It’s September and September is National Cholesterol Education Month. Controlling cholesterol levels is a key component to reducing heart disease risk. When is the last time you had your cholesterol level checked? Although it is important to know your total cholesterol level, it is even more important to know your entire lipid profile. A lipid profile will give you the amount of total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol & triglyceride levels in your blood. LDL cholesterol is known as the BAD cholesterol because it is responsible for sticking to artery walls & causing blockages. HDL is known as the GOOD cholesterol because it helps to remove LDL cholesterol. Triglycerides are a storage form of fat that usually comes from excess calorie intake or lack of exercise. For better health, you want to increase levels of HDL while decreasing levels of LDL & Triglycerides.
Current recommendations for lipid levels are for total cholesterol to be less than 200, LDL less than 100 (less than 80 if you have diabetes), HDL greater than 45, & triglycerides less than 150.
If you are unsure of your lipid levels, speak to your doctor about ordering a lipid profile for you. Your doctor may also have more specific cholesterol goals than those just mentioned.
In the meantime, eat more fruits, vegetables and monounsaturated fats and less trans and saturated fats. It’s also important to exercise daily. These changes can help you better control cholesterol levels & reach your health goals.
It’s your Health, It’s your Life. Make that Change!