High cholesterol levels increase your risk of developing heart disease and make you prone to heart attack. Although cholesterol is needed by your body for building cells and producing vitamins and hormones. There are two kinds of cholesterol good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL).
A rise in the levels of LDL or bad cholesterol can lead to plaque formation in the arteries, which potentiates the risk of vascular disorder. Whereas HDL or good cholesterol helps in getting rid of other forms of cholesterol that are harmful to your health.
Implementing some lifestyle changes will help you in bringing down the levels of cholesterol.
You must include the following changes:
Healthy diet to reduce high cholesterol
You need to be careful of what you eat, as certain types of foods can lead to a surge in cholesterol levels, which can affect your heart. Making some dietary changes is necessary, it will maintain healthy levels of cholesterol in the body. Given below are some dietary suggestions you need to follow:
Avoid trans fat
Often listed on the packaging labels as “partially hydrogenated oil”. It can increase the levels of all forms of cholesterol and potentiate your risk of developing heart disease or stroke. Trans fat is a part of the ingredients list on foods such as cookies, cakes, pastries, and spreads.
Trans fat differs from normal fat, and it causes a rise in the levels of LDL and other forms but reduces the levels of HDL which is an essential cholesterol. So, try to avoid fried fast foods, and baked goods like cookies, pastries, etc., and do not forget to read the packaging label to check the nutritional content and ingredients.
Eliminate saturated fats
Foods rich in saturated fats must be eaten in limited quantities. Otherwise, it can increase cholesterol levels with a surge in LDL or bad cholesterol. Avoid having full-fat dairy products such as cheese, butter, etc., and biscuits, cakes, meat, and so on.
Include monosaturated fats
Monosaturated fats can reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol and prevent any health harm. It also increases the levels of HDL cholesterol which aids in the reduction of LDL cholesterol. Try to include some foods that are rich in monosaturated fats, that include olives, cashews, almonds, pecans, macadamias, olive oil, etc.
Regular exercise to reduce high cholesterol
Engaging yourself in regular physical activity will be beneficial for decreasing the bad cholesterol in the body. Through daily physical activity, you can increase the levels of HDL or good cholesterol in your body, which will in turn reduce the overall cholesterol. To yield the maximum benefits of regular exercise, you must perform it for at least 30 minutes regularly.
It depends on you what you choose to do in those 30 minutes. You can take a walk, do brisk walking, running, jogging, cycling, swimming, or playing any sport such as tennis, badminton, or basketball. The thing is one must remain physically active, otherwise, lack of movement can make you put on weight, followed by health complications.
Note that you must take your doctor’s advice before you engage yourself in any physical activity. For some individuals that are already using medications to control their cholesterol and are quite older than others, too much physical activity might not be appropriate, so, such individuals need to be careful and never try to overdo it.
Lose weight to reduce high cholesterol
Being overweight can increase the risk of health complications. An overweight body attracts various kinds of health complications, one among them is high cholesterol, which is they develop heart diseases and cardiovascular disorders. Weight can be managed through diet and exercise. A diet that is free of unhealthy fats and rich in fiber will speed up the process of losing weight. Also, it is necessary to perform exercises regularly and avoid sitting for prolonged hours.
Give up smoking to reduce high cholesterol
Smoking causes a rise in blood pressure and an increase in the heart rate. It also increases the levels of LDL cholesterol, thereby potentiating your risk of heart damage. So, it is necessary to quit smoking, and the results will be instant, as your HDL cholesterol levels will rise and help in managing the overall cholesterol in your blood.
Limit alcohol consumption to reduce high cholesterol
Although alcohol can help raise the levels of HDL cholesterol in the blood, which can help in reducing LDL cholesterol. Even though it can be beneficial for cholesterol levels, still one must drink it in moderation, as it can increase the risk of other health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, or strokes.
Cholesterol has an essential role in the body, as it helps in the synthesis of vitamins, various hormones, and cell building, but it becomes a problem when the levels of HDL or good cholesterol drop and there is an increase in LDL or bad cholesterol. One can manage their cholesterol levels by improving their lifestyle habits.
It is necessary to consume a clean and nutritious diet and give up habits such as smoking and drinking that affect your health. One must become serious about their health and maintain weight in a healthy range to prevent any health complications. Exercise is essential for overall fitness.
Getting a routine checkup will help you to manage high cholesterol and eliminate any risk due to it. So, follow your healthcare provider’s advice carefully and have a balanced lifestyle.