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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Heart Healthy Spotlight: High Blood Cholesterol

Today's Heart-Healthy Spotlight is all about High Blood Cholesterol, the second most common risk factor of heart disease. For a long time it wasn't known that a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol could lead to clogged arteries and heart attack, but now that we have more cutting edge technology and the resources to combat heart disease we know that these factors play a huge role in our heart health. The study that brought this knowledge to the public began in 1984 with the Framingham Heart Study, which helped to identify the primary risk factors of heart disease.

Ysolda Teague, a widely known knitwear designer and Knit Red contributor, has seen the affects of high cholesterol firsthand.Ysolda grew up in Scotland, home to one of the highest rates of heart disease in Europe (much to our surprise). The heavy drinking, smoking, and diet of fried foods took its toll on several members of Ysolda's family- some have had to undergo bypass surgery.

It's important not to forget that some people have a pre-disposition to high cholesterol levels. In which case it's important to have blood work done just to make sure your numbers are low. While managing our diet, weight and physical activity is in our control, we cannot control how cholesterol increases with age and if it's hereditary. What do you do to combat high cholesterol? There are treatment plans with medications, but most importantly be conscientious of what goes into your body and making sure to keep your body physically active- walking counts!

Do YOU have any tips for keeping your diet and exercise in check?

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