Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is produced by the human body and is also found in animal products. Cholesterol deposits, also known as Arteriosclerosis, are major causes of heart attack and stroke.
Good and Bad Cholesterol
LDL stands for Low Density Lipoprotein or “bad cholesterol”. It acts like a delivery truck for fat. It picks up cholesterol from the liver and delivers it to the cells.
A lot of LDLs carrying cholesterol in your blood increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. HDL or “good cholesterol” works like a garbage truck. It removes excess cholesterol from the bloodstream and takes it to the liver.
A lot of HDLs carrying cholesterol in your blood decreases your risk of heart disease and stroke.
It is a good idea to have your cholesterol checked by age 35 for men and 45 for women. If you have any of the following risk factors, you should have your cholesterol checked at an earlier age, and more often after then.
- A family history of early heart attack;
- Current cigarette smoking;
- High blood pressure, over 140/90;
How to Reduce Your Cholesterol
- Eat less total fat;
- Eat two or three servings, each of three to four ounces, of baked or broiled fish per week;
- Exercise more;
- Quit smoking;
- Lose weight.