September is National Cholesterol Education Month

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body needs. But, when you have too much in your blood, it can build up on the walls of your arteries. This can lead to heart disease and stroke. There are two kinds of cholesterol: high density lipoprotein (HDL), also called "good" cholesterol; and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, referred to as "bad" cholesterol.  High cholesterol refers to “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Screening is the key to detecting high cholesterol.  Because high cholesterol has no symptoms, many people do not know that their cholesterol is too high. Doctors can do a simple blood test to check patients’ levels.  The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) recommends that adults 20 and older have their cholesterol checked every five years.

Learn ways to control your cholesterol with these books carried by the Mercer County Library System:

The DASH Diet Action Plan: Proven to Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Without Medication
By Marla Heller

Unlike any diet before it, DASH, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, came out of groundbreaking research funded by the National Institutes of Health.  Now, Marla Heller, MS, RD, who was trained by one of the primary architects of the DASH diet and is herself the leading dietician putting DASH into action for over ten years, shares the secret to making the diet easy and accessible. Rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat and nonfat dairy, lean meats, fish, beans, and nuts, DASH is grounded in healthy eating principles that lower blood pressure; reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer; and support reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.  No diet has a medical pedigree like DASH, and this book is a simple, actionable plan that can fit seamlessly into everyone's life and lifestyle. It includes: 28 days of meal plans at different calorie ranges; simple tools to help you personalize a DASH Diet Action Plan for guaranteed success; DASH-friendly recipes and shopping lists; tips for eating on the go; and advice on healthy weight loss and exercise for every lifestyle. Now, you can revolutionize your health and change your life—without medication. There are no magical combinations, no forbidden foods—just fabulous, healthy eating!

21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart:  Boost Metabolism, Lower Cholesterol, and Dramatically Improve Your Health
By Neal D. Barnard, M.D.

For years, Dr. Neal D. Barnard has been at the forefront of cutting-edge research on what it really takes to lose weight and restore the body to optimal health. Now, with his proven, successful program, in just three short weeks you'll get fast results—drop pounds, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, improve blood sugar, and more. With Dr. Barnard's advice on how to easily start a plant-based diet, you'll learn the secrets to reprogramming your body quickly:  strategically choosing the right foods to naturally and easily tame your appetite; adjusting eating patterns to burn calories faster for about three hours after each meal; and discovering the powerful foods that can help reduce cholesterol nearly as much as drugs do in just weeks. Whether you are one of the millions who are anxious to get a jumpstart on weight loss or who already know about the benefits of a plant-based diet but have no idea how or where to start, this book is the kickstart you've been waiting for. Complete with more than 60 recipes, daily meal plans for the 21-day program, tips for grocery shopping, and more, this book will teach you how to make the best food choices and get your body on the fast track to better health.

Body With Soul: Slash Sugar, Cut Cholesterol, and Get a Jump On Your Best Health Ever
By Randy Jackson

Mixing memoir, a wellness program, and inspirational advice, Randy Jackson's book is a work of personal passion. The American Idol judge's struggles with his health and weight have been well documented; a Type II diabetic, he's tried every diet, spent countless hours in gyms, and even had gastric bypass surgery in 2003. Now, he's taken all that he's learned throughout these trials and codified their strengths into an easy-to-follow, super-useful maintenance regimen, his New You Plan, filled with meal plans (drawn from the accompanying recipes for healthy versions of down-home Southern favorites), exercise routines, and inspiring stories from his unique life as one of the music business greats. Jackson aims to focus on the epidemic of obesity-related disorders like hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes.

Controlling Cholesterol for Dummies
By Carol Ann Rinzler

This easy-to-understand guide shows how to lower your numbers and maintain healthy cholesterol levels; eat and exercise properly; use vitamins and supplements, and quit unhealthy habits. You'll find out cholesterol's positive functions and why too much can be a bad thing.  You can also assess your cholesterol risk by taking your age, sex, ethnicity, and family history into consideration.  Find out what you need to ask your doctor about stress tests, ECBT, and angiograms to check for plaque buildup; design a cholesterol-crushing diet;  and understand which foods can help you lower your numbers.  Also discover how smoking, alcohol, exercise, excess weight, supplements, and prescription medications affect your cholesterol levels.

Harriet Roth’s Cholesterol Control Cookbook
By Harriet Roth

Since Harriet Roth’s classic cookbook was first published in 1991, awareness and concern over cholesterol levels has continued to grow. This revised and up-to-date edition contains the latest nutritional information on statins and other cholesterol-lowering treatments, trans fats and other dietary research, as well as more than 30 brand-new, delicious low-fat and low-cholesterol recipes and current product lists. Delectable reader favorites are still on the menu, including Orange-Glazed Cornish Hens, Cajun Blackened Redfish, and the Chocoholic’s Chocolate Cake . Harriet Roth was making thirty-minute-or-less meals long before Rachael Ray got a television deal, and she serves up over 250 easy-to-prepare, healthy, gourmet recipes for breakfast, brunch, lunch, appetizers, dinner, and dessert.

The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter's 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan That Lowers Cholesterol And Burns Away the Pounds
By Rip Esselstyn

Professional athlete-turned-firefighter Rip Esselstyn shows how to lose weight, lower cholesterol, significantly reduce the risk of disease, and become physically fit--in just four weeks--by following his plant-powered eating plan based on a diet of whole foods, including whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

- Lisa S.


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