At Premier, we are all about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. September is National Cholesterol Education Month and we are here to help you identify the difference between “good cholesterol” and “bad cholesterol” and best practices on how to maintain a healthy cholesterol level.
Roughly, 38% of American adults have high cholesterol levels and high cholesterol can put you at risk for stroke and heart disease – which are two of the leading causes of death in the United States. The only way to know if you are part of the 38% is to go to your doctor to get your cholesterol checked.
“Good” vs. “Bad” Cholesterol:Cholesterol travels through our blood on proteins called “lipoproteins” which are categorized by two different types, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or “good” cholesterol, absorbs cholesterol and carries it back to the liver. The liver then flushes it from the body. High levels of HDL cholesterol can lower your risk for stroke and heart disease.
LDL (low-density lipoprotein), sometimes referred to as “bad” cholesterol, makes up most of your body’s cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol raise your risk for stroke and heart disease. If your body has too much LDL cholesterol, it can build up along the walls of your blood vessels. This buildup is referred to as “plaque”. The plaque will continue to build over time and will cause your blood vessels to narrow which can block blood flow to not only your heart but to other vital organs also.
By making healthier lifestyle choices, you can better manage your cholesterol levels to help avoid plaque buildup. You can help prevent high cholesterol by staying physically active, making healthy food choices, limiting alcohol intake, maintaining a healthy weight for your body and quitting smoking.
Make sure to call and check with your doctor about getting check to ensure your cholesterol levels are in a safe and healthy range.
Stay tuned for some healthy and cholesterol friendly fall recipes that are some of our Premier staff’s favorites to make during the changing seasons.