Cardiologists recommend individuals ages 20 and older should have their cholesterol checked once every 5 years. If you happen to be at risk of high cholesterol, then you should get checked more often than every 5 years.
Basics of Cholesterol
You will often hear of LDL. This stands for low-density lipoprotein and is your “bad cholesterol.” High-density lipoprotein (HDL), is “good cholesterol.”
Your doctor may recommend one of two tests, a fasting level or a non-fasting level. Your fasting total level, also called a lipid profile, measures lipoprotein, LDL, HDL, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. This should not exceed 200.
The non-fasting test shows your total and HDL levels.
Why Is It Important to Know Your Cholesterol Levels?
Your doctor can use your levels to know if you are at risk of having a stroke or heart problems over the next ten years. As an added benefit, your doctor can come up with a proactive game plan to helping you reduce your cholesterol if it needs to be reduced.
Here are several methods on how to lower it. The good news is that if your LDL is higher than what is healthy, there are easy measures to take which can quickly lower LDL levels. The results in LDL reduction can be seen in as early as 6 weeks.
- Quitting Smoking – Smoking causes your good cholesterol (HDL) to go down
- Exercise – Exercise can cause your HDL levels to rise. It can also help control weight and high blood pressure
- Eating low cholesterol foods – Your daily intake should be less than 300 grams according to the American Heart Association. If you are already at risk, you should eat less than 200 grams.
- Avoid saturated fat
Foods To Lower Cholesterol & Blood Pressure
- Fruits – apples, berries, oranges, pears, tomatoes, grapes
- Vegetables – zucchini, kale, eggplant, squash, celery, leafy greens, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower
- Some dairy products – Dairy is a great source of calcium, but lower fat and non-fat options are better than the regular version. Some examples include milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, cheese and sour cream.
- Meats, poultry, fish, tofu – Choose lean options of each of these.
- Beans and grains – whole wheat, beans, and grains offer great sources of fiber.
While several medications are available to help lower your levels, statins appear to be the treatment of choice. Statins are a category of drugs that lower levels by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA that affects the production of cholesterol in the liver. And the liver accounts for 70% of our body’s production. Statins and can lower your LDL from 20%-50%, as well as help, prevent cardiovascular disease.
Schedule your appointment with Dallas Preventative Cardiologist Dr. John Osborne.
Dr. John Osborne is a Dallas Fort Worth Preventive Cardiologist. Dr. Osborne is tripled boarded in Hypertension, Cardiac CT Angiography, Echo & Nuclear Cardiology. Dr. Osborne is a recognized national and international speaker on preventive cardiology. Named Top10MD in 2016 – an honor only 1-in-3 doctors succeed within the United States. To schedule, a consultation with Dr. Osborne click on his profile or call his office at 972.488.9656