Home & Family
Protecting your heart is key to the health of your whole body. Cholesterol plays a big part in heart health.
So what is cholesterol anyway and where does it come from? Cholesterol is a waxy substance and is necessary to help in the building of cells. However, too much of it can be bad. It can be found both in our bodies and in the food we eat. Cholesterol is mostly found in animal products. All cholesterols are not the same; there are two types of cholesterol known as HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and LDL (low-density lipoprotein).
- HDL is the cholesterol that is healthy for your heart. It is often called the “good cholesterol.”
- LDL is the cholesterol that is built up in your artery walls, so it is often referred to as the “bad cholesterol.”
A great heart health goal would be to control your cholesterol. The following are five tips to help individuals make a change:
Tip 1: Know Your Numbers. Make an appointment with your healthcare provider and have your cholesterol checked. Be sure to have your provider explain your numbers and what they mean. Also, don’t forget to write down your cholesterol numbers to compare at your next appointment.
Tip 2: Make Smart Food Choices. Eat a balanced diet that includes whole grains, vegetables, beans, legumes, fruits, low-fat dairy, and lean proteins/fish. Cut back on processed meats, full-fat dairy, and tropical fats.
Tip 3: Move Your Body. Being active will also help you manage your cholesterol. Just start small and add some physical activity in each day. Aim for 30 minutes most days of the week.
Tip 4: Quit Smoking. Smoking will lower the HDL which can raise your risk of heart disease.
Tip 5: Medications. Take your medicine as prescribed. If you are experiencing any problems contact your provider before stopping any medications.