What is cholesterol?
There are two types of cholesterol: “good” high-density cholesterol and “bad” low-density cholesterol.
Too much of one and not enough of the other can put you at risk for heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. Your body makes about 75 percent of the blood cholesterol in your body. The other 25 percent comes from the foods you eat. Cholesterol is only found in animal products.
Quick tip: If you have trouble remembering which is the good, and which is bad, cholesterol, keep this rule in mind:
H is for Healthy, as in HDL
L is for Lousy, as in LDL
High-density cholesterol (LDL)
HDL is “good” cholesterol. A healthy level of HDL may protect you from heart attack and stroke. Medical experts tend to think that HDL carries cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver where it is passed from the body.
Low-density cholesterol (LDL)
LDL is the “bad” cholesterol and is produced naturally by your body. When too much of it is in the blood, it can build up and clog arteries, which can cause heart attack or stroke. Your hereditary and saturated or trans fats in the food you eat can cause you to have high levels of LDL.
Help keep your cholesterol healthy with these five strategies:
Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, while eating fewer high-fat foods, especially saturated and trans fats.
Maintain a healthy weight. If you’re overweight, lose weight to lower LDL and raise HDL levels.
Exercise for at least 30 minutes, five days each week.
Know your numbers. Monitor your cholesterol values by getting blood tests, called a lipid profile, at age 21 and every five years after that. Use Parkview MyChart to track and compare your numbers over time.
Interested in getting your cholesterol checked?
Ask your primary care physician for a lipid profile. They will give you the necessary paperwork and instructions to get your cholesterol checked at Parkview.
If you don’t have a primary physician, visit the Parkview Center for Healthy Living to purchase a lab voucher to have blood testing done without a physician’s order. Blood testing with out a physician’s order is typically an out-of-pocket cost.
For accuracy, tests should be done following a fast (no food or drink) for 10 ─ 12 hours. If your cholesterol values are high, ask your physician if you should check your cholesterol more frequently.
Parkview Center for Healthy Living
Parkview Regional Medical Center Campus
11123 Parkview Plaza Drive, Suite 200
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46845