When we hear the word “cholesterol,” we often think of it as a negative. But the reality is: Cholesterol in and of itself isn’t bad.

But high cholesterol, on the other hand, can be dangerous and increases your risk of developing multiple health conditions. Read on as our team at AFC Urgent Care Knoxville sheds some light on the topic.

What Is High Cholesterol?

Well, first let’s talk about cholesterol itself. Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in the body that helps produce hormones and other substances that help digest food.

The problem occurs when you have too much cholesterol. Too much cholesterol can build up into plaque in the blood vessels, which eventually can block the passage of blood and oxygen traveling through the body.

High Cholesterol Risk Factors

  • Not being physically active
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Being of advanced age
  • Having a family history of high cholesterol
  • Eating a poor diet

How Can I Keep My Cholesterol at a Healthy Level?

There are actually multiple types of cholesterol, with three important facets—total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. You want your total cholesterol and LDL to be low, while you want your HDL to be higher.

To get your cholesterol levels to a healthy range, practicing healthy lifestyle habits is your best move.

Habits to Maintain Normal Cholesterol

  • Exercise for 30 minutes most days.
  • Incorporate both cardio and strength training to build muscle mass.
  • Get to and maintain a healthy weight, as advised by your doctor.
  • Eat a diet based on fruits and vegetables.
  • Supplement fruits and veggies with lean protein and whole grains.
  • Limit your intake of saturated fat, sodium and added sugars.

Feeling less than your best? Schedule an AFC TeleCare appointment with AFC Urgent Care Knoxville to get the care you need from the comfort of home.