Yesterday I went to receive my injections and while there I poked around the pamphlets that are available and came across one that I think might help with this....now it comes from the Becel Centre and promotes their Becel products so please keep that in mind. I am not promoting this product but am sharing the information within the pamphlet titled "Helping take care of your cholesterol - The good-start guidebook"
I will be working from this pamphlet over the next several days sharing it's information and valuable tips to maintaining a healthy life-style and lowering your cholesterol.
What you need to know about cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found naturally in food (dietary cholesterol) and also in your body (blood cholesterol). Our bodies need cholesterol to make vitamin D and some important hormones.
But when your blood cholesterol is too high, the waxy substance forms deposits (plaque) inside your arteries. This can lead to narrowing of the arteries and a higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke. There are two main types of blood cholesterol: Good Cholesterol...Bad Cholesterol
"Bad" Cholesterol is also called Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) - it leaves plaque in your arteries. This type of cholesterol can lead to narrowing of the arteries.
For heart health, aim to keep your HDL high and you LDL low.
What causes high blood cholesterol?
So why do you have high blood cholesterol? There are many different risk factors that can cause it. Some of them you can help control, and some you can't.
You are more likely to develop high blood cholesterol if you:
These are factors you can control:
- eat a diet that's high in fat
- are physically inactive
- are overweight or obese
- have diabetes, high blood pressure or chronic kidney disease
Factors you can't control:
- are male age 40 or older
- are female age 50 or over or post-menopausal
- are from certain ethnic backgrounds (South Asian, African, First Nations)
- have a family history of high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, early heart disease, or stroke
While you can't change your age, gender, ethnic background or family history, there are a lot of factors you can manage to help lower your blood cholesterol.
What the numbers mean
A blood cholesterol level gives numbers for your:
- total cholesterol - total amount of cholesterol in your blood, both LDL and HDL
- LDL cholesterol - bad cholesterol
- HDL cholesterol - good cholesterol
- total cholesterol/HDL ratio - your total cholesterol divided by your HDL cholesterol
- Triglycerides - a type of fat in the blood; triglyceride levels are usually high when blood cholesterol is high; high triglyceride levels have been linked to a higher risk of developing heart disease
Based on your personal risk factors and cholesterol test results, your doctor will classify your as having either a low, intermediate, or high risk of developing heart disease. Your target numbers will depend on your level of risk.