High cholesterol comes from a variety of sources, including family history and, possibly even more importantly, what you eat every day. Eating too much saturated fat has been shown to cause high cholesterol. You will find this unhealthy fat in foods that come from animals, and it includes beef, pork, veal, milk, eggs, butter, and even cheese, all of which contain saturated fat. Pre packed and processed foods that contain coconut oil and most other kinds of oil will likely contain saturated fat, as well. You will also find saturated fat in margarine, vegetable shortening, and most cookies, crackers, chips, and other snacks. It is important to read food labels carefully when tracking your saturated fat intake. Eating this food often may cause you to gain weight, and being overweight may increase triglycerides and decrease HDL, which is your good cholesterol. To lose any extra weight you should partake in a workout program. Being inactive is another cause of high cholesterol.

    Besides diet and activity level, other factors can lead to high cholesterol, as well. Gender and age, for example. After you reach the age of twenty, your cholesterol levels naturally begin to rise. In males, cholesterol levels start to level off after age 50. In females, cholesterol levels stay fairly low until menopause, after which they rise to about the same level as found in males. Family history also plays a big roll in cholesterol levels. If you have had family members who have or had high cholesterol, you should have your cholesterol levels checked regularly and monitored closely. You may also want to make sure you are eating a diet designed to lower or maintain cholesterol levels.

    Most of the time cholesterol levels can be controlled, and even lowered, by following a good diet and exercise program. Because these are both things you can control, keeping cholesterol low is something most people can do on their own, without the help of medication. However, sometimes family history and age alone can cause a rise in cholesterol levels, and medications may be necessary. Check with your doctor about things you can do to lower or control your levels, whether it’s a new diet or even prescription drugs. Only a doctor is able to determine which direction is best to help you achieve overall better health, including keeping your cholesterol low. High cholesterol can be deadly and has been linked to heart disease and heart attacks, so keeping a close eye on it is imperative.

    Keeping your cholesterol low offers you a better chance at a longer, healthier life, so get your numbers checked, and often, so you can address any potential problems before they become bigger ones.

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