Cholesterol is something that is plaguing Americans, especially those with high cholesterol. Here are a few facts regarding cholesterol: 1) Total Cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dL ; 2) LDL Cholesterol should be less than 100 mg/dL ; 3) HDL Cholesterol should be less than 60 mg/DL.
I know you’re probably thinking, “What does all of this mean?” Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that is made in the liver and it’s also found in some foods like eggs, dairy, and meat. The body needs some cholesterol to function and also help digest fat, but it only needs a small amount. When you have an extreme build up of cholesterol that’s when you’re told you have high cholesterol, which really affects your heart. Once cholesterol builds up, its begins to form a plaque inside of the arteries of the body and that’s when the term atherosclerosis comes into play. Atherosclerosis is defined as the hardening of the arteries. When the arteries become hard and doesn’t allow the blood to flow like it should that’s when a person is capable of suffering a heart attack.
Below are a few definitions:
- LDL- Low Density Lipoprotein: AKA “bad” cholesterol causes the build up of plaque in the arteries.
- HDL- High Density Lipoprotein: AKA “good” cholesterol helps the body get rid of the cholesterol in the body. The higher the HDL the better.
- VLDL- Very Low Density Lipoprotein: similar to LDL and contains mostly fat.
At the age of 20 everyone should start getting their cholesterol levels checked. You could look at someone and say, “They’re in such great shape. It’s impossible for them to have high cholesterol!” No matter what anyone looks like on the outside, it’s always possible to have health related problems.
- Chicken breasts
- Leafy greens
Exercise can also help to reduce your cholesterol levels.