6 Ways You’re Putting Yourself at Risk of High Cholesterol

High cholesterol is a nationwide problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 102 million American adults live with total cholesterol levels at or above 200 mg/dL, which is the cut off for healthy cholesterol.

Worse yet, a third of those whose cholesterol is soaring above the safe zone have levels above 240 mg/dL, which puts them at serious risk for potentially fatal health issues. According to Nicole Weinberg, MD, a cardiologist at Providence St. John’s Health Center in California, too much LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, blocks your arteries and “can lead to a heart attack, stroke, or death.”

Since high cholesterol is a “silent killer” with hardly any visible symptoms, it’s almost impossible to recognize when your levels are too high without going to the doctor for a blood test. However, what you can do is control the habits that put you at risk for high cholesterol. Keep reading to discover some of the things that raise cholesterol, so you can adjust your lifestyle—and cholesterol levels—ASAP.


You’re taking anti-acne drugs.

Are you using the anti-acne drug Accutane to control your breakouts? If so, it might be putting you at a greater risk of high cholesterol. In 2006, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, and Kaiser Permanente analyzed data on nearly 14,000 subjects taking the drug—otherwise known as isotretinoin—and they found that 31 percent had high cholesterol levels. What’s more, when these individuals with high cholesterol stopped taking the drug, 79 percent saw their cholesterol levels return to normal.

You’re taking birth control pills.

Though birth control pills can be helpful in protecting against unplanned pregnancies and serious period symptoms, certain brands can also come with their fair share of side effects—high cholesterol being one of them. One 2012 study published in the Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences found that oral contraceptive users had total cholesterol levels that were 24.43 mg/dL higher than those who didn’t take birth control.

You live in a highly polluted area.

When scientists from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studied the impact of pollution on the body in 2019, they found that fine particle pollution contributes to high cholesterol levels, especially LDL, in patients with heart disease. What’s more, the researchers found that “individuals with higher LDL levels may be more susceptible to the health impacts of air pollution,” Dr. Laura McGuinn, author of the study, in a press release.

You’re stressed out all the time.

According to the American Heart Association, simply being stressed is enough to raise your cholesterol levels and put your heart in harm’s way. One 2005 study published in the journal Health Psychology studied the impact of mental stress on 199 middle-aged individuals and concluded that individuals with higher stress levels tend to also have higher total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol levels.

You drink excessive amounts of coffee.

Starting each morning with a cup of coffee isn’t going to raise your cholesterol levels. What might give you high cholesterol, however, is drinking excessive amounts of the caffeinated beverage. In one 2018 study published in the journal Heart, researchers studied the effects of coffee on 116 healthy young adults and found that the more coffee a person drank, the higher their LDL and total cholesterol levels were.

You’re consuming red meat on the daily.

Though they are decadent and delicious, red meat products like steaks, hamburgers, and ground beef should only be eaten in moderation. These animal-derived products are all full of saturated fats, which the Mayo Clinic notes can raise your total cholesterol. Other foods high in saturated fats include full-fat dairy products and certain plant-derived products like coconut oil.

Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp
Pinterest
Reddit
Delicious
LinkedIn
Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

READ NEXT

6 Reasons You Have Bad Breath 

You shouldn’t ignore bad breath. What you eat and drink can cause halitosis. Foods are absorbed into your bloodstream and move to the lungs, affecting the air your exhale. Brushing

6 Bad Habits Doctors Want You to Break

Everyone has bad habits they want to break, but instead of scorning yourself for being helpless to break them, use the fundamentals of forming habits to your advantage. Habits, good

9 Common Skin Disorders You Should Know About

Just like any other disorder, skin conditions can be manifested by various symptoms that act differently from person to person, and their intensity can be mild or more severe, painless,

7 Diseases That Affect More Women Than Men

Due to variations in genes, anatomy, and hormone levels, some diseases attack women more often than men, and vice-versa. If you’re a woman, you should be aware of your increased

7 Medical Reasons for Brain Fog

Unable to gather your thoughts, confused, or forgetful? The conditions below may be why you have brain fog; try these strategies to clear your mind. Take inventory of your medications

10 Things You Had No Idea Were Bad for Your Mental Health

The term “mental health” is often used in reference to conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and schizophrenia. But actually, “mental health” refers to our overall emotional,

Check Out Why Too Much Sugar Is Bad for You

Sugar consumption is a major cause of many chronic diseases and obesity. Unfortunately, many people are tempted to consume processed foods for meals and snacks and since these products contain

8 Reasons You’re Always Cold 

Certain medical conditions can cause your hands and feet to always feel chilled. As anyone who has worked in a shared office space can tell you, people have different body

Common Habits to Have a Healthier Thyroid

According to the American Thyroid Association, about 20 million Americans have a thyroid condition—and of those 20 million, a staggering 60 percent aren’t aware of it. The hormones that are

Natural Beauty Products Doctors Actually Recommend

Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara ($21) “This mascara adds volume without flaking or clumping. And it doesn’t irritate my eyes, thanks to its lightweight mineral pigments.” —Kimberly Snyder, a

6 Reasons Why You’re Over-Sweating After 40

As we already know, sweating happens after making physical efforts, being stressed or standing in the heat – but why does it happen after 40 years old? Well, menopause can

Scroll to Top