71 million Americans have high cholesterol, but only 1/3 of them have the condition under control. High cholesterol is one of the main risk factors for heart disease and stroke—two leading causes of death in the United States. Because high cholesterol does not have symptoms, many people do not know that their cholesterol is too high.
To find out if your cholesterol is high, use your health insurance to get a FREE screening during National Cholesterol Education Month and throughout the year.
Here are some tips on how to prevent or treat heart disease:
- Eating a healthy diet. Eat more whole grain foods high in fiber including brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and multigrain bread. Try to add more fruits and vegetables in your diet, and use only low fat or non-fat dairy or dairy alternatives.
- Exercising regularly. Physical activity can help lower cholesterol. Be active every day, or 2 hours and 30 minutes every week. There are many ways to get moving such as walking, biking, dancing, house work, and gardening.
- Maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can raise your cholesterol levels. Losing weight can help lower your cholesterol. Try to eat smaller portions and get regular physical activity.
- Not smoking. Smoking can increase your risk for heart disease and further damage your health. If you smoke, try to quit.