You Can Lower Your Cholesterol Level With These Simple Steps
You can lower your cholesterol level with these simple steps mentioned below. High cholesterol (above 200 mg/dL), can clog arteries and cause heart attacks and strokes. A healthy lifestyle can change your cholesterol readings, but also improve your health today and in the future.
- Eat Healthy
Eating healthy may sound simple but it has a significant impact on lowering the cholesterol level. Such that it should be given utmost attention. Maintaining a healthy dietary lifestyle is the first step towards lowering your cholesterol level.
- Eliminate trans fats. Choose leaner cuts of meat, low-fat dairy, and monounsaturated fats — found in olive and canola oils — for healthier options. Trans fats affect cholesterol levels by increasing the “bad” cholesterol and lowering the “good” cholesterol. This bad combination increases the risk of heart attacks. Trans fats can be found in fried foods and many commercial products, such as cookies, crackers, and snack cakes.
- Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids don’t affect LDL cholesterol. They have other heart benefits, such as helping to increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol, reducing your triglycerides, a type of fat in your blood, and reducing blood pressure.
- Increase soluble fiber. There are two types of fiber — soluble and insoluble. Both have heart-health benefits, but soluble fiber also helps lower your LDL levels. You can add soluble fiber to your diet by eating oats and oat bran, fruits, beans, lentils, and vegetables.
- Add whey protein. Whey protein is one of two proteins in dairy products — the other is casein. Whey protein may account for many of the health benefits attributed to dairy. Studies have shown that whey protein given as a supplement lowers both LDL and total cholesterol.
- Exercise regularly
Improving cardiovascular health is a step toward reversing the effects of high cholesterol. Exercise itself doesn’t directly lower cholesterol, but will strengthen the heart and entire circulatory system. Adding physical activity, even in 10-minute intervals several times a day, can help you begin to lose weight. Just be sure that you can keep up the changes you decide to make. Moderate physical activity can help raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol.
- Quit smoking
If you smoke, the plaque builds up in the arteries due to high cholesterol is accelerated. When plaque blocks the flow of blood to the heart, the muscle has to work harder to get oxygen. This can lead to a heart attack. If the arteries get completely blocked with the plaque from high cholesterol then a stroke can occur.
- Take alcohol with moderation
Moderate use of alcohol has been linked with higher levels of HDL cholesterol — but the benefits aren’t strong enough to recommend alcohol for anyone who doesn’t already drink. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger. Too much alcohol can lead to serious health problems, including high blood pressure, heart failure and stroke.
Sometimes healthy lifestyle changes aren’t enough to lower cholesterol levels. Make sure the changes you make are ones you can continue to do and don’t be disappointed if you don’t see results immediately. If your doctor recommends medication to help lower your cholesterol, take it as prescribed, but continue your lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes can help you keep your medication dose low.