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Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Somehow with all the health observances the month I missed the fact that it is Cholesterol Education Month. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that occurs naturally in all parts of the body. Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly. But if you have too much in your blood, it can stick to the walls of your arteries. This is called plaque. Plaque can narrow your arteries or even block them. This can lead to heart disease, including heart attacks.

If you have trouble remembering which cholesterol is good (HDL) and which is bad (LDL), I'll share with you how I learned which was which. In HDL, I associated the "H" with "healthy" and in LDL, I associated the "L" with "lousy." That should help you to remember which is which.

Here are some tips from the FDA for things that you can do to lower your cholesterol:

- Cut back on foods with lots of fat such as fatty meats, fried foods, whole milk, fatty cheeses, butter, margarine, oils, lard, and creams.
- Cut back on food with lots of cholesterol, such as egg yolks and whole eggs.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Cut back on fatty snacks and desserts, such as candy, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, pastries and pies.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes most days.
- If you are overweight, try to lose weight. Try to lose weight by cutting back on the amount that you eat. Even a small amount of weight loss can help lower your bad cholesterol, and you will also help your health in other ways.
- Ask your doctor if you need to take medicine to help lower your cholesterol. Triglycerides are another form of fat in your blood. They can also raise your risk for heart disease. Levels that are borderline high (150-199 mg/dL) or high (200 mg/dL or more) may need treatment.

I found some great links about cholesterol that I'd like to share. Keeping your cholesterol under control is very important, so check these out:

About Cholesterol (American Heart Association)

High Blood Cholesterol (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

Managing Cholesterol (Interactive Tutorial) (Patient Education Institute)

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