Normal cholesterol levels are found in over half of Americans. Normal cholesterol levels are usually associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease, but not always. Cholesterol is necessary for many crucial aspects of your biochemistry and health. So, it’s not all bad but can be in excess.

As a general rule the GOOD cholesterols are good for you and the BAD cholesterols are NOT good for you. If you are overweight, eat an unhealthy diet, or have a family history of high cholesterol, get your levels checked regularly. Reduce high blood pressure and cardiovascular risks by losing weight.

Risk factors associated with a healthy cholesterol good/bad ratio include; diet, age, weight, gender, genetics, diseases, and lifestyle. Ever since weight-loss programs gained optimal popularity in the market, the word cholesterol has been demonized unfairly. The key is balance.

However, if you are overweight you have placed yourself in a higher risk category. There is no question about this, with only a handful of people whose genetics are so strong that they can overcome this. The concept of a “healthy fat person” is simply not true for the vast majority. Sorry.

The location of any extra weight also impacts whether or not the blood ratio will be good or bad. When your fat weight is centered around the abdominal area, as opposed to the legs or buttocks, an increased risk exists. Weight loss is your primary target and will decrease blood cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar levels. All of this is beneficial to your health.

Overweight people tend to have higher cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while physical activity appears to improve them. So, exercise! Ideally every day, even if it is moderate exercise like walking 30 minutes or so.

Unfortunately, many people with normal cholesterol levels are not identified as having special risks. This is a BIG mistake! Healthy men and women with normal
cholesterol levels are still at risk for future heart attack, which can happen at any time. There are many other tests for cardiovascular risk using ultrasound measurement of your carotid arteries, C-Reactive protein (which measures inflammation in your body) and others can help nail down your real risk.

You can’t control your genes or your age, but there are things you can do to prevent or reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure even if you have genes that might make you more likely to have it. Regular aerobic exercise— such as walking, running, bicycling, or swimming laps— can help.

Cooking with sesame oil in place of other edible oils appears to help reduce high blood pressure and lowers the amount of medication needed to control hypertension. This was reported at the XVth Scientific Meeting of the Inter-American Society of Hypertension. So, pay attention to your diet and exercise as a base for controlling cholesterol and heart disease. Once you develop this good base, then certain supplements can help support your health as well. But that is another topic……

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