What Is High Cholesterol?

Have you been diagnosed with high cholesterol? If so, you aren’t alone! More than 102 million Americans age 20 and older have been diagnosed with elevated cholesterol.

For many of us, though, cholesterol and high cholesterol remain somewhat of a mystery. That’s why our team at AFC Urgent Care Fountain City wants to take some time today to talk through the basics, including steps you can take to maintain normal cholesterol levels.

What Is Cholesterol?

Before we talk about high cholesterol and its impact on your body, let’s first talk about what cholesterol is in the first place. Cholesterol is a waxy substance found within the cells of the body.

Believe it or not, cholesterol isn’t a bad thing. It helps the body make hormones, vitamin D and the substances needed to digest food. But too much cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease, since it builds up in your blood vessels.

Risk Factors for High Cholesterol

  • Diet high in saturated fat
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Excess weight
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of high cholesterol

How Can I Prevent High Cholesterol?

Fortunately, many of the risk factors for high cholesterol are controllable. That means you can make changes that will make an impact and help lower your cholesterol.

Practicing a healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk of high cholesterol and many other health conditions, including heart disease. You may be familiar with the basics of a healthy lifestyle, but it’s important to remember to take things one step at a time. Small changes can make a big difference.

Healthy Lifestyle Habits

  • Eat a balanced diet low in saturated fat and excess sodium.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Get enough quality sleep.
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.
  • Find effective ways to manage stress.

Feeling under the weather? Schedule an AFC TeleCare appointment with AFC Urgent Care Fountain City to get the care you need from the comfort of home.