When you think about the way your nutritional choices affect your health, the impact of your cholesterol levels should be one of the main items that you keep in mind. Today we’re going to dive into the subject of cholesterol to help you make good choices for yourself as you manage this common condition.
When was the last time you had a lipid panel done to check your cholesterol levels? If you’ve been to the doctor lately, chances are that he or she ran these tests to determine your relative levels of both “good” and “bad” cholesterol. High cholesterol is one of the most common health concerns in America, largely due to our nutritional and exercise habits — and that’s not good news for our longevity.
That’s because high levels of “bad” cholesterol lead to some pretty serious heart problems. Simply put, having elevated cholesterol levels puts strain and stress on your heart through a variety of undesirable factors like clogged arteries, increased chance of heart attack and stroke, and even coronary heart disease leading to an early death. It’s difficult to think about the way that our eating choices could actually shorten our lifespan, but as we always say at Urgent 9, food is medicine. You need to put things into your body that will deliver a positive result for your lifetime health outcomes.
Of course, most of America isn’t thinking too deeply when they sit down for meals. They’re mostly concerned with how delicious something is! And that’s fine — to an extent. However, certain types of foods or food preparation are a quick path to high cholesterol and heart problems down the line. Eating too much red meat, fried food, or dairy products will have you in a cholesterol mess faster than you can say “fried chicken.”
Because of America’s eating habits, millions of Americans are on a type of medication called “statins,” designed to lower bad cholesterol and delay some of the effects that their eating choices are bringing about. But statins aren’t the only way to approach a high cholesterol diagnosis. Improved dietary habits and regular exercise are a great place to start. Beyond that, modern medicine is now rich with options like PCSK9 inhibitors, fibrates, niacin, and other alternative approaches to cholesterol management. Having a lipid panel done at your next physical and speaking with your doctor about potential treatment options is a great way to make cholesterol problems a thing of the past — so you can stick around longer in the present.