Check Your Cholesterol
Having high cholesterol puts you at risk for heart disease. It also carries no signs or symptoms so often people don’t even know they are at risk. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body needs. But when you have too much in your blood, it can build up on the walls of your arteries. Over time, cholesterol deposits, called plaque, can narrow your arteries and allow less blood to pass through. This can lead to heart disease and stroke.
Any body type can have high cholesterol. Overweight people are more likely to have high cholesterol, but thin people should also have their cholesterol checked regularly. Often people who don’t gain weight easily are less aware of how much saturated and trans fat they eat. Nobody can eat anything they want and stay heart healthy. Have your cholesterol checked regularly regardless of your weight, physical activity and diet.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent high cholesterol or to reduce your levels if they are high.
- Get a blood test. High cholesterol usually has no signs or symptoms. A simple blood test can check your cholesterol levels. The test is called a lipoprotein profile. It measures several kinds of cholesterol as well as triglycerides.
- Eat a healthy diet. Fill half your plate with fruits and veggies. Download the Half My Plate app.
- Exercise regularly. Try to fit in at least 150 minutes total of physical activity each week. Check out a walking trail near your home. Download the Neon to Nature app.
- Don’t smoke. To quit call 1-800-Quit-Now or visit our quit smoking webpage.
- Treat high cholesterol. Your doctor may prescribe medications in addition to lifestyle changes. Talk with your doctor about how to reduce your risk for heart disease.