Hey you! Yes, you. Are you doing enough to keep your cholesterol in check? Considering that nearly half of U.S. adults who could benefit from taking cholesterol-lowering medications aren’t using them, there’s a good chance the answer is no.
Cholesterol is that waxy, fat-like substance your body uses for key functions like digestion and hormone production. Your liver makes all the cholesterol you need, but your body can take in extra from dietary sources, such as animal-based foods. If too much of the stuff starts to build up in your arteries, it creates plaque that can cause blockages and increase the odds for heart attack and stroke, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Keeping your total cholesterol below 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) of blood protects your ticker and helps lower heart attack and stroke risks. Higher levels—between 200 and 239 mg/dL—are considered borderline, while those greater than