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Cholesterol and its Effects on Health

La Paz Medical & Dental Group 9 Cholesterol and its Effects on Health

GOOD AND BAD CHOLESTEROL

Cholesterol has been a hot topic in medicine for many years now. Most people know just enough about it (i.e., there’s good cholesterol and bad cholesterol) to be aware of the best and worst choices they can make. However, there is still a lot of misinformation and confusion about cholesterol and the role it plays in human health.

So let’s explore the topic in a bit more detail to clear up any questions you may have about cholesterol and the impact it has on your health.

THE BASICS

Your body needs cholesterol—it’s an essential organic molecule that helps build healthy cells, produce hormones, support metabolism, and other vital functions within the body. Your liver and intestines actually create most of the cholesterol you need, with the remaining 20% to 30% coming from other factors, primarily your diet.

WHY YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HIGH CHOLESTEROL

High cholesterol is extremely common among Americans today, affecting nearly 1 in 3 individuals. This is important to know as high cholesterol is linked with heart disease, which is a leading cause of death. Most people with high cholesterol aren’t aware of it. Their first “symptom” may be a stroke or heart attack.

This doesn’t mean, however, that you should avoid cholesterol at all costs. There are simple diet and lifestyle choices you can make to manage your cholesterol and keep your heart healthy.

MAINTAINING A HEALTHY CHOLESTEROL LEVEL

Although your cholesterol levels are determined to a certain degree by your genetics, there are still many ways to keep them within the healthy range. The most powerful choices you can make are:

  • Minimize animal products and fried foods in your diet

  • Eat high fiber foods

  • Exercise three times a week

  • Avoid smoking and vaping

  • Get your cholesterol levels checked regularly

Visit La Paz for a physical exam, which includes a check of your cholesterol levels. If your levels are high, chronic disease management can help you get them under control, using lifestyle changes and medications if necessary.

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