Drinking alcohol in moderation will not affect your cholesterol levels much. Learn about eight common myths surrounding high cholesterol. The plaque will sometimes split open and form a clot that can also block an artery. Some of the medications available include: Eating healthy is important to the prevention and treatment of high cholesterol. Estimating your overall risk means that your doctor will need to take into account your medical history, physical exam, and yes, your lab results. The 2013 guidelines on cholesterol have made a marked shift in what treatment is recommended for people in the high-risk categories. If at some point your doctor tells you that your cholesterol is high, there is a very good chance that Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) will be discussed soon after. Can Older People Benefit From Lowering Their Cholesterol? A body mass index (BMI) of over 30 puts you at greater risk of higher LDL, lower HDL and higher triglyceride levels. Because some causes of high cholesterol are hereditary, you can still be at risk even if you eat well, exercise regularly, control your weight and reduce all of the other controllable risk factors. Through the MNT services offered by Centric Healthcare, you can make better food choices, eat healthier portions and learn delicious ways to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. Levels under 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) are desired for adults. This changes, however, after menopause. It only takes a few weeks to build new healthy habits, but over time your health will benefit greatly. If it was, it would just be globs of fat that would not be able to use. To reiterate, according to the 2013 guidelines, whether you need to be treated depends on your overall level of risk for developing cardiovascular disease. It is generally recommended that men and women over 20 years of age should have their cholesterol levels checked every 5 years. HDL cholesterol 4. Your liver produces all of the cholesterol your body needs. Over time, enough plaque can block an artery completely. Now, before you roll your eyes and think, “here we go again with the diet and exercise talk,” stop and think about it. However, if your test results are outside of the recommended range, you should check them more often. Age, gender and genetics are factors that can contribute to the risk of high cholesterol. 30 minutes of daily activity, like walking, can increase your HDL levels and lower your LDL levels. These people are at low cardiovascular risk and do not require treatment. Everyone in Categories 1 through 4 has a high risk of significant cardiovascular problems within a few years, and they need to be treated aggressively to reduce their risk. These critics point out that the NHLBI’s risk calculator incorporates only those risk factors which have been “proven” in well-controlled clinical trials to contribute significantly to cardiovascular risk: age, LDL, and HDL cholesterol levels, whether one is currently a smoker, and whether one has had elevated systolic blood pressure. Category 3 includes people between the ages of 40 and 75 who have diabetes, and who are not in Categories 1 or 2. Fried foods. Increasing your “good cholesterol” can lower your “bad cholesterol” and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Such a controversy—whether Category 4 includes too many or too few people—is inherent to any recommendation whose cutoff is determined arbitrarily by a panel of experts. You should talk to your doctor about the healthiest cholesterol levels for you. It is certainly appropriate for an expert panel to make recommendations in this regard. It is better to substitute mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) for saturated and trans fats in your diet. Foods that can contribute to high cholesterol include: You should read your food labels closely. Aim to keep this "bad" cholesterol under 100 mg/dL, or 2.6 mmol/L. What Happens in the First Three Days After a Stroke?