What is Your Cholesterol Risk?
There are many aspects of what makes up your overall cholesterol, and high cholesterol is a term used when a person has high LDL (or "bad" cholesterol), low HDL (or "good" cholesterol), and high triglycerides. When it comes to high cholesterol risk factors, there are many variables that can play a part in your likelihood of developing this condition.
There are many things that can determine your cholesterol risk when it comes to developing high cholesterol and other cardiovascular conditions, but they fall into two main categories: things that you can control, and things that you can't.
Risk factors that you cannot control include:
Risk factors that you can control to a large extent include:
- Gender and age - In general, women have naturally high HDL and low LDL thanks to their levels of estrogen. However, as they reach menopause, women catch up with (and even surpass) men in their high cholesterol risk, which is why women over the age of 35 are encouraged to keep a close eye on their cholesterol levels.
- Heredity - It has been shown that high cholesterol is capable of running in families. If you have family members with high cholesterol or other cardiovascular issues, you have a higher cholesterol risk.
These are the main factors that contribute to your chances of developing high cholesterol and many other cardiovascular conditions like heart disease, clogged arteries, and atherosclerosis. Practicing a healthy lifestyle, maintaining a balanced diet, and undergoing regular checkups with your health care provider may all be able to help lower your cholesterol risk and promote healthier living.
- Weight - People who are obese or overweight are at a higher risk of developing high cholesterol and the complications that can arise.
- Diet - Diets high in trans fats create a higher cholesterol risk. To have a more balanced, healthy diet, limit saturated fats, eliminate trans fats, and replace them with unsaturated (monosaturated) fats.
- Lifestyle - Smoking, drinking alcohol, and sedentary lifestyles can all add to your cholesterol risk. Limit or eliminate bad habits and regularly exercise to lower your chances.