Why Getting Your Cholesterol Checked is a Must-Do for Your Health!
Written by: Lombe Mwansa
Published: 20 March 2023


Dads should get their cholesterol levels checked regularly, as high cholesterol levels can increase their risk of heart disease and stroke.

Why should dads get their cholesterol tested? What do the readings in a cholesterol report mean? What are the desirable ranges for total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides in men? What are the health risk factors associated with high cholesterol? What is the difference between HDL and LDL cholesterol, and what is the optimal ratio between the two?

As a dad in your midlife, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Between work, family, and everything in between, it can be easy to let your health drop down the priority list and fall by the wayside. However, taking care of yourself is more important than ever at this stage of life. One simple way to stay on top of your health is by getting your cholesterol tested. In this blog post, I’ll go over why you should get your cholesterol tested, what the readings mean, and how to interpret your results.

Why You Should Get Your Cholesterol Tested

Cholesterol Levels

Cholesterol is a type of fat that is found in your blood. Your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, but too much of it can be harmful. High cholesterol levels can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. By getting your cholesterol tested, you can find out if you have high cholesterol and take steps to manage it before it causes serious health problems.

The benefits of improving cholesterol levels in middle-aged men:

  1. Lowered risk of heart disease: High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, lowering total cholesterol levels by just 1% can reduce the risk of heart disease by 2%. By improving cholesterol levels through lifestyle changes and medication, middle-aged men can significantly lower their risk of heart disease.
  2. Reduced risk of stroke: High cholesterol can also increase the risk of stroke. A study published in the journal Neurology found that middle-aged men with high cholesterol levels had a higher risk of stroke than those with normal cholesterol levels. Improving cholesterol levels can help reduce the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.
  3. Improved overall health: In addition to reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, improving cholesterol levels can have a positive impact on overall health. High cholesterol has been linked to a variety of health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. By making healthy lifestyle choices and managing cholesterol levels, middle-aged men can improve their overall health and well-being.

What the Readings Mean

When you get your cholesterol tested, your doctor will give you a report that shows your cholesterol levels. This report will typically show four numbers:

  • Total cholesterol: This is the total amount of cholesterol in your blood, including both HDL and LDL cholesterol.
  • HDL cholesterol: This is often called “good” cholesterol because it helps remove LDL cholesterol from your blood. Higher levels of HDL cholesterol are generally better.
  • LDL cholesterol: This is often called “bad” cholesterol because it can build up in your arteries and increase your risk of heart disease. Lower levels of LDL cholesterol are generally better.
  • Triglycerides: These are another type of fat that can increase your risk of heart disease. Lower levels of triglycerides are generally better.
Cholesterol Levels

Here is an example of what a cholesterol report might look like for a middle-aged man:

Cholesterol LevelDesirable Range
Total CholesterolLess than 200 mg/dL
HDL Cholesterol40 mg/dL or higher
LDL CholesterolLess than 100 mg/dL
TriglyceridesLess than 150 mg/dL

What to Look Out For

If any of your cholesterol levels are higher than the desirable range, you may be at increased risk for heart disease and other health problems. In addition to high cholesterol, there are several other factors that can increase your risk of heart disease, including:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Age (men over 45 and women over 55 are at higher risk)
  • Being overweight or obese

If you have any of these risk factors, it’s especially important to get your cholesterol tested and work with your doctor to manage your cholesterol levels.

HDL and LDL Cholesterol and the Ratio

As we mentioned earlier, HDL cholesterol is often called “good” cholesterol and LDL cholesterol is often called “bad” cholesterol. But why is that? HDL cholesterol helps remove LDL cholesterol from your blood, which can help prevent the buildup of plaque in your arteries. On the other hand, LDL cholesterol can contribute to the buildup of plaque, which can increase your risk of heart disease.

One way to get a better sense of your overall cholesterol profile is to look at the ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterol. This ratio can give you a sense of whether you have more “good” or “bad” cholesterol in your blood. Ideally, you want your HDL to be high and your LDL to be low. A ratio of 3.5 or lower is generally considered optimal.

Improving your cholesterol

here are some tips for improving cholesterol:

  1. Make dietary changes: Eating a healthy diet that’s low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, and salt can help improve cholesterol levels. Focus on incorporating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats into your diet.
  2. Get regular exercise: Regular physical activity can help lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can increase LDL cholesterol levels and decrease HDL cholesterol levels. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight can help improve cholesterol levels.
  4. Quit smoking: Smoking damages the walls of blood vessels, which can lead to a buildup of fatty deposits and increase the risk of heart disease. Quitting smoking can help improve cholesterol levels and overall cardiovascular health.
  5. Manage stress: Chronic stress can increase the production of LDL cholesterol and other risk factors for heart disease. Finding healthy ways to manage stress, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises, can help improve cholesterol levels.

Remember, while lifestyle changes can help improve cholesterol levels, some people may also need medication to manage cholesterol levels. It’s important to work with a healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs.

Useful website

Ways to Improve Cholesterol LevelsWebsite
Eat a heart-healthy diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fatsAmerican Heart Association
Exercise regularly, aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per weekCenters for Disease Control and Prevention
Quit smoking and limit alcohol intakeAmerican Lung Association National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

These websites provide useful tips and resources for making healthy lifestyle choices that can help improve cholesterol levels and overall health.

Cholesterol MythsDebunked
Eating cholesterol-rich foods raises blood cholesterol levelsThe body’s cholesterol levels are primarily influenced by genetics and liver production, not dietary cholesterol intake. In fact, research shows that for most people, dietary cholesterol has a minimal effect on blood cholesterol levels.
High cholesterol only affects older adultsWhile cholesterol levels tend to increase with age, high cholesterol can occur at any age. Poor diet, lack of exercise, and family history can all contribute to high cholesterol in younger adults.
Statins are harmful and should be avoidedStatins are a commonly prescribed medication for managing high cholesterol levels. While they can have side effects, the benefits of statins in reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke outweigh the risks for most people. It’s important to work with a healthcare provider to determine if statins are a good choice for managing cholesterol levels.

These myths are often perpetuated in the media and popular culture, but they are not supported by scientific evidence. It’s important to understand the facts about cholesterol and to make informed decisions about cholesterol management based on individual health needs and risks.

Managing cholesterol levels is essential for dads to maintain good health and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. By understanding the desirable ranges for total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, and making healthy lifestyle choices, you can improve your cholesterol levels and overall health. Don’t fall prey to cholesterol myths, and work with your healthcare provider to develop a personalised plan for managing your cholesterol levels.

Dads, lets take charge of our health and get our cholesterol levels checked regularly. By doing so, we can stay healthy, active, and continue to enjoy life to the fullest with oour loved ones.

Remember, your health is your wealth!
I hope you got a lot of value from this post. Please share it with other dads and let me know what you think in the comments below.

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