Know Your Cholesterol Levels

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Healthy cholesterol levels are an essential part of maintaining complete physical fitness. Unhealthy levels can make you more susceptible to cardiovascular disease or stroke.

I encourage you to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which gives you the advantage when goal setting and working to achieve them. Something as simple as watching your cholesterol intake can add many more productive years to your life.

Cholesterol is something our body needs to build cell membranes or hormones. Our body produces cholesterol but we also obtain cholesterol from the foods we eat. Foods from plants do not contain cholesterol. However, foods from animal products such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, butter, cheese, and whole and 2% milk increases the cholesterol levels in the body.

A susceptibility to unhealthy cholesterol levels can also be due to genetics. It is of utmost importance that you talk to your physician about having your cholesterol checked. You must be aware of the range in which your cholesterol level falls. For more information about cholesterol, log on to the American Heart Association website.

This awareness lets you know the types of foods to eat for lowering cholesterol. A diet for lowering cholesterol should be discussed with your doctor. Awareness of your cholesterol levels also lets you know your need for increased cardiovascular activity, and perhaps cholesterol reducing medicines depending on what your physician recommends.

STAY INFORMED!

According to the American Heart Association, the following ranges are important to know:

LDL CHOLESTEROL (the Lethal one)

Less than 100......The best case scenario

100 to 129.........Not too bad, pretty close to the best case scenario

130 to 159.........You are Borderline High, time to make a move

160 to 189.........HIGH, the orange light is flashing

190 or higher.......VERY HIGH, red alert, your life is at risk.

HDL CHOLESTEROL (the Happy one)

Less than 40........Too low and you are at risk. Try to increase your HDL levels.

60 or higher......The best case scenario!

If your total cholesterol is below 200 you are in good shape. Anything over 240 is a strong indication that you are at risk for developing cardiovascular disease. Don’t just leave it up to your physician. Take responsibility for your physical fitness. Begin by knowing your cholesterol levels. "There's a need for accepting responsibility - for a person's life and making choices that are not just ones for immediate short-term comfort. You need to make an investment, and the investment is in health and education." - Buzz Aldrin

There was a time in my life when I carried high levels of cholesterol. By paying attention to my physician and with some self-control I was able to get it under control.

Increase your HDL levels.

The HDL molecule apparently cleans the walls of our blood vessels, removing the excess cholesterol that can clog them. With normal HDL levels, we can feel reassured that excess cholesterol is removed from our system. We can increase our HDL levels by doing the following:

  • Increase your fiber consumption.

  • Increase the monounsaturated fats in your diet-You can do this by using oils such as olive oil, peanut oil, or canola oil.

  • Get rid of the Trans fatty acids in your diet. Start reading labels. Look for 0 Trans fats. Don’t consume anything that says hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oil.

  • Lose excess weight if you are overweight.

  • Increase aerobic activity.

  • Give up the cigarettes.

    Take the necessary precautions to ensure healthy cholesterol levels. This affords you the good health you deserve to proceed with achieving your goals in life.

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