Understand the Importance of LDL Cholesterol
If you know someone who has suffered a heart attack or stroke, then the words “You have high LDL cholesterol” from your doctor may have some meaning to you. For the rest of us, the words “high cholesterol” may not conjure up many thoughts or images. Even if you know what cholesterol does in the body, it may not be self evident why high LDL cholesterol should be concerning. While having high cholesterol may not be a death sentence or a guarantee that we will be on medications for the rest of our lives, it does merit concern.
High cholesterol levels can lead to atherosclerosis, which in turn can lead to heart attack and stroke. Heart disease and stroke are the number 1 and number 3 causes of death in America. Heart attacks and stroke can cause some major problems to survivors, as well. The aftermath can range from small debilitation, to major impairment, to death.
The Positive Power of Oats
All that being said, it is important to remember that atherosclerosis is a progressive state and needs to be addressed by consistent long term changes. There are many lifestyle and diet changes that are recommended to help stop your cholesterol from continuing to rise. There are also a number of options that can be beneficial for lowering cholesterol. One of the main dietary changes being proclaimed today is the incorporation of soluble fiber from oats to the diet.
In clinical studies soluble fiber from whole oat products has been shown to lower cholesterol. The National Cholesterol Education Program wrote an authoritative document on cholesterol (ATP III). It recommends dietary changes such as incorporating soluble fiber from oats, lower saturated fat intake and lower cholesterol intake. It also covers weight management, medication, and other approaches to lowering cholesterol. This document covers a number of other dietary and lifestyle changes that are important to the high cholesterol issue.
Know the Facts
Becoming informed should be your first step in addressing high LDL cholesterol. Ask your doctor for all the information they have available to them. Also ask about how you can influence your cholesterol through diet and lifestyle choices. Become familiar with organizations like the American Heart Association and the National Cholesterol Education Program. We will also be diligent researchers and provide you with information that is both practical and accurate to help you on your journey to lower LDL cholesterol levels. It’s our promise to do our best to keep you informed and to help you continue to live a full life, even after cholesterol test results.