Heart Attacks and Cholesterol Levels
As you likely already know, there are 2 types of cholesterol: HDL (the “good” cholesterol) and LDL (the “bad” cholesterol). Your LDL levels are generally the cholesterol levels that your doctor will advise you to keep an eye on, especially if you’re at risk of heart disease.
LDL, more formally known as low-density lipoprotein, can cause a buildup of fibrous deposits on the walls of your arteries. This restricts the blood flow through these arteries. When the blood flow is restricted enough in a major artery, it can become blocked, and this is the leading cause of heart attacks.
This is why it is important to manage your cholesterol levels if you are at risk of heart disease. If you already have a family history of high cholesterol and heart attacks, keeping your LDL levels low can minimize buildups in your arteries and prevent you from experiencing a cardiac episode.
Ways to Manage Cholesterol
If you’re concerned about your risk for heart disease, there are many ways that you can help to keep your cholesterol at a healthy level. Here are a few suggestions:
- Exercise regularly
- Quit smoking
- Manage your stress
- Lose weight
- Avoid foods high in saturated fats
- Take statins (cholesterol-lowering medication)