Become a Cholesterol Know-It-All

You know what cholesterol is right? Well, atleast you know high cholesterol levels isn’t good for you. But what is cholesterol, actually?

The truth is, cholesterol is something we all know of, but don’t know much about. Let’s change that.

There are three kinds of cholesterol:

  • HDL (high-density lipoprotein): HDL is good cholesterol that prevents arterial disease and  helps other cholesterols be broken down
  • LDL (low-density lipoprotein): LDL is bad cholesterol that can clog the arteries.
  • Triglycerides: These are the chemical form in which fat is in our body and in our food. Also, along with cholesterol they form the plasma lipids (blood fat).

Your HDL should be high, and your LDL should be low. So what causes high cholesterol? It can be a number of factors:

  • Poor diet—Eating too much saturated fat is certain to raise your cholesterol
  • Weight—HDL (good cholesterol) decreases when you are overweight
  • Lack of Activity—Being stationary increases bad cholesterol
  • Cigarettes—Smoking lowers your good HDL cholesterol

These are all factors within your control, but cholesterol is also affected by age, gender, family history and overall health. Reversing the factors you can control, however, will decrease your risk for high cholesterol.

So the answer to health cholesterol levels is exercising, eating foods low in saturated fat, maintaining a healthy weight and stop smoking.

Talk to your doctor about prevention or a treatment plan that works for you. If you are looking for a doctor to talk to, here is a good place to start


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