September is National Cholesterol Education Month and a good time to have your blood cholesterol checked. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 102 million American adults have total cholesterol levels at or above 200 mg/dl, which is above healthy levels.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in all parts of the body. Some cholesterol is considered good and some is bad for health. The good helps produce hormones, vitamin D, and can help aid in digestion. The bad cholesterol can cause a higher risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and coronary heart disease.
Cholesterol levels can be affected by diet, but stress and genetics play a role in a person’s cholesterol levels. There are a few tips that can help reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the body.
- Weight loss
- Stop smoking
- Eat more good fats (avocado, salmon, and nuts)
- Avoid bad fats (bacon, butter, whole milk)
Talk with a health care team about how to manage cholesterols levels.