Did you know that September is National Cholesterol Awareness Month?
Well it is – true story! Cholesterol gets all this attention because there are 143.9 Americans out there who have higher than desirable cholesterol levels. And since high levels of cholesterol can lead to heart disease, education is important to keep us strong and healthy. Below is some content on cholesterol that you are welcome to copy or adapt for your site. If you’re interested in featuring some cholesterol related products along with the content, I’ve put together a CholesterolStorefront for you. Just follow the link and swap out the YOURUSERID with your ShareASale affiliate ID to activate the code.
Cholesterol is a soft waxy substance found in our bloodstream and all our cells that the body produce naturally. Its function is to help form cell membranes, some hormones and is needed for other functions. About 75% of our cholesterol is made from our liver and other cells. The other 25% comes from the foods we eat. You might be asking yourself, “If our bodies need it, then why has it become such a bad word?”. It is the excess of cholesterol in our bodies that poses a problem. Cholesterol levels that are too high can lead to coronary heart disease, one of the leading causes of death in the United States. There are 106.7 million Americans with borderline high and 37.2 million with high blood cholesterol levels.
Understanding Your Total Cholesterol:
Total cholesterol is the sum of all the cholesterol in the bloodstream. A cholesterol test will give you a reading of the level in milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). The higher the reading, the greater the risk for heart disease. A person with high blood cholesterol has more than twice the risk of heart disease than someone with a desirable level.
Desirable Level: less than 200mg/dL
Borderline High Risk: 200 – 239 mg/dL
High Risk: 240 mg/dL and above
Cholesterol and other fats cannot dissolve in the blood and therefore
need to be moved from the cells by carriers. These special carriers are called lipoproteins. Though there are several types, the most focused on are low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
LDL = Bad Cholesterol
Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are the major cholesterol carriers in the blood. Too much LDL in circulation in the blood stream can build up in the artery walls. LDL also contributes to the thick, hard deposit formation of plaque that clogs arteries. The higher the level of LDL in your system, the higher the risk of heart disease.
High Level: 160 mg/dL and above
Low Level: less than100 mg/dL
HDL = Good Cholesterol
High density lipoproteins (HDL) help take cholesterol away from your arteries and carries it back to the liver to be removed from the body. Thus, it helps prevent cholesterol buildup in the artery walls. The higher the level of HDL in your system, the lower the risk of heart disease.
High Risk: less than 40 mg/dL
Protective Level: 60 mg/dL and above
“Know Your Numbers” is the phrase used by the American Heart Association in reference to ones critical numbers to maintaining a healthy heart – this includes ones cholesterol level. In addition to staying away from foods with high saturated fat and trans fat, being physically active, maintaining a healthy diet, and avoiding tobacco; individuals can keep their cholesterol level in check by closely monitoring their numbers at home.
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