For Healthy Cholesterol: It’s Not Just What You Eat

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Seventy-one million American adults have high cholesterol, but only one third of them have the condition under control, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Aim for 30 minutes a day of exercise five to six days a week. Always check with your health care provider before starting a new exercise program.

Aim for 30 minutes a day of exercise five to six days a week. Always check with your health care provider before starting a new exercise program.

In addition to healthy eating, tobacco cessation and physical activity play an important role in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.

Tobacco Cessation

WebMD reports that smoking increases the risk of coronary artery disease in people who have high cholesterol. Cigarette smoking lowers HDL (“good” cholesterol)—good cholesterol that helps rid the body of bad cholesterol known as LDL. Smoking also injures the lining of the blood vessels and increases the risk of developing blood clots, contributing to atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Even inhaling others’ cigarette smoke, known as secondhand smoke, has been shown to lower HDL cholesterol.

Physical Activity

Maintaining a higher level of HDL is good. If your HDL level is low, your risk of heart disease goes up. Regular exercise can also contribute to lowering LDL and raising HDL. Strive to be physically active for at least 30 minutes, five to six days a week. Also remember, if you can’t do 30 minutes, incorporate the 10-10-10 method. Exercise ten minutes in the morning, afternoon and evening and it will

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body produces. When there is too much cholesterol in the bloodstream, it tends to build up on the walls of the blood vessels, including those in the heart. Over time, this build up can impede the flow of blood increasing the risk for coronary heart disease (CHD).

As the leading cause of death in the United States, many Americans are impacted by CHD. In fact, one of every two males and one of every three females, ages 40 years and over, will develop CHD sometime in their lives. However, the good news is that people CAN prevent heart disease by controlling risk factors that can be modified, such as high blood pressure, cigarette smoking and low HDL cholesterol. By exercising, reducing saturated fats and cholesterol-containing foods, tobacco cessation and reducing excess weight, people can minimize their risk of developing CHD.

Read more at High Blood Cholesterol: What you need to know.