LIVE WELL: Knowing the impact of cholesterol – Stillwater News Press

Cholesterol are fatty lipids found in the body’s tissues and blood plasma. Nearly 1 in 3 Americans have high cholesterol. Unfortunately, too much cholesterol can put you at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance which is found in all the cells in your body. 

Your body uses cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and helps you digest food. Your body is very capable of making all the cholesterol it needs. However, you can also find cholesterol in foods that come from animals such as egg yolks, meat, and cheese. 

Too much cholesterol can cause it to combine with other substances in the blood and form plaque. This plaque sticks to the walls of your arteries, which is why high cholesterol can be dangerous. 

There are no signs and symptoms, so it is important to get your cholesterol levels checked, and to talk to your health care provider about how you can manage your cholesterol. Although there are no symptoms, some people may be at a higher risk than others. Individuals who suffer from type 2 diabetes, have lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is also known as the ‘good’ cholesterol. 

This condition also increases low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or ‘bad’ cholesterol, which cause serious issues. Obesity is linked to higher triglycerides levels, higher LDL cholesterol levels, and lower HDL cholesterol levels. Obesity can also lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. It is important to understand if you are at a higher risk for high cholesterol and to talk to your doctor about managing it. Although high cholesterol is very common and serious, it can be easily be managed by making a few lifestyle changes. 

Individuals who eat a diet high in saturated fat and trans fat, may have higher cholesterol than those who do not. Cutting out foods that contain large amounts of saturated and trans fat can greatly improve your cholesterol levels.  Staying physically active will also help you maintain a healthy weight. For those who have high cholesterol, participating in physical activity can help lower cholesterol and help make it easier to manage. 

Smoking is another lifestyle choice that can increase your risk for high cholesterol. Smoking damages your blood vessels, which makes them more susceptible to collecting fatty deposits. Creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself by eating a healthy diet and exercising can greatly improve your cholesterol levels and help keep you healthy.