5 CHOLESTEROL MYTHS AND FACTS
- LDL (low-density lipoprotein), sometimes called “bad” cholesterol, makes up most of your body’s cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol raise your risk for heart disease and stroke.
- HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or “good” cholesterol, carries cholesterol back to the liver. The liver then flushes it from the body. High levels of HDL cholesterol can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.
- Get tested at least every 5 years (unless told otherwise by your doctor).
- Make healthy food choices. Limit foods high in saturated fats. Choose foods naturally high in fiber and unsaturated fats.
- Be active every day. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults get 150 to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity each week.
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco products. Smoking damages your blood vessels, speeds up the hardening of the arteries, and greatly increases your risk for heart disease. Quitting tobacco will lower your risk for heart disease.
- If any medicines are prescribed by your health care provider to you to manage your cholesterol, take them as they are prescribed.
- Know your family history. If your parents or other immediate family members have high cholesterol, you probably should be tested more often.
Myth: I don’t need statins or other medicines for my cholesterol. I can manage my cholesterol with diet and exercise.
Fact: Although many people can achieve good cholesterol levels by making healthy food choices and getting enough physical activity, some people may also need medicines called statins to lower their cholesterol levels.
Always talk to your health care provider about the best ways to manage your cholesterol.