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  • Keep your heart healthy – learn about cholesterol during Cholesterol Education Month!
    Added by My Identity Doctor
    We kicked off September on the blog acknowledging Food Safety Month—of course, while it’s important to make sure your food is safe to consume, it’s also important to make sure that the foods you eat are playing their role in keeping you safe and healthy as well. And, when it comes to cholesterol, that can be downright confusing.

    Image credit: Le Van Thao, Flickr [click for source]

    When we hear the word “cholesterol”, most of us automatically think bad things, right? Not so fast! While one type of cholesterol is linked to the development of cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) disease—known as low density lipoprotein, or LDL—another is high density lipoprotein (see that coming?) or HDL, which moves about the bloodstream picking up LDL and sending it back to the liver to be reprocessed into something better… and decreasing risk of heart-related disease [1]. LDL contributes to heart disease risk by accumulating as a waxy substance on the walls of blood vessels, making it harder for blood to flow freely, and requiring the heart to pump harder as the blood vessels narrow—so, you can see why it’s important to have HDL to pick up the “bad” stuff and take it away! If your LDL is too high (or HDL too low) your doctor may recommend medications.
    However, regardless of whether you have “high cholesterol” (referring to LDL) or not, you can take these steps at any stage of the game. If you’re aiming for a healthy heart, you’ll want to aim for less of these foods, full of LDL (as in, saturated fats)… [2]
    • Egg yolks
    • Whole fat dairy products: cheese, milk, yogurt, mayonnaise, butter, sour cream, ice cream, yogurt […you get the idea!]
    • Red meats and organ meats
    • Poultry (less than read meats)
    • Foods containing trans fats (primarily fried, fast, or snack foods, although more and more fast and snack foods are becoming trans fat free, it does not mean that they do not contain high levels of saturated fats!)
    ..and bump up these ones with heart-healthy HDL! [3]
    • Nuts
    • Fish
    • Anything else with those omega-3 fatty acids… Such as flax, soybean or canola oil, eggs (in moderation, as these also contain animal fats high in LDL), and other fortified products
    What else boosts HDL? The usual suspects for a healthy heart and healthy living: regular exercise, quitting smoking, and maintaining a healthy body weight [1]. So, keep your heart healthy and check in with your doctor yearly to have a simple blood test to check your cholesterol levels. In the meantime, you can get rolling with making gradual changes to have less of the “high cholesterol” foods and work some more heart-healthy foods into your world.
    If you’ve already experienced the effects of high cholesterol levels, it’s never too late to make healthy choices. Remember, if you have heart or vascular disease, it’s important to wear a medical ID bracelet or necklace communicating your needs in the event of an emergency–such as if you have had a heart attack, take blood thinner medications such as Coumadin or Warfarin, or cholesterol medication. You can find our heart patient medical ID jewelry here, though, another of our pre-engraved bracelets or a customized medical alert bracelet or necklace may suit your needs better!
    Published by My Identity Doctor on September 22, 2015


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