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How Do You Prevent High Cholesterol?

High cholesterol is a silent enemy that does not really produce any noticeable symptoms. If you have high cholesterol, this will put you at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Your cholesterol levels are dependant on a variety of factors, but you can take steps right now in order to help keep your cholesterol at a healthier level.

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Get a Blood Test

With a relative lack of physical symptoms, only a blood test can diagnose high cholesterol. Ask your doctor about doing a simple blood test to determine where your cholesterol levels are at. The test is known as a lipoprotein profile, and it will measure several types of cholesterol (also triglycerides) in your blood. Your doctor could also just run a test to determine your total and HDL cholesterol levels.

According to the National Cholesterol Education Program, adults should have their cholesterol levels checked once every five years.

Maintain a Healthy Diet and Weight

Studies have shown that obesity or even just overweight can increase someone’s bad cholesterol levels. Thus, you can significantly reduce this health risk by maintaining a healthy weight. Here are some foods that you would want to avoid in order to keep your cholesterol levels in check.

Your doctor can help you determine whether your current weight is in that healthy range by measuring your body mass index (BMI). In addition, measurements taken of the patient’s hip and waist could give them an accurate determination of the body’s excess fat. However, there are also tools available online which can help you compute your own BMI, all you need to know is your height and weight.

Get Regular Exercise

Aside from just eating right, getting regular exercise is crucial in helping to maintain a healthy weight and lower your bad cholesterol. According to the Surgeon General, an adult should be getting at least 2 to 3 hours of moderate-intensity exercise every week. If you are not a person who likes to exercise, start of slow and implement some low impact aerobic exercises to get started.

Stop Smoking

Clinical studies have shown considerable evidence that smoking cigarettes can contribute to medical conditions like high cholesterol and high blood pressure (just to name a few). Long term usage will injure your blood vessels and contribute to atherosclerosis (the hardening of the arteries). A regular smoker is at much greater risk for heart disease and stroke.

If you’re currently a regular smoker, maybe this is the time to consider quitting. Although it can be tough, there are a number of programs (such as smoking cessations) which can help you quit the habit for good. Smokers who have successfully quit show improved cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and their long-term heart health is significantly improved.

Unfortunately due to the genetic factors involved, some people who maintain healthy lifestyle habits may still develop high cholesterol simply because their body is not able to metabolize cholesterol effectively. If that is the case, medication may be able to help.