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Patients Encouraged to Check Cholesterol Levels|
CLEBURNE, Texas — Did the last visit with the physician include a screening of good and bad cholesterol levels?
September is National Cholesterol Education Month and a good time to pay a visit to a primary-care physician to determine whether an individual ranks as one of the more than 65 million Americans with high blood cholesterol. High cholesterol can increase risk for heart disease.
A simple fasting lipoprotein profile test enables physicians to track patient’s cholesterol numbers, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute said. Age, gender and heredity all play a role in determining an individual’s cholesterol levels, but many lifestyle choices also play a big part.
“Not everyone will be able to control their cholesterol by diet and exercise, but for many people making simple changes can reduce cholesterol to healthy levels,” said Dr. Mike White, a local family physician and member of the medical staff at Harris Methodist Walls Regional Hospital. “Individuals should meet with their physicians to determine safe and appropriate diet and exercise regimes to improve their health.”
Saturated fat raises blood cholesterol more than any other item in a diet, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute said. Looking for low-fat or fat free products can be an easy way to reduce fat intake. Foods with soluble fiber, such as cereal grains, fruits, vegetables, beans and lentils, can help lower blood cholesterol.
Individuals can mitigate their risk of high cholesterol by eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and getting physical activity on most, if not all days, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Individuals also should stop smoking to reduce the risk of high cholesterol and heart disease.
For more information, visit www.nhlbi.nih.gov.
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