They also keep you healthy inside... Especially when it comes to cholesterol levels.
They actually increase or decrease your risk for heart disease.
Dr. Jeff swanson with united regional says there are three different choleserol levels you need to know and discuss with your doctor.
H-d-l's are good.... they keep cholesterol out of your circulation and keep your blood vessels free of plaque....
So you want this level to be higher.
L-d-l's on the other hand -- raise your risk of heart attack and stroke
You want to have a low l-d-l level.
And finally -- triglycerides increase your risk for heart disease.
They're raised if you have problems with obesity, blood sugar, if you eat proccessed foods that will increase your triglyceride levels.
Dr. Swanson says knowing your levels and working with your doctor is important...
A healthy adult should have an l-d-l level of less than 160...
If you have high blood pressure -- doctor's typically want those levels less than 130...
And if you're diabetic -- dr. Swanson tells his patients to aim for less than 100.
So how do you achieve your goals?
Dr. Swanson says the first steps are eating right and exercise.
They work hand in hand. If you exercise more you'll increase hdl and lower ldl levels.
But if you can't reach your goals that way...
Your doctor may consider medication.
A lot of times you're fighting genetics. If mom and dad had bad hdls and high ldls and heart attacks in their 40's and 50's diet and exercise may not give you the best recovery from your risks. In that case we may to add medicines in those groups.
And dr. Swanson says smokers need to quit.
That's probably the worse thing that we've invented as humans is smoking. It damages your blood vessels directly and changes your cholesterol and triglycerides to where it raises your risks.
So know your numbers and set goals with your doctors to keep your cholesterol where it needs to be.