A healthy and disease-free life is made up of various components. A small alteration in any of these, though, can be fatal. Let’s chat about the most talked-about topic, High Cholesterol, today, on World Heart Day. Cholesterol is a waxy molecule that is found in our blood. It is a vital component of the body that aids in the formation of healthy cells. High cholesterol, on the other hand, can raise the risk of cardiovascular illness, such as heart attack and stroke. Medications can assist us in lowering our cholesterol. However, if we wish to improve our cholesterol by making lifestyle changes first, we need to try something extra in addition to our regular meds.
Consume food that are good for your heart.
A few dietary adjustments can help lower cholesterol and enhance heart health:
Saturated Fats Must Be Reduced
Saturated fats, which are mostly found in red meat and full-fat dairy products, increase cholesterol levels. Saturated fat consumption should be reduced to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol.
Trans fats should be avoided at all costs.
Trans fats are commonly found in margarine and store-bought cookies, crackers, and cakes, and are occasionally stated on food labels as “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.” Trans fats boost cholesterol levels in the body as a whole. The use of partly hydrogenated vegetable oils has been banned by the Food and Drug Administration until January 1, 2021.
Consume Omega-3 Fatty Acid-Rich Foods
LDL cholesterol is unaffected by omega-3 fatty acids. They do, however, have other heart-healthy benefits, such as lowering blood pressure. Salmon, mackerel, herring, walnuts, and flaxseeds are all high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Increase the amount of soluble fibre in your diet.
Soluble fibre can help to lower cholesterol absorption into the bloodstream. Oatmeal, kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, apples, and pears are all high in soluble fibre.
Increase Your Physical Activity By Exercising.
Exercise can help lower cholesterol levels. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, also known as “good” cholesterol, can be raised with moderate physical exercise. Workout for at least 30 minutes five days a week, or engage in vigorous aerobic activity for 20 minutes three times a week, with your doctor’s permission. Adding physical activity to your daily routine, even if it’s only for a few minutes at a time, can help you lose weight. Consider:
- Taking a vigorous stroll during your lunch hour every day
- Getting to work on your bike
- Participating in a favourite sport
- Consider finding an exercise buddy or joining an exercise club to stay motivated.
Smoking cessation raises HDL cholesterol levels. The advantages appear quickly:
- Your blood pressure and heart rate recover from the cigarette-induced surge within 20 minutes after quitting.
- Your blood circulation and lung function start to improve three months after you quit smoking.
- Your risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker within a year after quitting.
Carrying even a few extra pounds raises cholesterol levels. Small adjustments add up. Switch to tap water if you consume sugary beverages. Snack on air-popped popcorn or pretzels while keeping an eye on your calorie intake. If you’re craving something sweet, consider sherbet or low-fat candies like jellybeans. Look for ways to add extra movement to your daily routine, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking farther away from your workplace. During work breaks, go for a stroll. Increase standing activities like cooking or yard chore.
Moderate Alcohol Consumption
Although moderate alcohol consumption has been associated to better HDL cholesterol levels, the benefits aren’t significant enough to suggest alcohol to anyone who doesn’t already consume it. If you choose to consume alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy individuals, it means no more than one drink per day for women of all ages and men over the age of 65, and no more than two drinks per day for men 65 and younger. Drinking too much alcohol can cause major health issues such as high blood pressure, heart failure, and stroke.
When it comes to lowering cholesterol levels, healthy lifestyle modifications aren’t always enough. If your doctor prescribes medicine to help you lower your cholesterol, follow the directions carefully while continuing to make healthy lifestyle changes. Changes in your lifestyle can help you keep your medication dose low.
Improve your knowledge of Cholesterol
Cholesterol is something that most of us are familiar with. We’ve read about it in the news, seen commercials, and it even gets mentioned in passing on TV shows. Most of the time, the word cholesterol is associated with something that’s bad for you. The truth is, cholesterol is actually extremely important for your body, but only if it’s in the right amounts. Cholesterol is an essential part of our cell membranes. It helps the cells communicate with the rest of our body. Cholesterol is also used to create hormones like estrogen, testosterone, and adrenaline. However, when cholesterol levels are too high, it can cause problems. That’s why it’s so important to maintain the right levels of cholesterol. There are many different factors that affect cholesterol levels. Diet, exercise, and genetics all play a role in whether or not you’re at risk for high cholesterol. Follow the steps mentioned above and take care of your health.