1. Nothing I do can lower my
2. All cholesterol in my blood is bad.
3. Exercise can’t help me control my cholesterol.
4. I don’t have to worry if my cholesterol is just a little high.
5. To lower my cholesterol, I just need to stop eating eggs.
FALSE. Your eating and exercise habits play a big role in controlling cholesterol. If you smoke, quitting can also help you get cholesterol under control. And your doctor can prescribe medication if you need extra help.
FALSE. Some cholesterol is needed for your body to work. And some types of cholesterol are better for your body than others.
FALSE. Exercise increases the amount of HDL (“good”) cholesterol in your bloodstream. This is good for your body and your health.
FALSE. Even if your cholesterol is just a little high, you are at increased risk for a heart attack or stroke.
FALSE. Egg yolks are high in cholesterol, but all animal products contain cholesterol. Eating foods high in cholesterol or saturated fat can raise your cholesterol level.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that travels in your bloodstream. When you have high cholesterol, it builds up in the walls of your blood vessels. This makes the blood vessels narrower and blood flow decrease. Then you could have a heart attack or a stroke.
Lipids are fats, and blood is mostly water. Fat and water don’t mix. So we need lipoproteins (lipids packaged in a protein shell) to carry the lipids. The protein shell lets lipoproteins enter the bloodstream, carrying their cargo of lipids. There are two main kinds of lipoproteins:
LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is known as “bad cholesterol.” Its cargo is mainly cholesterol. It delivers this cholesterol to body cells. If there’s too much LDL cholesterol, it can build up in artery walls. This increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.
HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is known as “good cholesterol.” It consists mostly of a protein shell. This lipoprotein collects excess cholesterol that LDLs have left behind on blood vessel walls. That’s why high levels of HDL cholesterol can decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Total cholesterol includes LDL and HDL cholesterol, as well as other fats in the bloodstream.
Triglyceride is a type of fat the body uses to store energy. Too much triglyceride can increase your risk for heart disease. Triglyceride levels should be under 150.
A variety of things can affect the cholesterol levels in your blood. Some of these things you can control and others you cannot.
You can control:
You cannot control:
Click here for recommended guidelines.
A healthy goal is to have less than 25% of your daily calories come from fat. Instead of fats, eat more fruits, grains, and vegetables. This also helps control your weight, and can even reduce your risk for some cancers. There are different kinds of fats in foods. Fats can be saturated, unsaturated, or trans fats. The best fats to choose are unsaturated fats. But fats are high in calories, so eat even unsaturated fats sparingly.
Saturated fats come from animals and certain plants (such as coconut and palm). Eating too much saturated fat can raise your blood cholesterol levels and make your artery problems worse. Your goal is to eat less saturated fat. Below are some examples of foods that contain lots of saturated fat:
Unsaturated fats are usually liquid at room temperature. They are better choices for your heart than saturated fat. There are two types of unsaturated fats: polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat. Aim to replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats.
Polyunsaturated fats are found in corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, and other vegetable oils.
Monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, canola oil, and peanut oil. Some margarines and spreads are now made with these oils, too. Of all fats, monounsaturated fats are the least harmful to your heart.
Like saturated fats, trans fats have been linked to heart disease. Even a small amount can harm your health. Trans fats are found in liquid oils that have been changed to be solid at room temperature. Margarine, which is often made from vegetable oil, is one example. Vegetable shortening is another. Trans fats are often found in packaged goods. Check ingredients for the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated.” They mean the foods contain trans fat.
You can’t see cholesterol. You have to read food labels to check the cholesterol in the foods you eat. Avoid or limit these high-cholesterol foods:
Foods high in fiber can help you keep your cholesterol down. Good sources of fiber are:
10 Year Risk Calculator (National Cholesterol Education
Live Healthier, Live Longer (National Cholesterol Education Program)
Cholesterol Education Month Kit (National Cholesterol Education Program)
|High Blood Cholesterol - What You Need to Know (from the National Cholesterol Education Program)|
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