How Extra Pounds Impact Cholesterol

weight scale with measuring tape

Carrying a few extra pounds? They could be making your cholesterol worse. Excess weight tends to increase your harmful LDL cholesterol levels, and one recent study linked a high ratio of body fat with higher levels of LDL.
Three Key Measurements
Do you use a bathroom scale to check your weight? Pounds aren't the only way to gauge health. Here are other, more accurate ways:
  • BMI: You can get an estimate of your body fat based on calculations of your height and weight.
  • Waist circumference: Anything more than 40 inches for men or 35 inches for women is considered a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. To measure your waist circumference, find the area between your lowest rib and the top of your hipbone. Place a measuring tape on bare skin and wrap it around the narrowest part. The tape should be snug, but not constricting.
  • Waist-to-hip ratio: This measurement takes into account the proportions of your body by comparing your waist and hip circumferences.
The good news is losing even a little extra weight may help lower your LDL and triglycerides while raising beneficial HDL cholesterol levels.


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