Educate Yourself on Cholesterol to Make Changes
By Brandi Goodman
Cholesterol Education Month in September encourages everyone to learn more about how their cholesterol levels affect their health. You may not even know what your numbers should look like or what they typically are. Certain foods, habits, and lifestyle choices all play a part in your cholesterol and overall health. Educate yourself so you can make the proper changes to better your well-being.
What is Cholesterol?
It's important to understand exactly what cholesterol is. The fat-like substance within your body helps certain systems to function. It helps to make molecules, such as fat-soluble vitamins, bile acids, and hormones. These can help with food digestion.
There are both good and bad cholesterol types. High-density lipoprotein or HDL is the good version that helps the body. Low-density lipoprotein or LDL causes harm to the body by building up in the arteries.
Get Your Levels Checked
The first step toward understanding and improving your levels is to get them checked. This will need to be done through a blood poke at either your doctor's office or a local hospital. LDL levels over 190 are high and could mean trouble for your heart and health. Those that reach 240 are seriously alarming. You want your LDL levels to be 100 or less. Your doctor will discuss your results and numbers and let you know whether or not you need to work on them.
Some of the best changes you can make come in the form of diet. Avoiding sugary foods and drinks should be the start. Drink water as much as possible. You also want to eat healthier foods that offer sources of good cholesterol. Olive oil should be your cooking oil of choice. Whole grains, beans, fatty fish, nuts, seeds, and fruit high in fiber are good cholesterol foods to eat.
Diet isn't the only thing you should change. If you're a smoker or drinker, then these habits too can impact your cholesterol levels. Quit smoking and limit your drinking so you can see improvements. Getting more exercise will also help. Physical activity works to raise your HDL. You need to perform aerobic exercise that has you breathing heavy and working your heart if you want to experience improvement.
Cholesterol education involves prevention and habit changes. Prevent your cholesterol levels from rising dangerously while also making changes to combat the same. A few minor switches can make a major difference in your health.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Indianapolis, Ind.