New guidelines simplify the facts on cholesterol - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

New guidelines simplify the facts on cholesterol

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The focus is now on assessing someone's overall risk from having a heart attack or stroke. The focus is now on assessing someone's overall risk from having a heart attack or stroke.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

The new guidelines for treatment of high cholesterol come from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. Dr. Rashida Abbas is a cardiologist with Huntsville Hospital. "The guidelines are really telling us what we should be doing to reduce someone's risk of having a heart attack or stroke," she said.

Until now, she said, the approach checked the cholesterol level and used those numbers to adjust medication to lower the LDL or "bad cholesterol." The focus is now on assessing someone's overall risk from having a heart attack or stroke.

She said you can look at a 'risk calculator' to determine your risk for heart attack or stroke. Anything over 7.5% and inhibitor drugs called statins are prescribed.

One of the reasons people are so concerned about cholesterol is what it can do to the walls in your artery. It can literally clog those artery walls and make you have a heart attack.

Linda Steakley is a Huntsville Hospital Wellness Registered Dietician. She said the new guidelines are fairly easy to understand. 

"If you exercise, you are going to increase your healthy cholesterol level - your HDL. And that's what we want to do with the use of the monounsaturated fats, which are your olive oil, canola oil, your nuts, your avocados, your fatty fish."

She said it's a simple lifestyle change, especially as it pertains to diet. "It includes eating the right, healthy foods, and not eating too much."

A conditioning of the body and mind for wellness.

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