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Get your blood cholesterol checked, Guam

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by Michele Catahay

Guam - September marks National Cholesterol Education Month. It's a good time for you to get your blood cholesterol checked and take active steps to lower if it is high.

This is the perfect time to learn about lifestyle choices that can help you reach personal cholesterol goals. Cholesterol itself isn't bad, but if it's too high, it could cause some serious health problems. According to the American Heart Association, there are two types of cholesterol in your blood: good and bad. Too much of one type can put you at risk for coronary heart disease, a heart attack or stroke.

Department of Public Health Program Coordinator Lawrence Alam recommends for people to intake more oats and fiber, telling KUAM News, "Cholesterol comes from fat. So eating less fat will help decrease our cholesterol levels and cholesterol can lead to heart disease and all that other bad stuff in our hearts. It's really important to be mindful of what we eat, especially with our cholesterol levels."

Good cholesterol helps keep bad cholesterol from getting lodged into your artery walls. A healthy level may also protect against heart attacks and strokes, while low levels have been shown to increase the risk of heart disease. In order to control these levels, eat a heart healthy diet, enjoy regular physical activity and avoid tobacco smoke.

"This is our island," Alam continued.  "We love food. I love food.  So what we want to do is promote is we want to promote a  variety of healthy foods and not just stick to fatty foods like spam or heavy fatty barbecue foods. We want to promote vegetables, oats and all those things."

For more information on your cholesterol levels, logon to heart.org.

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