Cholesterol 101 Facts Every Adult Should Know By: JenniferPalm
A waxy, fat-like substance Produced naturally in the body - via the liver Also consumed through your diet What is Cholesterol? Sources of cholesterol
Cholesterol Continued It’s normal to have a certain amount of cholesterol in your body In fact, it’s needed for good health • to produce cell membranes and various hormones But too much cholesterol can have a negative impact on your health
Types of Cholesterol • There are two different kinds: • Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) • Often referred to as “bad” cholesterol • High-density lipoproteins (HDL) • Often referred to as “good” cholesterol
Types of Cholesterol Cont’d Low-density lipoproteins • deliver cholesterol to the body • stick to the walls of the arteries – clogging them High-density lipoproteins • carry the LDL to the liver to be broken down • work to protect the arteries from plaque build up
Also known as hypercholesterolemia Greatly increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke High Cholesterol
High Cholesterol Continued Extra cholesterol in the blood Builds up on the walls ofyour arteries Causing arteries to narrow or harden - a process known as atherosclerosis Which can completely block an artery
High Cholesterol Continued This picture illustrates how cholesterol builds up in your arteries over time.
High Cholesterol Continued A blocked artery has the potential to be extremely life-threatening.
Contributing Factors • Diet • Consuming foods high in saturated/trans fats and dietary cholesterol • Includes: • Fast food • Fried food • Egg yolks • Meat • Dairy products
Contributing Factors Continued • Obesity • Major risk factor for heart disease • Usually due to an intake of foods high in saturated fats • Smoking • Another risk factor for heart disease and stroke • Reduces HDL and changes LDL
Contributing Factors Continued • Inactivity • Can lead to weight gain • Raising LDL cholesterol • Heredity • High cholesterol tends to run in families • Resulting in high levels of LDL
Contributing Factors Continued • Gender and Age • Men usually develop coronary artery disease earlier than women • Men tend to have lower HDL levels while women have higher LDL • Everyone’s LDL levels rise as they age
Contributing Factors Continued • Other Medical Conditions • There are other conditions that can also affect your cholesterol levels, including: • Kidney disease • Diabetes • Hypothyroidism
Recommended Values If total cholesterol and LDL are higher than recommended values or if HDL is lower, you are at an increased risk for heart disease.
Cholesterol Testing • There are no signs and symptoms • So, get your blood cholesterol checked at least once a year by your physician
Cholesterol Testing Continued • If your cholesterol is high: • You will be put on a diet and exercise regimen • If that does not work, you will be put on medication
Suggestions For Lowering Cholesterol Maintain a healthy diet • Limit saturated and trans fats in your diet • Increase dietary fiber • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables They contain zero cholesterol!
Suggestions For Lowering Cholesterol Cont’d Maintain a healthy weight • Being overweight or obese can drastically increase LDL levels • Losing weight can lower these levels A proper diet and regular physical activity can help you achieve this!
Suggestions For Lowering Cholesterol Cont’d • Be active • Engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most, if not all days of the week • Benefits: • lower cholesterol levels • maintain a healthy weight
Quit smoking It speeds up the process of atherosclerosis Limit alcohol consumption Suggestions For Lowering Cholesterol Cont’d
References http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=1516 http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/common/heartdisease/risk/029.html