(BlackDoctor.org) — In the annual physical, your doctor checks your cholesterol levels. But what is it? And what do the numbers say about your health?
Cholesterol is a type of lipid or fat. In our bodies, it travels through our blood stream in particles called lipoproteins. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are bad because they can lead to a buildup of plaque in arteries. A mass of plaque can narrow your arteries and restrict blood flow – much like trying to sip juice through a clogged straw. Eventually, the plaque ruptures and a blood clot forms, cutting off the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Hello, heart attack and stroke!
High-density lipoproteins (HDL), on the other hand, are good because they pick up the LDL clogging your arteries and take it to the liver, where it’s processed and eventually excreted. A total blood cholesterol level of 200 and above is cause for concern, especially if you have type 2 diabetes, according to the American Heart Association.
1. Eat Up!
Lowering your cholesterol reduces your risk of contracting heart disease and dying from a heart attack. What you eat can affect the amounts of HDL and LDL flowing through your bloodstream.
Try these 7 super-foods to reduce diabetic hyperlipidemia—Aim to eat all seven daily.
- Soy Protein
2. Work Up a Sweat