According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 102 million adults in the United States 20 or older have total cholesterol levels at or above 200 mg/dL. The optimal lipid levels for adults is considered to be 170 mg/dL or less. IHG Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, Betsy Mikac, offers insight on how we can prevent high cholesterol through a healthy lifestyle. Read Inspired Health Group's latest medical blog through the link in our bio.
Elevated cholesterol levels can lead to a multitude of health consequences including damage to blood vessels that supply our heart, limbs, and brain. Most patients with high cholesterol are asymptomatic therefore, it’s imperative to have lipid levels monitored by your healthcare provider. If high cholesterol is left untreated for too long this may increase your risk for having a heart attack or stroke.
There are several ways to prevent high cholesterol with the goal of minimizing cardiovascular risk. First, it is important to make healthy eating choices; limiting the amount of sugar, total and saturated fat in our diets while incorporating whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, fiber, and healthy fats [found in some fish, nuts, and olive oil].
Excess alcohol intake can also elevate cholesterol levels. Therefore, we advise men to have no more than 2 alcoholic beverages per day and 1 per day for women.
We endorse regular moderate intensity physical activity, 30 minutes most days of the week. Also, check with you provider to determine if weight loss is appropriate based on your body mass index [BMI].
Lastly, quitting smoking is one of the hardest yet best things to help reduce cholesterol levels and overall heart health. If you are smoking, please reach out to your provider to discuss several smoking cessation aids and support services that may work well for you.
Statistic Source: Learn more about Cholesterol from the CDC
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