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Cutting cholesterol means whole grains, whole lifestyle

A diagnosis of high cholesterol doesn't necessary mean an end to fun, tasty meals and a lifetime sentence of medication.

While some cholesterol is necessary, many Americans have discovered  or will discover  that their cholesterol levels are so high, their health is at risk.

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in the body. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute said the human body needs some cholesterol for its processes, to make hormones, vitamin D and substances that help the body digest food. But, like many good things, too much is bad. A surplus of cholesterol is dangerous because unless the body can remove it, cholesterol can be deposited onto artery walls, building up until it leads to blockages that stop the flow of blood.

Thousands of Americans take medications to counteract the effects of high cholesterol, but others have found that modifications in their diets and routine exercise can achieve the same goal without the side effects of medication.

Paige Holder, a dietician at Southwestern Medical Center, said diet definitely is a way to battle high cholesterol, although she cautions people to discuss the issue with their physicians before making any lifestyle decisions.

Holder said there are basically two types of cholesterol: high density lipoprotein (HDL) and low density lipoprotein (LDL). In a nutshell, cholesterol travels through the bloodstream contained within those lipoproteins.

The Lawton Constitution

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