Health & Wellness Weight Management Smoking & Tobacco Quit Center #TeamInspira Life & Health Coaching Fitness Connection Healthy Living Ideas Tips for Improving Your Health in the New Year Smoking Cessation and Lung Cancer Screening Connecting Behavioral Health and Physical Health The Difference Between a Heart Attack and Sudden Cardiac Arrest Start Your Heart-Healthy Diet Exercising During Pregnancy Small Diet Changes That Make A Big Impact Why Cancer Survivors Could Have Heart Trouble LSVT LOUD Helps Patients Raise their Voices Why Good Form Matters When Weightlifting Four Common Myths About Vaccines Got Spring Allergies? Start Treatment Now What is Cardiac Rehab? Preventive Steps to Avoid Snow-Related Injuries Trying to Conceive in the New Year What to Do if You Get the Stomach Flu Plan Ahead for a Safe Visit with Elderly Relatives Tips for Beating Morning Sickness The Link Between Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetes Complications of Uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes Why Snoring Could Be Bad for Your Heart Managing the Symptoms of IBS Celebrate Men's Health Month with These Important Screenings Tips for Better Sleep Teaching ‘Normal’ Movement with LSVT BIG New Guidelines Impact Daily Aspirin Recommendations 5 Tips to Get Active Safely Should My Daughter (or Son) Get the HPV Vaccine? Five Ways to Keep Your Brain Young Simple Fixes to Avoid Summertime Injuries Reasons Some Men Avoid the Doctor Five Ways to Manage Prediabetes Breast Health Screening: Know Your Options What You Need to Know About Mammograms Common Breastfeeding Issues and How to Solve Them Recognizing Stroke Symptoms in Your Loved Ones Who Does What in the World of Mental Health Practitioners Lower Your Risk of Colorectal Cancer Ladies: Incontinence Doesn’t Have to Be a Part of Aging Enjoy Halloween Safely With These Tips Keep Your Diet on Track this Summer It’s Shark Week! What’s Really Lurking Off the Shoreline Tips for Managing Your Mental Health Around The Holidays The Relationship Between Birth Defects and Folic Acid What to Expect During Your First Colonoscopy Here’s What You Need to Know About Lung Nodules What You Need to Know About the Flu Vaccine's Effectiveness Healthy Recipes Nutrition Counseling Massage Therapy Medical Fitness Programs Rehabilatation and Physical Therapy Sleep Centers S.T.E.P.S. For Kids (preventing childhood obesity) Diabetes Education Changes to Improve Your Cholesterol Without Medicine When you get a complete cholesterol test––sometimes called a lipid panel or lipid profile––the numbers you get back on your charts may be confusing for the untrained eye to interpret. In addition to measuring the total amount of cholesterol in your blood, you’ll see three more calculations for low-density lipoproteins (LDL), high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and triglycerides. LDL is the “bad” cholesterol that causes the buildup of plaque in your arteries. Too much plaque can clog your arteries and cause a heart attack or stroke. Those with high levels of LDL may benefit from cholesterol-lowering medication to ensure your blood is flowing freely through your arteries. Before prescribing medication, your doctor may first recommend some lifestyle changes to help improve your cholesterol levels. Simple day-to-day interventions can be the first line of treatment. Make time for exercise Exercise has always been a cornerstone for good heart health that also helps improve cholesterol. Intense aerobic exercises that raise the heart rate for a long duration will provide you the greatest benefits. But if exercise isn’t part of your normal routine, don’t let that discourage you. Even low-intensity exercise like walking increases HDL, the “good” cholesterol. Losing just a few extra pounds can help lower your total cholesterol. Eat a heart-healthy diet What you eat can have a significant impact on your cholesterol levels. Steer clear of saturated and trans fats, and instead substitute healthier unsaturated fats that you can find in fish, nuts and vegetable oils. Foods high in fiber can help lower your LDL levels, so opt for whole-grain breads, pastas and cereals. The more fruits and vegetables, the better––they’re full of fiber and cholesterol-blocking molecules called sterols and stanols. Think you know the difference between fats in your food? Take our quiz to test your knowledge. Limit your vices Smoking changes the way your body handles cholesterol by hindering its ability to send cholesterol back to the liver to be stored or broken down. The good news is that quitting the habit can reverse these effects. Talk to your doctor about developing a plan to help you stop smoking. It’s one of the best things you can do for your heart health. Those with high cholesterol are twice as likely to develop heart disease. That’s why it’s important to have your cholesterol levels checked, especially if risk factors you can’t control like family history and age put you at a higher risk for having high cholesterol. Everyone over the age of 20 should have their cholesterol checked at least once every five years. Schedule an appointment with an Inspira Primary Care physician to discuss lowering your cholesterol online or by calling 1-800-INSPIRA.