Dietary Tips To Avoid Cholesterol
The most important thing you can do to reduce your cholesterol level is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You should try to:
- Increase the amount and variety of fresh fruit, vegetables and wholegrain foods you have each day.
- Choose low or reduced-fat milk, yoghurt and other dairy products or have added calcium soy drinks.
- Choose lean meat .
- Limit fatty meats, including sausages and salami, and choose leaner sandwich meats like turkey breast or cooked lean chicken.
- Have fish at least twice a week.
- Replace butter and dairy blends with polyunsaturated margarines.
- Include foods in your diet that are rich in soluble fibre and healthy fats, such as nuts, legumes and seeds.
- Limit cheese and ice cream to twice a week.
Other storage fats that are transported in blood lipoproteins include triglycerides. When present in high concentrations in the blood, this fat is also a risk for heart attack. Some foods will affect the cholesterol level or the triglyceride level and some will affect both.
But All The Big Drug Companies Want Is To Sell Billions Of Dollars Worth Of Statin Medications
So not everything that doctors learn turns out to be correct just like this issue with cholesterol.
As the researcher notes:
An obvious potential concern regarding the use of statins in heart failure is the paradoxical relationship between low cholesterol levels and higher mortality.
I want to make a quick side note and explain what heart failure is to doctors.
How Soon Will The Hyperlipidemia Treatment Start Working
Your provider will order another blood test about two or three months after you start taking hyperlipidemia medication. The test results will show if your cholesterol levels have improved, which means the medicine and/or lifestyle changes are working. The risk of cholesterol causing damage to your body is a long-term risk, and people usually take cholesterol-lowering treatments for a long time.
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What If My Application Is Declined
In the rare case that your application is declined, it is likely because you have other health complications related to your higher cholesterol. Again â talk to your agent. Theyâll be able to give you a personalized rundown of other insurance companies that may offer you coverage.
Because each insurer assesses your cholesterol a little bit differently, you may be able to pay lower prices at one insurer over another. Work with a licensed life insurance broker to shop around.
The Start Of A Heart Attack Or Stroke
Some plaque is vulnerable. These are a soft, fat-filled group of cells with a thin covering. If thereâs stress — like the wear and tear of high blood pressure — this cap can burst open, like a pimple.
When that happens, your body thinks of it as a wound, Goldberg says. Blood platelets swoop in to try to fix it. They form a blood clot, and that can be a big problem.
Large blood clots can block part or all of the artery. That puts the brakes on blood flow there. As a result, the area doesnât get enough oxygen — and now itâs an emergency.
Blood clots cause heart attacks — the heart muscle doesnât get oxygen. Theyâre also a top cause of stroke. When the brain doesnât get enough oxygen because of a blood clot, thatâs an âischemicâ stroke.
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Myth: All Cholesterol Is Bad For You
Fact: Some types of cholesterol are essential for good health. Your body needs cholesterol to perform important jobs, such as making hormones and building cells. Cholesterol travels through the blood on proteins called lipoproteins. Two types of lipoproteins carry cholesterol throughout the body:
- LDL , sometimes called bad cholesterol, makes up most of your bodys cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol raise your risk for heart disease and stroke.
- HDL , or good cholesterol, carries cholesterol back to the liver. The liver then flushes it from the body. High levels of HDL cholesterol can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.
When your body has too much LDL cholesterol, it can build up in the walls of your blood vessels. This buildup is called plaque. As your blood vessels build up plaque over time, the insides of the vessels narrow. This narrowing can restrict and eventually block blood flow to and from your heart and other organs. When blood flow to the heart is blocked, it can cause angina or a heart attack.
When Should My Cholesterol Levels Be Tested
Your GP may recommend that you have your blood cholesterol levels tested if you:
- have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease, stroke or mini stroke , or peripheral arterial disease
- have a family history of early cardiovascular disease
- have a close family member who has a cholesterol-related condition
- are overweight
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What Happens If You Have High Cholesterol
If there is too much cholesterol in your blood, this can be laid down in the walls of your arteries the large blood vessels that carry blood around your body.
Fatty areas known as plaques can form, and these become harder with time, making the arteries stiffer and narrower. This process is called atherosclerosis.
When the arteries become narrower, its harder for blood to flow through them. This puts a strain on your heart because it has to work harder to pump blood around your body. Eventually, the heart can become weak and cant work as well as it should.
Blood clots can form over the fatty, hardened parts of the arteries. The blood clots can block the artery completely, cutting off the blood flow. Bits of the blood clots can break away and become lodged in an artery or vein in another part of the body, which can cause a heart attack or stroke.
How To Lower Cholesterol
If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes to help lower it. For instance, they may recommend changes to your diet, exercise habits, or other aspects of your daily routine. If you smoke, they will likely advise you to quit.
Your doctor may also prescribe medications or other treatments to help lower your cholesterol levels. In some cases, they may refer you to a specialist for more care.
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How To Prepare For Your Term Life Insurance Application
There are important measures you can take to prepare yourself before applying for term life insurance. Doing so will help your chances of getting approved for the best rating class possible. Use the following tips to put yourself in the best position to win:
- Visit your doctor as often as recommended.
- Know what medications affect cholesterol tests.
- Use a cholesterol check app to know your levels.
- Understand how high cholesterol makes you feel.
- Follow your doctors advice regarding medication and treatment.
- Make sure your medical records are regularly updated. This is crucial. The life insurance company will rate your application poorly if it is unable to determine your level of control.
- Get any complications under control. For example, if you also have high blood pressure, make sure it is being treated as well.
If you take any medications for high cholesterol, make sure you keep up with them and regularly check with your doctor that they are achieving the desired outcome.
What Can I Do
Many experts agree that regular screening for cholesterol is crucial.
Theres no way to know your cholesterol level just sitting there, said Lloyd-Jones. You have to have a blood test to know what your cholesterol numbers are.
Its recommended that adults aged 20 and older get their cholesterol levels checked every five years. However, people with FH or other risk factors should get checked more frequently. And to detect FH early, all children between the ages of 9 and 11 should get their levels checked at least once.
Learning your family history is one of the most important ways to know your risk level.
Family histories are really key indicators, especially if that family history is occurring in first-degree relatives at young ages, said Lloyd-Jones. If people have had a heart attack or stroke in ones family at ages lower than 60, thats something that one should definitely be aware of and get the facts on, and share with their doctors.
And if family history and a cholesterol test show warning signs, there are genetic tests for FH that can pinpoint the problematic gene mutation about 60 to 80 percent of the time, says Knowles.
And while Lloyd-Jones says that statins are necessary for many people, he concluded, You cant expect a medication to take the place of lifestyle. They have to work together. You should never think, Because Im taking cholesterol medication I get a free pass. You have to work on everything.
Living With High Cholesterol
Drugs, exercise, diet, and a positive attitude are all things people are doing these days to cope with high cholesterol.
When Mark was in his mid-20s, he had his cholesterol tested for the first time.
It seemed like a good idea. His father had died at the age of 50 from a heart attack and his grandfather had died from the same thing at the age of 60.
The results, however, were shocking.
His cholesterol levels were drastically elevated for someone his age.
The condition impairs the bodys ability to clear excess cholesterol from the bloodstream. This information would change his life forever.
of adults over the age of 25 have high cholesterol.
People with high cholesterol levels have the risk of heart disease as people with low levels. Heart disease is the leading cause of death both in the United States and around the world.
Because high cholesterol has no immediate symptoms, its easy to overlook or ignore.
High cholesterol also often co-occurs with other, far more visible conditions like obesity or diabetes, making it easy to push cholesterol concerns to the side.
For many people, there arent any outward signs that anything is wrong at all. As a result, less than half of American adults with high cholesterol are getting treatment for their condition. Less than a third have their condition under control.
Can I Live Long With High Cholesterol
Untreated or undertreated high cholesterol is associated with a lower life span due to the risk of heart attack and stroke, but its still possible to live a long life with high cholesterol, provided you follow a heart-healthy lifestyle and take medication if needed. According to a study published in April 2018 in the journal Circulation, a healthy lifestyle defined as not smoking, doing moderate exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and following a healthy diet was associated with an average of 14 more years of life for women and 12 for men.
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Myth: I Dont Need Statins Or Other Medicines For My Cholesterol I Can Manage My Cholesterol With Diet And Exercise
Fact: Although many people can achieve good cholesterol levels by making healthy food choices and getting enough physical activity, some people may also need medicines called statins to lower their cholesterol levels. Guidelinesexternal icon also suggest that other medicines in addition to statins may be needed to help control cholesterol.2
People who may need statins or other medicines to manage cholesterol levels include the following:
- People with familial hypercholesterolemia or people with very high levels of bad cholesterol. FH is a genetic condition that causes very high LDL cholesterol levels beginning at a young age. If left untreated, cholesterol levels will continue to get worse. This greatly raises the risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke at a young age.
- People with cardiovascular disease . People with CVD may already have narrowed arteries because of too much plaque. Medicines that lower cholesterol may help reduce the risk for heart attack or stroke.
- People with diabetes.Type 2 diabetes lowers HDL or good cholesterol levels and raises bad cholesterol levels. This combination raises your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Other groups of people may also need medicines to manage their cholesterol, including people who have a high risk for CVD. Always talk to your health care provider about the best ways to manage your cholesterol.
Myth: I Cant Do Anything To Change My Cholesterol Levels
Fact: You can do many things to improve your cholesterol levels and keep them in a healthy range!
- Get tested at least every 5 years .1,2 Learn more about cholesterol screenings.
- Make healthy food choices. Limit foods high in saturated fats. Choose foods naturally high in fiber and unsaturated fats. Learn more about healthy diets and nutrition at CDCs nutrition, physical activity, and obesity website.
- Be active every day. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults get 150 to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. Learn more about physical activity basics and tips.
- Dont smoke or use tobacco products. Smoking damages your blood vessels, speeds up the hardening of the arteries, and greatly increases your risk for heart disease. If you dont smoke, dont start. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk for heart disease. Learn more about tobacco use and ways to quit at CDCs smoking and tobacco use website.
- Talk with your health care provider about ways to manage your cholesterol if any medicines are given to you to manage your cholesterol, take them as they are prescribed. Learn more about medicines to lower cholesterol.
- Know your family history. If your parents or other immediate family members have high cholesterol, you probably should be tested more often. You could have a condition called familial hypercholesterolemia .
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What Can I Expect If I Have Hyperlipidemia
If you have hyperlipidemia, youll need to keep using healthy lifestyle habits for years to come. Youll also need to keep follow-up appointments with your provider and continue to take your medicine. If you and your provider are able to control your cholesterol level, you may not have serious health problems as a result of it.
How long will you have hyperlipidemia?
Hyperlipidemia is a condition youll need to manage for the rest of your life.
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Thoughtful Talks With My Health Care Professional: My Cholesterol Treatment Plan
Your health care professional can help you reach your health goals, including keeping your cholesterol at healthy levels.
Making decisions with your health care team is the best way to create a treatment plan youll be more likely to stick to. If you dont understand something, ask for further clarification.
Heres a helpful checklist that you and your health care professional can go through to determine your risk and the best treatment options for you.
What Causes High Cholesterol If I Eat Healthy Can It Be Genetic
If you eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise but still have high cholesterol, your DNA may be a bigger factor than your lifestyle. About 1 in 250 people in the United States live with familial hypercholesterolemia , a life-threatening inherited disorder that causes high cholesterol.
Unfortunately, 90 percent of people who have it dont know it, according to the FH Foundation, a national nonprofit organization based in Pasadena, California. Screening for high cholesterol is the only way to identify people who have FH. Because of this, all children should have a cholesterol screening once between ages 9 and 11, recommends the American Academy of Pediatrics.
If your LDL is above 100, its already considered high. If its higher than 190, you may have FH, according to leading heart groups, such as the AHA, the American College of Cardiology, and the National Lipid Association. If a parent has FH, their child has a chance of having it, too. Finding out if you have FH and getting treated if you do is vital, because having FH means your risk of heart disease is 20 times higher than that of people who dont have inherited high cholesterol, according to the FH Foundation.
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What Are Normal Cholesterol Levels
Normal cholesterol levels vary based on your age and sex assigned at birth.
Normal cholesterol levels by age chart
The chart below shows normal cholesterol levels. Healthcare providers consider these numbers healthy for most people. If you have heart disease or many risk factors, your LDL target may be different. Your healthcare provider may want your LDL level to be below 70 mg/dL. So, its important to talk with your provider about your test results and what they mean for you.
All units in the chart below are mg/dL.
People assigned male at birth: 40 or higher
People assigned female at birth: 50 or higher
As you review your results, remember that you want your LDL to be low and your HDL to be high. Ideally, your HDL should be above 60. Its the helpful cholesterol. An HDL above 60 offers you protection against heart disease.
Most normal cholesterol levels are the same regardless of your sex. But there is one key difference among adults. Thats your HDL number. As the chart above shows, people assigned female at birth need a higher HDL level compared with people assigned male at birth .