September is National Cholesterol Education Month, a good time to get your cholesterol checked and take steps to lower it if it is high. To encourage both men and women to get screened, Silver Cross Hospital is offering a complimentary box of dark chocolates from nearby Dan’s Homemade Candies when they come to the Silver Cross Health Center in Homer Glen for a Baseline Cardiac Risk Assessment. Plus, I Matter members, will receive their rewards card, which can be used for valuable discounts at over 50 local businesses!
The popular $40 screening includes measurements of HDL/LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, blood glucose level, blood pressure level, body mass index (BMI); a 12-lead EKG; history and lifestyle evaluation; and a personal phone consultation with a cardiovascular nurse to review results and answer questions. The screening will take place at the Silver Cross Health Center, 12701 W. 143rd St., Homer Glen. Individuals must call (815) 300-7076 before Sept. 30 and mention CHOCOLATE when scheduling an appointment to receive this special offer.
Chocolate is Good for Your Heart
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), small amounts of dark chocolate can be good for your heart. The plant phenols — cocoa phenols, found in dark chocolate, have been known to lower blood pressure and reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol levels.
“When too much LDL or bad cholesterol circulates in the blood, it can slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain,” says Dr. Abdul Sankari, Medical Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox . “Together with other substances, it can form plaque that can narrow the arteries and make them less flexible. If a clot forms and blocks a narrowed artery, heart attack or stroke can result.”
Will County Residents Need to Get Regular Cholesterol Checks
High cholesterol affects over 65 million Americans. And according to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2007‐2009 report, 71.1% of Will County adults had their cholesterol checked within one year, which is a decrease from 2003 in which 88.5% of Will County adults reported that they had their cholesterol checked within one year or less.
There is definitely a need in our community for residents to have their cholesterol checked annually,” said Dr. Sankari. “It is a serious condition that increases your risk for heart disease. The higher your cholesterol level, the greater your chance of having a heart attack or dying from the disease. You can have high cholesterol and not know it.”
By knowing your cholesterol levels and other risk factors, you can work with your physician to reduce the chance of heart disease. Dr. Sankari also recommends healthy lifestyle changes to help reduce cholesterol, such as losing weight, eating heart-healthy foods, exercising on most days of the week, quitting smoking and drinking alcohol only in moderation.