September is the Cholesterol Education Month

September is the Cholesterol Education Month 

According to the CDC, “Too much cholesterol in the blood is one of the main risk factors for heart disease and stroke—two leading causes of death in the United States. One way to prevent these diseases is to detect high cholesterol and treat it when it is found.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body needs. But when you have too much in your blood, it can build up on the walls of your arteries and form blockages.

This can lead to heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

There are two kinds of cholesterol:

high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and

low-density lipoprotein (LDL).

HDL is also called “good” cholesterol. LDL is called “bad” cholesterol.

When we talk about high cholesterol, we are talking about “bad” LDL cholesterol.

What should you do?

Screen, Screen and Screen

Screening is the key to detecting high cholesterol. Because high cholesterol does not have symptoms, many people do not know that their cholesterol is too high. Your doctor can do a simple blood test to check your cholesterol level.

According to the CDC, if you have high cholesterol, what can you do to lower it?

Your doctor may prescribe medications to treat your high cholesterol. In addition, you can lower your cholesterol levels through lifestyle changes:

  • Low-fat and high-fiber food (Eat more fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and whole grains).
  • For adults, getting at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous physical activity a week. For those aged 6-17, getting 1 hour or more of physical activity each day.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Don’t smoke or quit if you smoke. 

The following chart shows optimal lipid levels for adults

 

Desirable Cholesterol Levels

Total cholesterol

Less than 170 mg/dL

Low LDL (“bad”) cholesterol

Less than 110 mg/dL

High HDL (“good”) cholesterol

35 mg/dL or higher

Triglycerides

Less than 150 mg/dL

Thank you for visiting Moore On Health!

Source:

http://www.cdc.gov/features/cholesterolawareness/

 

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