Cholesterol and your plumber

The last time I required a plumber for repairs, it cost me $300. He earned every penny when he freed my kitchen sink and drain of potato peels and other assorted garbage.

After he left, I got to thinking how many of us stuff ourselves with fatty foods and sweets and never think about someday having to rely on another kind of plumber…our doctor. But it won’t be potato peels he’s dealing with; it will be the grand daddy of clogs – cholesterol.

Did you know that 25 percent of the cholesterol in your body comes from food and the remaining 75 percent is produced by your liver?

Cholesterol is actually important in helping cells do their jobs, but excessive amounts can literally kill you. If you eat fatty foods, you’re opening yourself up to heart disease, cancer and other diseases.

In a Nurse’s Health study, premenopausal women who ate diets high in animal fat had a 40 to 50 percent higher risk of breast cancer. For every extra two percent of calories from trans fat, the risk of coronary heart disease increases by 23 percent.

Cholesterol is carried from your liver on low density lipoprotein (LDL) to your cells. The problem is LDL combines with other substances in your blood to clog your arteries, making it the bad cholesterol.

High density lipoprotein (HDL) brings cholesterol back from the cells to the liver and along the way tries to flush out the bad cholesterol in your blood.

The key is to not increase the LDL (bad cholesterol) by eating food that is bad for you. High cholesterol foods include red meat, butter, cheese, ice cream and processed foods made with trans fat. There is only so much that HDL (good cholesterol) can do.

In addition to cutting out fatty foods, you can fight bad cholesterol by:

  1. Exercising regularly
  2. Eating more fiber: fresh vegetables and fruit, and whole grains
  3. Not smoking

Keeping your cholesterol in check is a wise decision on your part. This will help you avoid the doctor, and will cost you a lot less than a plumber.

By Marcia Cady



The percentage of the bill you pay after your deductible has been met.


A fixed amount you pay when you get a covered health service.

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A health care plan featuring multiple levels of benefits based on the network status of a particular provider. 


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Any covered services received in a hospital emergency room setting.


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Your expenses for medical care that aren’t reimbursed by insurance, including deductibles, coinsurance and co-payments.


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