Your cholesterol levels have a lot to do with how healthy your heart is – the higher your cholesterol level, the higher your risk for developing heart disease. Too much cholesterol in the blood stream becomes a problem, as it causes build up on artery walls, which creates blockages that can cause heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.
The tricky party: Since there are no symptoms of high cholesterol, it is especially important to talk to your doctor about your levels. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report 71 million American adults have high cholesterol but only one-third of them have the condition under control.
The good news: September is National Cholesterol Education Month – and we’re sharing five of our most popular cholesterol-centered challenges to help you get your cholesterol in check and offer inspiration for your own wellness programs.
5 Challenges To Help Your Employees Prevent and Treat High Cholesterol
Cholesterol screening is different from most tests. It’s not used to diagnose or monitor a disease — instead, it’s used to estimate risk of developing heart disease.
Food for thought: Cholesterol-lowering foods include oatmeal, almonds, salmon, and olive oil.
2. Healthy Cooking Class
In honor of National Cholesterol Education Month, adopt eating habits that will help you manage your cholesterol and protect your heart.
Build a heart-healthy plate:
- Incorporate fruits, veggies, whole grains and fish
- Choose healthy fats like vegetable oils, nut butters and nuts
3. Sweat for 30
Exercising regularly can help lower cholesterol. Experts say we should get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise 5 days a week – so sweat on!
Fit Tip: Listening to music makes exercising feel easier and boosts your motivation.
Pay attention to Nutrition Facts labels when you’re grocery shopping and cooking — they’ll help you make quick, informed food choices.
A Healthy Reminder:
- Limit foods high in cholesterol or saturated fat
- Consume less sodium, sugary beverages and processed meats
Get started on a tobacco cessation program. Research shows that cigarette smoking lowers levels of “good” HDL while increasing the risk of coronary artery disease in those who have high cholesterol.