What you should know about high cholesterol

You’ve probably heard that having high cholesterol is bad for you. But, do you know why?

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance made in the liver and found in some foods such as dairy products, eggs and meat. Our body needs some cholesterol but having too much can lead to heart disease. When there is too much cholesterol, it can stick to our artery walls clogging them and blocking blood from getting to the heart.

What affects your cholesterol number?

There are many factors that affect your cholesterol level. Most you are in complete control of. Your diet is one factor that has an impact on what your cholesterol level is. It is important to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables while reducing your intake of saturated fats. Along with diet, comes exercise. It is important to exercise moderately at least 30 minutes most days. Proper diet and exercise leads to weight control. Being overweight tends to increase your cholesterol. Help control your weight with this page. If you have diabetes, work with your doctor regularly to ensure your blood sugar is at the right levels for you. If your diabetes is left untreated, it can raise your cholesterol. Factors you don’t have control over is your family history and age.

How can I get my cholesterol checked?

Speak to your doctor. All it takes is a simple blood test. You doctor may ask you to fast at least six hours before the test to get the most accurate results.

What’s your number?

Compare your number to our chart. How’s your cholesterol?

Total cholesterol number
Under 200 Target goal
200-239 High
Over 239 Very high and potentially dangerous

What can I do to lower my cholesterol?

  • Eat right. Don’t forget about getting your daily serving of fruits and vegetables. Fiber found in fruits and vegetables are especially important.
  • Exercise. Get your heart pumping with an exercise routine. Talk to you doctor about the right exercises for you.
  • If you smoke, quit! High cholesterol is just one of the many dangerous side effects smoking has on the body. Learn about our smoking cessation resources.
  • Try medication – If you can’t do it on your own, your doctor may recommend medication to help you.

If you have any questions about how to lower your cholesterol contact the Providence Care Management team.