The ways we manage cholesterol are ever-changing. Today, new research is giving doctors a more detailed understanding of the cholesterol in your blood, what it means and how it works. Now researchers are looking into the sub-particles of LDL and HDL and their effect on artery-clogging diseases. This will allow them to target treatments customized for specific patients.
Until these new treatments are available, here's how you can manage your cholesterol numbers to help prevent heart disease or stroke.
Four Simple Steps
Make healthier food choices
Include more fruits and vegetables and eat less red meat by finding alternative protein choices such as fish and legumes. At webmd.com you can find a wealth of information, including heart-healthy recipes.
The link between an inactive lifestyle and heart problems is well documented. Use it or lose it! Even walking every day can help make a difference. Read the article "9 Great Heart-Healthy Exercises" at everydayhealth.com.
Control your weight
Weight is another well known contributing factor for heart disease. Talk to your doctor about what your healthy weight is. The American Heart Association's heart.org can provide information about this topic.
Smoking increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Smokers should quit as soon as possible. Visit Healthy Communities Partnership for free information and classes to quit smoking.
Myths about cholesterol
"Two of the biggest misconceptions about cholesterol are that if you are thin, you don't have to worry about having high cholesterol, and that high cholesterol is a condition that only affects people who have reached middle age," says Dr. Arshad Safi, interventional cardiologist at Summit Health. "Being overweight often increases risk for high cholesterol and heart disease, but one can be slender and still have high cholesterol. Diet, physical activity and genetics all play a role in a person's cholesterol and resulting risk for heart attack and stroke. No age is immune to high cholesterol; even children can have high cholesterol as the result of lifestyle and genetics."