One out of five people has high cholesterol. A staggering 50 percent of Americans have levels above the suggested limit. The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 20 percent of all strokes and more than 50 percent of all heart attacks can be linked to high cholesterol.
According to the American Heart Association, high levels of cholesterol in the blood can cause heart disease and lead to a heart attack.
The Heart.org website stated that food and your body are cholesterol sources. Cholesterol is found in your body’s cells and bloodstream. Seventy-five percent of cholesterol is made by your liver and other cells in your body. The remaining 25 percent comes from the foods you eat daily. Most importantly, cholesterol is only found in animal products like meat and milk with fat.
HDL is the good cholesterol and LDL is the bad cholesterol. Also, HDL keeps the LDL cholesterol from attaching to your arteries.
A cholesterol screening measures both levels of cholesterol. Cholesterol is measured in milligrams per deciliter of blood. A cholesterol level of 200 mg/dL or higher is considered high.
Eating saturated fat, trans-fats and dietary cholesterol also increases cholesterol levels.
There are several ways to lower cholesterol. While blood pressure or cholesterol medications, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers and digoxin may be prescribed by your physician, it's important to realize their effect is temporary. Other lifestyle changes are necessary in order to lower cholesterol.
For example, regular healthy physical activity lowers cholesterol. At least 30 minutes of exercise a day has been shown to decrease total cholesterol and improve "good" HDL cholesterol levels, while lack of regular physical activity can raise "bad" LDL cholesterol levels as well as lead to weight gain.
There are also natural ways to lower your cholesterol. One way is diet. Eat more foods from plants which don’t contain cholesterol such as fruits, vegetables, and grains. Fiber and fish has also been known to reduce bad cholesterol levels. Also, avoid foods which contain too much cholesterol like meat, egg yolks and fat milk.