Nutrition Articles

What Is Cholesterol?

Get the Facts & Improve Your Numbers

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High cholesterol, heart disease and obesity are the familiar steps in a tragic progression of declining health that affects hundreds of thousands of people every year.
  • Nearly 1 million Americans died of heart disease in 2002.
  • 52 million Americans have high cholesterol, a leading cause of heart disease.
  • 67 percent of Americans are overweight or obese, the top contributor to high cholesterol.
  • According to the American Heart Association, being overweight or obese is the #2 preventable cause of death in the United States.
The relationship is clear. For a healthy heart, the best course of action is often to lower cholesterol in large part by losing weight. Even without weight loss, there are many heart benefits to lowering your cholesterol levels.

Be sure to work with your doctor to develop a cholesterol-lowering plan that is safe and effective for you. These plans usually involve some combination of dietary changes, regular exercise, medication, and weight loss.
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About The Author

Becky Hand Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. A certified health coach through the Cooper Institute with a master's degree in health education, she makes nutrition principles practical, easy-to-apply and fun. See all of Becky's articles.

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