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Cholesterol is a wax-like thing found in your blood that helps your body to make healthy cells. If you have too much cholesterol, it can cause problems for your heart. You might get fat deposits in your blood vessels that can stop blood from flowing properly. This can lead to having a heart attack or a stroke. Sometimes high cholesterol is passed down from your family, but often it happens because of not having a healthy lifestyle. By eating good food, doing exercise, and taking medicine sometimes, you can stop high cholesterol from happening or get it treated.

Your liver makes most of your body’s cholesterol. But, if you eat unhealthy foods every day, your blood cholesterol levels can go up. Your blood has a “good cholesterol” called HDL and a “bad cholesterol” called LDL. Too much bad cholesterol can cause fatty stuff to build up in your arteries. This can cause cardiovascular sickness and, in the worst cases, heart attacks or strokes. Sometimes, you may not notice dangerous high cholesterol. That’s why it is advised that you check your cholesterol levels starting when you’re young and throughout your life. A simple blood test can help you make lifestyle changes or save your life. To control cholesterol levels, follow these 5 tips from the experts.

  1. Get Your Cholesterol Checked
    Get a blood test every five years to check your cholesterol levels. There are three types of cholesterol – LDL, HDL, and triglycerides that need to be checked. The ideal LDL cholesterol level is between 100-129 mg/dL, the ideal HDL cholesterol level is 60 mg/dL or higher, and the ideal triglyceride level is below 150 mg/dL. The total cholesterol level should be less than 180 mg/dL. If you have high LDL cholesterol, your doctor may prescribe a statin medication to lower it. This medication may also benefit your overall health.
  2. Exercise Regularly
    Move your body often and avoid sitting too much to keep your cholesterol healthy. Aim to walk quickly or do exercises that make your heart beat faster for at least 30 minutes every day. This can be done by going for walks, bike rides, swimming, or exercising at a gym. The important thing is to choose an activity that you enjoy and try to do it daily.
  3. Eat Healthy
    To keep your heart healthy, eat a diet that is low in bad cholesterol (LDL) and high in good cholesterol (HDL). Do this by eating more colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and pastas, brown rice, nuts and some fish, while eating less red meats, whole milk, eggs, fried foods, fast food, processed foods, trans-fats and saturated fats.
  4. Maintain a Healthy weight
    It’s important to keep a healthy weight to have a healthy heart and cholesterol levels. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number based on your weight and height. A BMI of 18.5-24.9 is healthy, more than 25 is overweight, and a BMI over 30 is considered obese.
  5. Dont smoke
    Smoking is bad. It makes your arteries smaller and hurts them. Smoking can also make extra cholesterol buildup in your body’s arteries. So, don’t smoke or quit if you already do.

You don’t have to pay out-of-pocket every time you see a doctor. Get health insurance so that routine medical care does not disrupt your finances. Explore health insurance today.

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