September 2008 is National Cholesterol Education Month. We hear cholesterol mentioned all the time, commercials on television and talk about good cholesterol versus bad.
So what exactly is cholesterol?
It is a fat (lipid) that is found in foods containing animal products or bi-products, like meat or dairy. Fruits and vegetables do not contain cholesterol. In our own bodies, we produce cholesterol in the liver.
The notion of good and bad cholesterol comes down to high density lipoproteins (good) and low density lipoproteins (bad). Unfortunately, most of the cholesterol we consume is of the low density variety and this affects the body by clogging our arteries/blood vessels.
Keeping our cholesterol levels low takes a little time and effort, especially if we have a genetic propensity to have higher cholesterol than we'd like. But a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, grains and less dairy and meat can certainly help. Exercise is also a huge factor in keeping high cholesterol at bay. Some take medication to help control their levels.
For more information about cholesterol check out these websites
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at
and The American Heart Association at
Do you have high cholesterol? What do you do to maintain a healthy heart?
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