What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in the fats, or lipids, in your blood. Three kinds of cholesterol make up your total cholesterol:
- LDL (bad) cholesterol: the main source of cholesterol buildup and blockage in the arteries
- HDL (good) cholesterol: helps keep cholesterol from building up in the arteries
- Triglycerides: another form of fat in your blood
How do you know if you have healthy cholesterol levels?
Recently, the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology updated their approach on determining the risk of developing heart disease. Instead of highlighting specific levels against various markers, they have developed a 10-year risk calculator to enable a more tailored risk assessment.
Cholesterol, however, continues to be a key factor in that calculation; as such, managing total and LDL cholesterol is important in living a heart healthy lifestyle. Ask your doctor to assess your overall risk and about how Meta Daily Heart Health can help.
How can cholesterol impact your heart health?
Buildup of cholesterol in the arteries hardens the arteries, which makes them narrower and slows blood flow to the heart. If you can’t get enough blood and oxygen to your heart, you can get chest pains or even a heart attack.
What impacts cholesterol levels?
Several important factors can affect your LDL cholesterol levels and put you at a greater risk of heart disease:
- Increasing age
- Eating saturated fat and cholesterol
- Family history of heart disease
- Low HDL cholesterol
- Being overweight
- Physical inactivity
In general, the higher your LDL level and the more risk factors you have (other than LDL), the greater your chances of developing heart disease or having a heart attack.
How can I maintain healthy cholesterol levels?
There are several important steps you can take to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, including:
- Improving your diet
- Eat less than 7% of calories from saturated fat and fewer than 200 mg of cholesterol per day. Adding more soluble fiber to your diet can make a healthy difference too.
- At least 30 minutes of regular physical activity on most days.
- Losing weight
- Reducing your waist size can help lower LDL cholesterol levels and have a positive affect on your overall health
- Taking heart health supplements like Meta Daily Heart Health†
If you’re concerned about your cholesterol levels, please consult your doctor.