The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute defines cholesterol as a “waxy, fat-like substance,” located in every cell of your blood. It is necessary for your body to function properly and aids in the body’s digestion, provides a protective barrier for every cell, manufactures testosterone in men and estrogen in women, and much more.
Cholesterol is important for sustaining good health, however, high cholesterol can lead to heart disease, the leading cause of death of men and women in the U.S. Here are seven interesting facts to raise your awareness about cholesterol.
1. Chicken is low in fat, but high in cholesterol if eaten with the skin or fried.
2. Studies have shown that smoking lowers good cholesterol (HDL) and raises bad cholesterol (LDL). People who have stopped smoking were able to increase their good cholesterol levels by five percent.
3. Sweating from interval training can raise your good cholesterol levels if you target a medium to high-intensity range.
4. If you were to hold cholesterol in your hand, it would look like a whitish-yellow, waxy substance scraped from a candle.
5. A McDonald’s Big Mac has 85mg of cholesterol, and a single cup of ice-cream has more cholesterol than 10 glazed donuts!
6. Cholesterol is hereditary. Seventy-five percent of your cholesterol is based on your genetics, and approximately 25 percent is a result of your diet.
7. Children can develop high cholesterol as well. Signs of high cholesterol can show up in a child as early as the age of two. Children who are obese or have a family history of heart attacks have a high risk of developing cholesterol issues.
Stay on top of your health by having an annual check-up to ensure that you are maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, and enjoy life in the healthiest way possible.