At this point, we’ve all learned a lot about cholesterol, from our doctors and from advertisements for foods, drugs, and exercise equipment. The Internet offers a huge amount of information on this subject, but the take-home message is that, though cholesterol is necessary to our body’s proper functioning, too much is a bad thing, clogging arteries and leading to heart disease among other ill effects. We know we should minimize our dietary intake of low-density lipid (LDL) cholesterol and increase our intake of high-density lipid (HDL) cholesterol.
Cholesterol and Obesity
There is a direct correlation between obesity and abnormal cholesterol levels, including elevated LDL and decreased HDL. Particularly for obese individuals with a history of coronary heart disease, this poses further heart health risks. Since obesity also contributes to conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, which affect cholesterol metabolism, every effort should be made to fight obesity. Research tells us that even minor efforts to lose weight have beneficial effects on the heart and can reduce cholesterol levels.
Bariatric surgery to control cholesterol
Losing weight through bariatric surgery and making important lifestyle changes can turn back the clock on several potentially deadly conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol levels. Within a few months of gastric bypass surgery, patients have been shown to have almost normal cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The loss of weight reduces the load on the heart, its performance improves, and the correction of cholesterol imbalance helps clear plaque and brings down risks associated with cholesterol deposits in the arteries.