Tips to Keep Your Cholesterol in Check
Did you know?
“Approx. 14% of Americans have cholesterol levels greater than 240 mg/dL.”
Cholesterol is a fatty substance your liver makes. Your total cholesterol level is the overall amount of cholesterol found in your blood. It consists of:
- low-density lipoproteins (LDL) – Bad cholesterol
- high-density lipoproteins (HDL) – Good cholesterol
Your body needs cholesterol to function properly. However, high levels of triglycerides and low levels of HDL raise your risk of heart attack or stroke.
What happens when your cholesterol level gets high?
A surplus can cause cholesterol to build up in blood vessel walls or arteries and make it hard for blood to flow to your heart, causing chest pain (angina). The blockage in blood vessel walls can lead to other potential health concerns such as:
- reduced blood flow to the heart and increased risk of heart attacks
- decreased blood flow to the brain and increased risk of stroke
Cholesterol chart for adults
According to the 2018 guidelines on the management of blood cholesterol published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), these are the acceptable, borderline, and high measurements for adults.
Please note: All values are in mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) and are based on fasting measurement.
To stay fit, you need to lower the LDL, and triglycerides, which your body stores in fat cells.
Tips To Lower Your Cholesterol Levels
For every 10% drop in your cholesterol level, your heart attack risk falls by 20% to 30%. Here are a few simple changes that can help lower your cholesterol and cut your risk for heart disease.
- Go for a healthy diet – A good and healthy diet is important to keep your cholesterol levels in control. Avoid eating junk food and food items that are high in trans and saturated fats. Read food labels properly before buying any food item. Moreover, cut down your sugar limit.
- No smoking – If you smoke, it’s time to quit smoking. Smoking lowers HDL i.e., the good cholesterol in the body. So if you quit smoking, your HDL levels will start improving.
- Be active – Exercise is really necessary for every individual to stay fit and healthy. Make sure to work out for 30- minutes at least 3-4 days a week. You can do a brisk walk, or join a dance class/ gym/ swimming class, or whatever you like. Proper exercise will not only help you lose weight but will also reduce the risk of potential health concerns such as heart disease, like diabetes and high blood pressure. Exercise can lower your triglyceride levels and raise your “good” (HDL) cholesterol.
- Take your medications – Consult with your healthcare provider. Your doctor may recommend some tests and prescribe some medicines to manage your cholesterol levels. Make sure to follow your doctor’s prescription as recommended. We also recommend you to use Wise Rx free prescription discount card to get a good discount on your prescription medications.