According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 2 in 5 adults in the United States have high cholesterol. High cholesterol can cause health problems such as heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death in the United States.
A variety of risk factors such as genetics, diet, weight, physical activity, age, gender, and certain health conditions, affect cholesterol levels. Although you cannot control some of these risk factors, you can take steps to lower your risk of high cholesterol.
- Do not smoke and limit alcohol intake. Smoking damages blood vessels and greatly increases your risk for heart disease. Too much alcohol can raise cholesterol levels and levels of triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood.
- Eat a healthy diet. Reducing the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet helps lower your blood cholesterol levels.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight is a risk factor for heart disease and tends to increase your cholesterol. Losing weight can help lower your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and total cholesterol levels, as well as raise your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and lower your triglyceride levels.
- Engage in regular physical activity. Regular physical activity can help lower LDL (bad) and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise and two days of muscle strengthening activity each week. Children and adolescents should get one hour of physical activity every day.
- Work with your health care professional. Consult with your doctor to establish an effective cholesterol management plan. Your health care professional will work on a food and fitness plan to help you reach or maintain a healthy weight.
Always consult your physician before starting any exercise or diet plan. For additional information or resources, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s page on cholesterol. For more information on employee resources, please send an email to email@example.com.