October is National Cholesterol Education month.
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that your body actually needs, but, when you have too much in your blood, it can build up on the walls of your arteries and form blockages.
There are two kinds of cholesterol:
1. high-density lipoprotein (HDL)
2. low-density lipoprotein (LSL)
HDL is good cholesterol and LDL is bad. Because high cholesterol does not have symptoms and genes play a role
in how much your body makes, regular blood tests are the best way to detect levels. The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends adults 20 years or older have their cholesterol checked every five years. Insurance companies may allow cholesterol to be checked more often if you meet certain criteria. Check your plan for details. Total cholesterol should be under 200 mg/dl and HDL should be lower than 40 mg/dl.
Ways to prevent or treat high cholesterol:
Eat healthy -
Avoid saturated fat or trans-fat and eat fiber.
High fiber foods: Beans, pears, pistachios, raspberries, yogurt... Exercise regularly -
The Surgeon General recommends adults moderately exercise two and half
hours a week.
Maintain healthy weight -
Your waist line should not equal more than half of your height in inches.
Stop smoking -
Recovery starts as soon as three months after quitting smoking and, after one year,
problems such as shortness of breath and coughing become less frequent.