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Fast Facts About Cholesterol

Written by Courteney

Posted on April 20, 2016 at 7:48 pm

  • Over 73 million Americans have high LDL cholesterol
  • High cholesterol can manifest itself physically, causing ‘xanthomas’ (discolored fatty growths) on the skin.
  • Not all cholesterol is ‘bad’ for your heart. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the dangerous kind, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) is beneficial for your body.
  • Cholesterol climbs with age, especially in women. It can significantly rise with menopause.
  • Even children and teens can have high cholesterol. There is nothing wrong with getting your child checked, especially if there are genetic risk factors present.
  • If you could take a look at cholesterol-clogged arteries, you would see that they are lined with a thick yellow substance that highly resembles butter!
  • Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs, eating foods with ‘good’ HDL cholesterol just adds extra.
  • While high levels of LDL cholesterol produce dangerous plaque buildups in the arteries, target levels of HDL cholesterol can actually lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • If you have high cholesterol and are also obese or overweight, losing just 5-10% of your overall weight can potentially make a significant difference in your cholesterol levels.
  • 1 in 500 people are afflicted by a genetic disorder called familial hypercholesterolemia, marked by a defect on the 19th chromosome. FH causes dangerously high LDL cholesterol levels, even in young children with the mutation.
  • Ingesting more soluble fibre (such as that found in oatmeal, legumes and vegetables) can help lower your cholesterol.
  • Having high cholesterol (especially if it goes untreated) can nearly double your risk of developing heart disease.
  • Nearly half of people with high cholesterol are not taking medications as prescribed, which significantly increases their risk of heart disease.
  • Losing weight, taking prescribed medications and taking dietary changes such as limiting meat intake (choose protein rich alternatives like beans instead) and increasing your intake of fatty fish high in omega fatty acids can help control your cholesterol and keep it from climbing any higher.

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