Tip of the Day
National Cholesterol Education Month
High blood cholesterol affects more than 71 million Americans. Celebrate National Cholesterol Education Month by getting your blood cholesterol checked and learning about food and lifestyle choices that can help you take control of your cholesterol.
Cholesterol often gets a bad rap, yet it is essential for cell building, helps your body digest and absorb fat, and can even aid in bone building. However, too much cholesterol can lead to the buildup of fatty deposits in blood vessels that can limit blood flow to the arteries and can cause a heart attack. Limit cholesterol in your diet by:
- Eating a healthy diet. Avoid saturated fats and trans fats, which tend to raise cholesterol levels. Other types of fats, such as polyunsaturated fats, can actually lower blood cholesterol levels. Eating fiber also can help lower cholesterol.
- Exercising regularly. Physical activity can help lower cholesterol. The Surgeon General recommends that adults engage in moderate-intensity exercise for 2 hours and 30 minutes every week.
- Maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can raise your cholesterol levels. Losing weight can help lower your cholesterol.
- Not Smoking. If you smoke, quit as soon as possible.
To learn more about managing your cholesterol, consult a registered dietitian nutritionist in your area and visit our Choose Healthy Fats page.
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Reviewed July 2013