There are many factors that can affect your LDL Cholesterol levels, most of these factors can be controlled by consistent and intentional lifestyle changes.
Foods rich in saturated or trans fats can significantly increase LDL levels. Sources of saturated fats include milk chocolate, processed foods, dairy products, animal meat and deep-fried foods. Sources of trans fats include fried fast foods, cakes, frozen breakfast sandwiches, biscuits, donuts & frozen pizza.
Physical Inactivity and Obesity
Physical inactivity is a major cause of obesity. Overweight people increase their chances of developing cardiovascular diseases as excess fats can increase LDL levels, and decrease your HDL levels.
Sex and Age
LDL levels tend to increase with age. Women in general, have a higher LDL level over the age of 55 – due to menopause, and the lower levels of estrogen due to menopause – compared with women under the age of 55, who have higher levels of estrogen. Men in general, have higher cholesterol levels after the age of 45 and lower cholesterol levels under the age of 45.
To fully understand your risk of developing heart disease have regular checkups, and speak to your doctor about any concerns you may have.
Genetics play a big role in people with elevated LDL levels. This phenomenon is referred to as Familial Hypercholesterolemia. People with this condition are at higher risk for developing Coronary Artery Disease. The build up of excess cholesterol in the blood stream will eventually get deposited on the walls of the arteries that lead to the heart. Genetic testing is an option for those who want to know if they have this condition. Consulting a physician can help prevent the adverse effects of genetics.