Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is made in the body and circulated through the blood. Also found in meat and dairy products, we are always being warned against the dangers of high cholesterol, but why is it bad and how do we stop it? September is National Cholesterol Education Month and Your Own Home, LLC has done some digging to help teach you the basics.
A major risk factor for both heart disease and stroke, high cholesterol causes plaque to form in your arteries. There is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol, one of which causes plaque to build up and the other which breaks it down. Called HDL cholesterol, the good kind makes up one-third of your blood cholesterol and protects against heart attacks and strokes.
To find out your cholesterol levels, a blood test can be performed at your doctor’s office. Recommended for individuals over the age of 35, the test should be taken every few years.
Whether you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol or are working to maintain good cholesterol levels, exercise and healthy eating are a good place to start. Fiber, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats can be included in one’s diet to lower cholesterol.
Daily exercise is another way to maintain a healthy weight and cholesterol level. From a bike ride to your local farmer’s market to a walk around the neighborhood with your dog, there are options to suit individuals of every age and lifestyle. Medications can be prescribed to help individuals lower their cholesterol as well.
To further educate yourself on cholesterol and preventative care options, visit the American Heart Association. If you haven’t had a blood test in recent years, schedule an appointment with your doctor and check your health. Interested in learning more about the important discussions you should have with your doctor? Give us a call today at 302-478-7081.