The Ins and Outs of Cholesterol

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“People tend to fall into two camps about cholesterol,” said Jason Griffin, MD, primary care physician at Archbold Primary Care. “Some people love butter and bacon, while others avoid anything with a hint of cholesterol. The wisest of course fall somewhere in the middle.”

What Does Cholesterol Do?

Cholesterols is a fatty, wax-like substance that circulates in your blood. Your body uses it to make vitamin D and hormones, build cells and help you digest food.

Your liver produces all the cholesterol your body needs, but when you eat too many foods high in saturated fats, such as red meat and full-fat dairy, your liver makes more cholesterol. That puts you at risk for heart problems.

LDL vs. HDL

There are two types of cholesterol: HDL, or the “good” kind, and LDL, or the “bad” kind. If you have too much LDL and not enough HDL in your blood, your risk for heart disease and stroke increases. This is because cholesterol can build up on the walls of your arteries, blocking or reducing blood flow to your heart and brain.

How to Decrease Your Risk

By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you can reduce your risk for cholesterol-related health problems.

  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Get plenty of physical activity
  • Know your cholesterol numbers and follow the advice of your doctor if you need to lower them

“To learn your numbers and find out how to reduce your risk, visit your primary care doctor,” said Dr. Griffin. “We help people make wise choices so they can manage their health with confidence.”

Visit archbold.org/providers to find a provider who can help you manage high cholesterol.

How to Make a Heart-Healthy Fall Soup

  • Use lean meat, such as chicken, turkey and lean ground beef
  • Trim all fat from meats before cooking
  • Try making vegetarian soups with fresh veggies
  • Use low-sodium broth
  • Choose low-fat dairy products for recipes that call for milk, cream or cheese
  • Substitute brown rice for white rice and whole-grain pasta for white pasta

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