We live in a world where heart health is more important. To stay healthy and active we want to know the basics of heart health and see our blood reports with some level of knowledge. While we always discuss our blood cholesterol levels, we do not know what it is specifically or what types of cholesterol are good for us.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a smooth fat-like substance in the blood that is created by the liver and is also seen in animal products such as meat, dairy products, and eggs. While very large levels of cholesterol can be dangerous it is necessary to remember that cholesterol is also necessary because it is required for many vital functions such as proper digestion of food, absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and production of certain hormones.
Factors that can increase your risk of bad cholesterol include:
There are several factors that influence total cholesterol levels in the blood. Genetic factors apart from diet, weight, smoking, and physical activity can be some major factors.
- To help prevent high cholesterol, you can:
- Eat a low-salt diet that features fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Check the number of animal fats and use good fats in balance
- Lose extra pounds and keep a healthy weight
- Quit smoking
- Exercise on most days of the week for at least 30 minutes
- Drink alcohol in balance, if at all
- Handle stress