What You Should Know about Cholesterol

Take the quiz and find out whether you know enough about cholesterol

Mention the word “cholesterol,” and lots of people automatically think “bad.” They might also think it’s not something they have to worry about. But not so fast! We’re coming up on Cholesterol Awareness Month, celebrated each September, which means it’s time to get rid of the fiction about cholesterol and get to know the facts.

How much do you know? Find out by taking this brief informative quiz:

    1. True or False? Any kind or amount of cholesterol is bad and should be avoided.
      False. Your body needs this waxy substance as a source of fuel and to help build cells. Your liver and intestines manufacture cholesterol for this purpose (about 80% percent of what’s in your body), but when you eat certain types of food, too much cholesterol can build up. This can put you at risk for heart disease.

      There are two kinds of cholesterol: LDL (bad) and HDL (good). LDL cholesterol contributes to the buildup of fat in the arteries, which can narrow your arteries, raising the risk of heart attack and stroke. HDL (good) cholesterol is believed to carry the bad kind of cholesterol out of the arteries and to the liver, to be broken down so it can be passed from the body. A healthy HDL level can help to prevent heart attack and stroke.

    1. Which of the following actions are recommended for maintaining low cholesterol levels?
      A. Taking medicine that your physician subscribes.
      B. Going on a diet.
      C. Exercising.
      D. Avoiding fatty foods.
      E. It depends.

      While there are benefits to each of these actions, there is no one cure-all for high cholesterol—making E the best answer. Young and old—we all need to be careful to choose foods that are part of a healthy diet, maintain a regular fitness regimen, and visit the doctor regularly. It’s easy to test for high cholesterol.

  1. True or False? Children don’t need to worry about cholesterol.
    False! Children can inherit high cholesterol, and should be tested if a parent or grandparent has experienced a heart attack, has hardening of the arteries, or had a coronary artery procedure. Also, children should be checked for this condition if they have a parent with a history of high total levels of cholesterol.
    1. Which of the following foods can help lower cholesterol naturally?
      A. Oats
      B. Red wine
      C. Fatty fish (like salmon)
      D. Nuts
      E.  All of the above

      There are plenty of foods you should avoid. But what about the foods that can help you lower your cholesterol? It might surprise you that each of these foods are healthy options, so if you picked E, you’re correct! Interestingly, studies of those who consume red wine found that this can could lower their LDL levels by 9 percent. This is thanks to resveratrol, which is widely found in red wine and is filled with antioxidants.

  1. True or False: If you’re not overweight, then you don’t need to worry about cholesterol.
    False. There is no specific body type that’s more prone to high cholesterol than any other. Actually, individuals who don’t gain weight easily may be deceived into thinking they can eat whatever they want. On the contrary: They may not see the results of a diet high in saturated and trans fats until their cholesterol is already sky-high. For this reason, all adults should have their cholesterol levels tested at least every five years.

There are a lot of steps you can do to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Talk with your doctor about your diet, exercise, and undergo regular testing, to make sure you stay in the know and in good health!

This article is part of the Branford Hall weekly blog. We offer an array of professional training programs at ten campuses in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. Reach out to us for more information today!