Obesity and High Cholesterol – Don’t Take It Lightly

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There are different types of cholesterol in the blood. In discussing obesity the concern is that you have higher levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and lower levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL). Although having high cholesterol does not cause symptoms it can significantly increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including disease of blood vessels supplying the heart (coronary artery disease), brain (cerebrovascular disease), and limbs (peripheral vascular disease). These conditions can in turn lead to chest pain, heart attack, stroke, and other problems. It is important to find out what your cholesterol numbers are because lowering cholesterol levels that are too high lessens your risk for developing cardiovascular disease.

 When there is too much cholesterol in the blood, it builds up in the walls of your arteries. Over time this causes hardening of the arteries so that arteries become narrowed and blood flow to the targeted organ or part of the body (heart, brain, limb) is slowed down or blocked.

 If you are obese you are more likely to have high levels of “bad” (LDL) cholesterol in your blood than people who are not obese.  You are more likely to have high levels of cholesterol in your blood if your extra fat is around your waist, rather than your hips and buttocks.

A variety of things can affect cholesterol levels. These are the things you can do something about:

Diet – decrease the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet.

Weight – losing weight can help lower “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and raise “good” (HDL) cholesterol.

Physical Activity – regular activity can help lower “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and raise “good” (HDL) cholesterol. It also helps you to lose weight.

So don’t take it lightly – if you have high cholesterol, work towards a healthy goal and a happy heart!

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