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The Low Cholesterol Diet: A Comprehensive Guide for a Healthy Life

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body needs to make healthy cells. It’s made by your liver and also found in some foods. But, too much cholesterol can raise your risk of heart disease.

There are two main types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL, often called “bad” cholesterol, can lead to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries. HDL, or “good” cholesterol, helps remove cholesterol from your body.

Cholesterol is checked using a lipid panel blood test, which measures the total amount of cholesterol in your blood. This includes LDL, HDL, and triglycerides.

For most healthy adults 19 years and older, your LDL should be less than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), and your HDL should be more than 40 mg/dL. For teens and children 19 and younger, the LDL should be less than 110 mg/dL, while the HDL should be more than 45 mg/dL.

The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests that adults get their cholesterol checked every 4–6 years, starting at age 20. This is when cholesterol levels can start to go up.

High levels of LDL and low levels of HDL increase your risk for heart disease. Several things can cause high cholesterol. These include diet, not enough exercise, being overweight, smoking, and your genes.

Treatment for high cholesterol usually involves changes in lifestyle, like eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and keeping a healthy weight. In some cases, you might need medicine.

Remember, managing your cholesterol is a long-term effort. Always talk to a healthcare provider for personalized advice.

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