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Cholesterol: What Are The Risk Factors

 Cholesterol: What Are The Risk Factors

Everyone who has high cholesterol is going to have a different reason for the disease. There are many reasons that some of us struggle with cholesterol. Many of the risk factors are hereditary. One of the keys to successfully treating high cholesterol is determining the reason for the disease in a particular patient, thus tailoring the treatment to their individual needs.

Cholesterol: What Are The Risk Factors

Perhaps the number one cause of high cholesterol, particularly in Americans, is being overweight. Americans are busy people and unfortunately, convenience food is the least healthy food option and the easiest to grab on the go. As adults are getting larger and larger, their children are following suit.

One of the problems with being overweight is that it will eventually increase the levels of LDL cholesterol in the body. For the patient who has high cholesterol and is overweight, one of the first steps to becoming healthy would be to lose weight.

Diet goes right along with weight in causing the cholesterol problems America is facing. The tricky factor relating to diet is that you can eat a terrible diet and, depending on your metabolism, you may not be overweight. You can still have high cholesterol because of your diet, even if it does not manifest itself as a weight issue.

The foods that contribute to high cholesterol include those high in saturated fats. Saturated fats are the types of fats from animal foods, rather than the type from vegetables. One culprit of adding saturated fats to the diet is oil and cooking sprays.

Not only are diet and weight directly related to cholesterol levels, but so are the age and gender of the person who may be suffering from cholesterol related disease. It seems to be that women are at a lower risk than men of developing cholesterol related problems. If a woman is going to have cholesterol problems, chances are they will start noticing it when they enter menopause. The age that most people are at risk of dealing with cholesterol related issues is age fifty and beyond.

Recent studies seem to indicate that cholesterol is more a genetic issue than we previously believed. Children whose parents have struggled with cholesterol will very likely have the same issues, provided they do not make the lifestyle changes necessary to treat the problem. Those who have genetic cholesterol problems can usually benefit from similar courses of treatment as their close family members found success with. This is why it is so important for your doctor to know an accurate family history, particularly if you are dealing with cholesterol or other heart problems.

If you find that you are in one or more of the categories that put you at risk for having high cholesterol, then consider taking preventative steps to keep the problem from manifesting itself, rather than having to deal with it later. Diet and exercise are the most important things you can do to protect yourself from the dangerous world of cholesterol problems. Eat a diet low in saturated fats and only eat the food you need. Also, get twenty minutes a day of exercise, on a consistent basis. These steps will go a long way to helping you have a healthy, cholesterol free life!