National Cholesterol Education Month: How to Reduce Risks of Heart Disease
The observance of National Cholesterol Education Month last September should have reminded us of the need to check the food we eat and our lifestyle choices to prevent heart diseases and other ailments due to high or unhealthy cholesterol levels. Today is as good as any to be mindful of our cholesterol level and other risk factors so that we remain healthy and free of diseases even as we grow old.
What Is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance in the body carried by our bloodstream. It is produced by your liver and is also found in the foods we eat.
Two types of lipoproteins carry cholesterol in our blood vessels. One is called the low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is known as the bad cholesterol. The second is the high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is known as the good cholesterol.
Cholesterol is both good and bad for our body. Our body essentially needs cholesterol for it to function normally. For example, it is used to help build cell walls and generate some hormones. However, too much of this can build up along the arteries, narrowing them and thus increasing your risk of heart disease or stroke.
Levels and Ranges of Cholesterol
Here are key markers on cholesterol level:
- Adults who have less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) of total cholesterol levels are considered healthy.
- LDL cholesterol levels should be under 100 mg/dL
- Having 100 to 129 mg/dL of LDL is acceptable when you have no health problems. However, for people with heart disease, this is a concern.
- Having 130 to 159 mg/dL of LDL is considered borderline high while 160 to 189 is high. A finding of 190 mg/dL or higher is very high.
- HDL cholesterol levels should be 60 mg/dL or higher.
- A finding of 41 to 59 mg/dL of HDL is borderline low while less than 40 mg/dL is considered a major risk factor for heart disease.
How to Prevent High Cholesterol
Lifestyle changes are the key to preventing having high cholesterol level. Here are four measures that can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and heart attacks:
- Eat a heart-healthy diet consisting of low-fat and high-fiber foods. Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Perform regular exercise. Adults need at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate exercise or 1 hour and 15 minutes of intense physical activity per week. For those who are 6 to 17 years old, 1 hour or more of physical activity is recommended per day.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Don’t smoke. If you do, quit before it’s too late.
People aged 20 years or older should have their cholesterol level checked every 5 years, according to a recommendation by The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP).
Don’t Forget Your Disadvantaged Neighbors
While being mindful of our health in observance of National Cholesterol Education Month, we should not forget that we have people residing in our community who face much bigger challenges in life. These are the men and women who are burdened with disabilities, lack of education, poverty, and other personal constraints that prevent them from enjoying the fullness of life.
You can provide substantial assistance to these disadvantaged individuals by donating a vehicle you no longer need to us at Goodwill Car Donations. We auction off all vehicles donated to us and use the proceeds to support the critical community-based programs of Goodwill nonprofit organizations based in various locations in the United States. These nonprofits cater to all disadvantaged Americans, providing such services as job training and placement, mentoring, career development, youth employment, disability benefits support, and other community-building support.
Our primary objective is to give our underprivileged fellow citizens the chance to surmount their limitations and reach their full potential. They are taught appropriate skills and knowledge to enable them to secure decent jobs so they can earn a living and support themselves and their families.
To know more about Goodwill Car Donations, our donation process, the rewards our donors get including top tax deductions, the types of vehicles that you can donate, and other important details, visit our About Us and FAQ pages. For inquiries, give us a call at our toll-free 24/7 hotline 866-233-8586 or contact us online.
You can make a vehicle donation by calling us directly or by filling out our online donation form, which you can find on the right side of this page and all other pages of our website.
Let’s exert our best effort to stay healthy as part of the lessons imparted during National Cholesterol Education Month. Let’s also try to help the disadvantaged people in our community. Call Goodwill Car Donations at 866-233-8586 and donate your old and unwanted vehicle for their benefit.
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