Cholesterol is a fatty substance in your body. Cholesterol can be both helpful and harmful to your body. On the good side, it helps build the hormones and cells your body needs. But when you have too much cholesterol, it collects inside the walls of your blood vessels. This can cause heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
When you get your cholesterol checked, your healthcare provider will tell you how high your cholesterol is.
If your total cholesterol is
Your healthcare provider may also check the 2 main types of cholesterol in your blood.
HDL helps prevent heart disease. It helps your body get rid of cholesterol.
LDL leaves fat on the inside of the blood vessels. When you have too much LDL, you have a higher chance of heart disease.
It's good to have high HDL and low LDL.
If your HDL is
The level of LDL that is healthy for you depends on your risk of heart disease:
Ask your provider about your risk for heart disease. This will help you know what your LDL goal should be.
Most of the time, you can take care of your cholesterol by eating right and getting the exercise you need.
It's important to eat healthy foods to keep a healthy weight.
It also helps to:
Follow your healthcare provider's advice for exercise.
High cholesterol may be a problem in your family. Know your family history. Talk about it with your healthcare provider.
Remember, to take care of your cholesterol: