Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men, and cholesterol has been linked to this killer disease. Yet, many men remain unaware of the effects of cholesterol on their health. Fortunately, there are steps men can take to better understand and manage their cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol and Heart Disease
High cholesterol can build up in the arteries, leading to a condition known as atherosclerosis, which means “hardening of the arteries.” Atherosclerosis increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other heart-related complications.
A higher proportion of men than women have higher cholesterol levels, and according to the American Heart Association, men in the United States are more likely than women to die of coronary artery disease. This is likely because fewer men are aware that their cholesterol levels are high until it’s too late. That’s why it’s important for men to pay attention to their cholesterol levels and understand the ways it affects their health.
Managing Cholesterol Levels
Men can take several steps to reduce their risk of cholesterol-related heart problems. Here are a few tips:
- Start exercising: Exercise can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels and raise HDL cholesterol levels. Men should aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as walking or jogging, five days a week.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet: Eating a diet low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol can help keep cholesterol levels in check. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is also important.
- Quit smoking: Smoking has been linked to an increased risk of coronary artery disease, so men should quit smoking or never start.
- Take medications: Some men may need to take medication to lower their cholesterol levels. Discuss with your doctor whether a cholesterol-lowering drug is right for you.
Cholesterol is a key factor in men’s health and well-being. Knowing the connection between cholesterol and heart disease is the first step men can take in managing their cholesterol levels and reducing their risk of heart-related complications. By combining regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, and taking medication if necessary, men can keep their cholesterol levels under control and meet their health and wellness goals.