Cholesterol: How to reduce your risk

Cholesterol: How to reduce your risk

04-10-2019

Dr. Randy Kay, DO

Understanding cholesterol and how it can affect your health is important. According to the CDC, blood cholesterol is a substance made by your liver that helps your body make hormones and digest fatty foods. Bad cholesterol, or LDL, can cause plaque buildup in your blood vessels if levels get too high. “It’s very important to know your cholesterol levels,” Dr. Randy Kay, a GCH family practice physician, said. “High cholesterol puts you at risk for things like a stroke or heart attack.”

While high cholesterol can be damaging to your health, there are ways to reduce it. “Diet and exercise definitely play a big role in your cholesterol,” Dr. Randy Kay said. “Being active, not smoking and reducing saturated fat intake can all help naturally lower your cholesterol levels.” Saturated fats are in foods such as red meat and dairy. However, certain foods that contain monounsaturated fats can be good for you in moderation. These foods include olive oil, tree nuts and avocados. Genetics can play a role in cholesterol levels, too. “Some people have genetic predisposition to have high cholesterol,” Dr. Randy Kay said. “In these cases, medication can sometimes be used to treat high cholesterol levels.” Risk can increase with both poor eating habits and family history. Talk to your doctor about your cholesterol and what you can do to manage it.

Dr. Randy Kay is board-certified in family medicine with an office in Dearborn Heights.

Call 877-717-9355 or visit https://www.gch.org/Find-a-Physician.aspx for a referral to a GCH physician.

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