National Cholesterol Education Month: A Time to Take Control of Your Heart Health
September is National Cholesterol Education Month, a time to raise awareness about the importance of managing cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and other health problems.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body needs to function. However, too much cholesterol can build up in your arteries, leading to plaque formation. Plaque can narrow your arteries, making it difficult for blood to flow through them. This can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and other serious health problems.
There are two main types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is known as “bad” cholesterol because it can build up in your arteries. HDL is known as “good” cholesterol because it helps to remove LDL from your arteries.
The goal of cholesterol management is to keep your LDL levels low and your HDL levels high. You can do this by making changes to your diet, exercising regularly, and taking medication if necessary.
If you are a senior, you are at an increased risk for high cholesterol. This is because your body produces less HDL as you age. You may also be more likely to have other risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.
If you are a senior and you are concerned about your cholesterol levels, talk to your doctor. They can help you assess your risk and develop a plan to manage your cholesterol.
Cholesterol Management Tips
Here are some tips for managing cholesterol levels in seniors:
• Eat a healthy diet that is low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol.
• Choose lean protein sources, such as fish, chicken, and beans.
• Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
• Limit your intake of processed foods, sugary drinks, and alcohol.
• Exercise regularly. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
• If necessary, take medication to lower your cholesterol.
Managing cholesterol levels is an important part of maintaining good heart health. By following these tips, you can help to reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems.
Talk to Your Doctor
National Cholesterol Education Month is a great time to learn more about cholesterol and how to manage your levels. Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and what you can do to keep your heart healthy.