High cholesterol is a growing problem in America as obesity rates continue to rise. Having high cholesterol is dangerous because it clogs the arteries which can eventually cause heart problems. There are two types of cholesterol: LDL (bad) and HDL (good). HDL cholesterol levels should be higher than LDL because they provide energy to your cells and pick up excess cholesterol in your blood, essentially decreasing levels of bad cholesterol. As people age, cholesterol levels tend to be harder to decrease, which is why it’s important to display a healthy lifestyle early. Even if you are young, fit and healthy doesn’t mean your cholesterol can’t be high. After turning 20, one should get their cholesterol checked every five years. If their total cholesterol is 200 mg/dl or more or if they are over 45, they should get it checked more often. People who have low HDL cholesterol or other risk factors such as heart disease in their family history should also get it checked often.
Eat The Right Food:
The first step in controlling cholesterol levels is learning what foods are causing your cholesterol to be high. All foods from animals contain cholesterol. This includes meat, dairy products and fish. Foods with high amounts of saturated fat should be avoided. To replace those foods, eat foods that contain high amounts of fiber. Foods that contain 3 grams of fiber or more are considered high fiber foods. Fiber aids in lowering cholesterol and keeping the stomach full, which can be beneficial if one is looking to lose weight as well. Some high fiber foods include oatmeal or anything made with whole grain, fruits and vegetables. You may also want to consider a fiber supplement. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids should also be incorporated into the diet. This is because they help to reduce blood pressure and risk of developing blood clots. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in several fish such as: salmon, halibut and herring. Ground flaxseed and canola oil are also good sources of healthy fats. Nuts like walnuts and almonds contain polyunsaturated fat that also aid in keeping blood vessels healthy. A handful a day in place of an unhealthy, fatty food will help reduce your cholesterol.
Exercising is another action an individual can take to lower cholesterol. Not only does it help with weight loss, it stimulates enzymes in your blood that transfer LDL cholesterol to the liver which breaks it down and rids it from the body. It has also been proven that exercising increases the size of proteins that carry cholesterol throughout the body, meaning they can pick up more and won’t be absorbed into blood vessels. 30 minutes of exercise a day along with a healthy diet should do the trick.
If changing your diet and exercising do not help to lower your cholesterol, your doctor may suggest medication. High cholesterol is a dangerous problem to have and you should take all the precautions possible to keep it at a healthy level. People with heart problems and high cholesterol should definitely take advantage of medication for it could end up saving their life.
High cholesterol is a serious problem. Hope the above tips guide you on ‘how to lower cholesterol’. If you have to share any other tip on the subject please do so in the comments below.
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