Indulging in summer BBQs could come with a hidden risk - cholesterol

Summer is the perfect time for outdoor BBQs, but indulging in your favorite grilled meats could come with a hidden risk: cholesterol.

Cholesterol is a natural substance produced by our bodies, but what we eat can also add to it.

"Basically anything that comes out of an animal, there's a risk of having saturated fats in it, so butter, cheese, eggs, red meat, really any meat has cholesterol and it builds up in our arteries, and it gets into the linings of the arteries and it causes plaque," Dr. Stephen Williams of Corewell Health said.

This plaque can build up in any artery in your body, blocking blood flow and causing major health issues, such as strokes and heart attacks. 

If you're concerned about your cholesterol levels, there are inexpensive medications that can make a huge life-saving difference. But how do you know if you're at risk? The ASCVD risk calculator is a tool that can help you find out.

Stay informed and take care of your health, especially during the summer BBQ season. Use the calculator here.