Cholesterol Confusion – the Basics of Cholesterol Levels

Cholesterol Confusion – the Basics of Cholesterol Levels

You know the old saying, “you can’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, you can’t judge your cholesterol level by your cover, either.

You’ve probably heard about someone who runs daily and eats a lean, healthful diet but is suddenly struck by a heart attack. The culprit? Undiagnosed clogged arteries because of high blood cholesterol. But it’s a common misconception that high cholesterol is always the result of a poor diet.

Although diet can play a significant role in boosting, and lowering, cholesterol levels, other factors may also be involved. Our genes partly determine how much cholesterol our bodies make, so high blood cholesterol often runs in families. Other potential causes include:

1). Excess Weight
Being overweight boosts cholesterol levels. Losing weight can bring down bad LDL cholesterol and increase good HDL cholesterol.

2). A Sedentary Lifestyle
Being inactive is a major risk factor for high cholesterol. Increasing physical activity will help lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL levels.

3). Age and Gender
Cholesterol levels tend to rise naturally as we get older. Before menopause, most women have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. But after menopause, women’s LDL levels frequently rise.

Check your cholesterol! This is an important health issue, and cholesterol levels should be monitored on a regular basis. Levels that are too high can lead to serious medical problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Cholesterol levels often can be reduced simply by eating better and getting more exercise. If lifestyle changes aren’t successful, drug therapy may be necessary.

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