National Cholesterol Education Month
September is National Cholesterol Education Month, a good time to get your blood cholesterol checked.
Balintfy: Experts remind that high cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease, which is the number one killer of Americans. NIH nutritionist, Janet De Jesus explains that cholesterol itself is a waxy, fatty-type substance in the body.
De Jesus: It circulates through the body naturally, but if thereís too much of it, it can cause problems and basically it builds up as plaque in your arteries and it causes hardening of the arteries, which is called atherosclerosis if itís in the coronary arteries and this leads to coronary artery disease, which is the major type of heart disease.
Balintfy: High blood cholesterol itself does not cause symptoms, so many people are unaware that their cholesterol level is too high. De Jesus says it is important to get cholesterol levels checked.
De Jesus: It's measured by a blood test so the best type is a fasting lipid panel, which has to be done in your doctor's office.
Balintfy: Everyone age 20 and older should have their cholesterol measured at least once every 5 years. If blood cholesterol levels are high, De Jesus points out that it can be treated with lifestyle changes.
De Jesus: It's important to look at your saturated fat intake, your fiber intake, maintain a healthy weight or if you are overweight try and lose weight and be physically active daily.
Balintfy: De Jesus recommends the TLC or therapeutic lifestyle changes program. To find more information on the TLC program visit www.nhlbi.nih.gov. And to hear more from NIH nutritionist Janet De Jesus about the TLC program and blood cholesterol, listen to episode 168 of the NIH Research Radio podcast. For NIH Radio, this is Joe Balintfy — NIH...Turning Discovery Into Health®
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Joe Balintfy
Sound Bite: Janet De Jesus
Topic: cholesterol, high cholesterol, high blood cholesterol, heart, heart disease, plaque, coronary, artery, arteries