherosclerosis.
– This acronym – low-density lipoproteins – represents what is also known as bad cholesterol, as it oxidizes and is deposited on the walls of the arteries, causing their hardening and obstruction.
– This acronym stands for “good” cholesterol because it is responsible for removing “bad” cholesterol from the blood and artery walls.
- They are components of most dietary fats (animal and vegetable). When in excess in the blood, they are also associated with a higher cardiovascular risk.
- In this disease, blood fat accumulates on the walls of the arteries, becoming solid and forming plaques that prevent the passage of blood and the irrigation of the heart and brain.
Dyslipidemia is one of the most important risk factors for atherosclerosis and the leading cause of death in developed countries. Any type of dyslipidemia represents, therefore, an important cardiovascular risk factor, since the fat accumulated in the walls of the arteries can lead to partial or total obstruction of the blood flow that reaches the heart and brain.
These are the recommended values for each of these markers:
|Total Cholesterol||↓ 190 mg/dl|
|LDL Cholesterol||↓ 115 mg/dl|
|HDL Cholesterol||↑ 40 mg/dl in men
↑ 45 mg/dl in women
|Triglycerides||↓ 150 mg/dl|
Causes associated with dyslipidemia include:
- Genetic factors
- Food rich in fat and low in fibre and vegetables
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Insulin resistance (obese and diabetic patients)
- Hypothyroidism (endocrine problems)
For the treatment, a lifestyle change is essential, in terms of food and exercise. These are the main recommendations:
- Reduce the intake of foods of animal origin (red meat, butter, fatty cheeses)
- Avoid charcuterie products and pre-cooked foods
- Give preference to fresh products
- Choose animal proteins linked to fish, skinless poultry and lean meats
- Give preference to olive oil and other polyunsaturated fats
- Eat more foods rich in omega 3 (e.g., sardines, salmon, soy oil)
- Eat more whole grains, vegetables, fruits and soluble fibres (which facilitate the elimination of cholesterol)
- Steam or grill food. Avoid fried food
- Prefer yoghurt-based sauces. Avoid cream and mayonnaise
- Reserve the consumption of chocolate for feast days
- Limit consumption of egg yolks
- Practice regular physical activity
- Abandon smoking habits
Say no to dyslipidemia. Love your heart.
Article submitted by the HPA Group