Cholesterol Checks for Men
Cholesterol checks are one of the main ways that men and women can both prevent developing heart disease. By tracking your cholesterol numbers, you can make dietary adjustments that will lower fatty buildup in the blood vessels and potentially save your life.
What Cholesterol Actually Is
The waxy, pasty buildup in the body cells and bloodstream is called cholesterol. Not all cholesterol is bad for the body. HDL ranges show the amount of "good" cholesterol. This good cholesterol is used to make vitamin D, hormones, cell membranes, and a host of other body functions. High HDL is also very cardio-protective and is arguably the most important number to track on your entire blood panel. High levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol means that your body is having to work harder to pump blood, is having blockages beginning in the blood vessels, and could be having plaque deposits. These all lead to coronary heart disease and problems such as stroke and heart attacks. Lowering these cholesterol numbers can reduce your risk and help you to lead a much longer and more fulfilling life.
The Numbers: What's Normal, What's Not, and What Requires Action NOW!
- Borderline Risk Levels - HDL ranges that are between 35-60 (the most important number to track) and LDL ranges between 130-159 with total cholesterol levels of 200 to 239.
- High Risk Levels - HDL ranges that are below 35 (critically important that you take action NOW to increase HDL), LDL ranges that are higher than 190, and a total cholesterol level that is above 239.
Lowering the Numbers
There are a number of ways to improve your blood panel and total cholesterol rations:
- Statins - Statins are prescription medications that will lower your total cholesterol in the body. They are widely proscribed and focus only on reducing LDL cholesterol. Problems with Statins include – 1. They don't boost HDL, the number much more directly correlated with all things bad, and 2. They have been shown in repeated studies to severely limit the cardiovascular benefits of exercise, something that is critically important to preventing heart disease. Please try to address cholesterol through diet and exercise so that you never need to take statins or can wean yourself off of them if they are currently necessary for you.
- Diet - Reducing cholesterol in the body can be done by lowering the amount of cholesterol you eat every day. Other things can be high in cholesterol that you'd not expect, so read the labels. Our ProEnergy meal replacement protein shakes have zero cholesterol and are a great place to start.
- Supplements - You can also take supplements to lower your cholesterol levels and your heart disease risk factors. EnergyFirst's Cholesterol Heart Formula is a good way to help. Our OmegaEnergy Fish Oil is the best place to start, however, once you've already begun doing at least one shake per day in the morning with the Omega Mix or Omega Oil Blend.
A principle concern for men, especially as they get older, is cholesterol. As the body ages and more fat develops, cholesterol becomes more of a health factor. Control your health with diet, exercise, supplements, and living the best life you can. A yearly or biannual checkup should always include a blood test to check your total cholesterol numbers. I do one every year and will for the rest of my life. My HDL is also 85, and I aim to keep it up there.