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We all know it's important to keep track of our cholesterol levels. But what does that really mean? There is good cholesterol, and bad cholesterol, dietary cholesterol, trans fats, saturated fats – the list only seems to get longer, and sometimes it seems very confusing. Which ones do we have to watch, is the bad one really bad, does it matter if a food label says no cholesterol, or no trans-fats?
We'll try to sort through some of the things that we know definitively about cholesterol and make sure that at least some of these questions get answered!
And why is this important to know? According to the CDC, more than 102 million American adults (20 years or older) have total cholesterol levels at or above 200 mg/dL, which is above healthy levels, and only about one-third of them have the condition under control. Plus, more than 35 million of these people have levels of 240 mg/dL or higher, which puts them at high risk for heart disease.
This is why in September we focus on cholesterol education, and want you to know that this is a great time to get your cholesterol screened!