If you’re anything like I am, you find yourself besieged with numbers you need to recall just to function through your daily tasks. There’s the all-important PIN number, countless passwords, and frequently dialed phone numbers, just to name a few. While all of these digits are important, they should play second string to some very significant numbers that each of us should know – our cholesterol numbers.
Estimates are that 99.5 million American adults have total blood cholesterol values of 200 and higher, and about 39.9 million American adults have levels of 240 or above. In adults, total cholesterol levels of 240 or higher are considered high, and levels from 200 to 239 are considered borderline-high.
What about cholesterol and diet?
People acquire cholesterol in two ways. The body — mainly the liver — produces cholesterol, while the rest comes directly from foods. Typically the body makes all the cholesterol it needs, so people don’t need to consume it.
Saturated fatty acids are the chief culprit in raising blood cholesterol, which increases a person’s risk of heart disease. Trans fats also raise blood cholesterol. The average American man consumes about 337 mg of cholesterol a day; the average woman, 217 mg.
The American Heart Association recommends that you limit your average daily cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg. If you have heart disease, limit your daily intake to less than 200 mg. By keeping your dietary intake of saturated fats low, you will also be able to significantly lower your dietary cholesterol intake. Foods high in saturated fat generally contain substantial amounts of dietary cholesterol.
What can you do to improve your numbers?
People who have excess body fat are more likely to develop heart disease and stroke even if they have no other risk factors. Obesity is unhealthy because it’s directly linked with coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and makes diabetes more likely to develop.
One of the best things you can do to improve your cholesterol levels is to develop healthier eating habits and lose excess weight. Physicians WEIGHT LOSS Centers has been helping clients lose weight and learn healthy eating habits for over 34 years. The staff at PWLC helps clients learn what foods contain cholesterol, how much, and how one can eat a pleasurable and healthy diet while maintaining a healthful cholesterol intake. We offer one-on-one support, weekly weigh-ins, and nutrition and behavior guidance carefully monitored by a board-certified physician, a licensed nurse, and staff counselors. And we begin and end every client’s program with a comprehensive blood test which includes total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglyceride numbers.
If you don’t ‘know your numbers,’ now is the time to become informed and take control of your health. Call Physicians WEIGHT LOSS Centers at (402) 483-7952 to schedule your screening and learn more about improving your numbers for a healthy heart.