Read in this article about controllable and non-controllable risk factors for developing high cholesterol levels & heart disease? Knowing your risk for high cholesterol will help you make conscious choices to manage your blood cholesterol levels, and ultimately, your heart health.
Certain health conditions, your lifestyle, and your family history can increase your risk for high cholesterol. These are called “high cholesterol risk factors.”
You can’t control some of these risk factors, like your family history or age. But there are many risk factors that a person can control to help bring down his or her high cholesterol levels.
Uncontrollable High Cholesterol Risk Factors
- A family history of high blood cholesterol: You are higher at risk of having high cholesterol if other people in your family have it. This may be due to genetics, but it may also be that families share the same unhealthy lifestyle habits. Some people also have a genetic condition called familial hypercholesterolemia, which can cause high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol from a young age.
- Gender: Men tend to have higher LDL and lower HDL cholesterol levels than women do. But after menopause (around age 55), LDL cholesterol levels in women also tend to rise.
- Older Age: As you age, your body’s chemistry changes. For instance, as you age, your liver becomes less able to remove LDL cholesterol as it used to. Men 45 or older and women 55 or older have a greater risk of high cholesterol and heart disease.
Major Controllable Risk Factors for High Cholesterol Include:
- Poor Diet: Eating saturated fat contained in animal products, and trans fats contained in some commercially baked cakes, cookies, and crackers can increase your cholesterol. Foods high in cholesterol, such as red meat and full-fat dairy products, will also increase your cholesterol levels.
- Obesity: Being overweight can make your LDL cholesterol level upsurge and your HDL level go down. Having a BMI (body mass index) of “thirty” or higher puts you at risk of high cholesterol.
- Lack of Exercise: Regular exercise on one hand raises your HDL level, or “good,” cholesterol while on the other hand increases the size of the particles that make up your LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, making it less harmful.
- Smoking: Cigarette smoking damages the walls of your blood vessels, making them more susceptible to accumulate fatty deposits. Smoking might also lower your level of HDL, or “good,” cholesterol.
- Diabetes: High blood sugar contributes to higher levels of dangerous cholesterol called very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and lowers HDL (Good) cholesterol. High blood sugar also damages the lining of your arteries raises the risk for heart disease and stroke.
(i) Lifestyle, some health conditions, and family history can increase your risk for high cholesterol. You should get your cholesterol levels checked more often if you have some of the above risk factors
(ii) If you have had high cholesterol levels, your need to keep a closer watch on your cholesterol.
CAUTION: One misconception is that you can have poorly controlled cholesterol for years and then decide to take action. In fact, by then, the “PLAQUE” could already have built up. That’s why it’s crucial to have your cholesterol tested regularly so that you know your levels and control them in time.
Read in this “Cholesterol Natural Cure Book” about the personal experience of a 69 years old man who has beaten heart disease, lives an active, independent life, and uses natural ways to keep his cholesterol under control: