Verified on 03/27/2024 by Alexane Flament, Editor

To avoid too high cholesterol, it is better to know the causes.

This allows you to take action and change your lifestyle habits to, in the long term, prevent the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases.

Here are the main causes of the appearance of bad cholesterol.

Bad cholesterol: what are we talking about?

Cholesterol is found in the blood.

There are two types of cholesterol, high density (HDL, good cholesterol) and low density (LDL, bad cholesterol). The latter, present in too large quantities, forms plaques and deposits on the walls of the arteries.

It then prevents blood from circulating to the heart and brain. If left unchecked, high cholesterol levels can lead to cardiovascular disease.

In comparison, good cholesterol helps eliminate excess cholesterol found in the body.

Diet and genetics behind bad cholesterol

It exists two main causes that lead to an increase in LDL cholesterol. These are dietary factors and genetic factors.

For the first, it isexcessive consumption of saturated fats. That is to say animal fats that are found in cold meats, butter, cream or cheese.

Trans fatty acid, mainly present in industrial products, particularly in biscuits. We find them under the name « hydrogenated vegetable fats ».

Then, there are genetic causes.

« Hypercholesterolemia (may be) familial with LDL-cholesterol levels almost always> 2 g/l, and which is transmitted by one of the two parents” indicates the French Federation of Cardiology.

This form must be diagnosed fairly early in life to avoid cardiovascular damage. Most often, it is a simple genetic predisposition which is expressed when the diet is not balanced.

Finally, more rarely, high cholesterol levels can be secondary to another disease or certain treatments.

Florine Cauchie

Health journalist

March 27, 2024, at 12:26 p.m.

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