High Cholesterol is one of the primary causes of heart disease in America today and the medical establishment is on an ongoing quest to reduce cholesterol levels in the adult population. If you’ve been screened for high cholesterol In the last five years you shouldn’t take it as a guarantee of health. Cardiologists warn that everybody over the age of 20 is at risk and should get a blood test for elevated cholesterol levels every five years. Still, there is no need to panic if your doctor tells you that you have high cholesterol levels, as there are ample ways to reduce it, through both natural and pharmacological means.
Why is cholesterol so dangerous? Simply put, small cholesterol particles can form deposits in the arteries and aggravate heart conditions, leading to heart disease and eventually heart attacks. While treatment for high cholesterol is emphasized by physicians around the country, there are some correlated symptoms like pre-diabetes or obesity that go unchecked. In order to tackle these as well as cholesterol all at once here are 10 tips for lowering bad cholesterol and improving the health of your heart:
Set a goal
Once you’re diagnosed with elevated cholesterol you need to take a course of action to reduce it. Before you can do this, however, you need to set a goal for reducing your cholesterol to an adequate level. This level varies and is highly influenced by the presence of other risk factors like obesity and diabetes.
Get Tested Regularly
You need to know how far along you are in your attempt to reduce your cholesterol levels so you will need to take regular blood tests, especially as you approach your goal.
To combat cholesterol you need to combat its correlated factors. One of them is obesity, which can in turn cause the other, diabetes. To counteract this you should always start a specialized diet to combat cholesterol at the same time that you start exercising as well. As you lose weight you will start to feel better and likely your cholesterol levels will go down. Do not start a training regimen without permission from your physician, as in some people exercising can be dangerous.
Limit Saturated Fats
NO more eggs, whole milk, ice cream, high fat meat, processed meats and salami or palm oil. All these foodstuffs contain very large quantities of saturated fat and can hurt your cardiovascular system.
Give up on Snacks
You might prefer nachos and kettle-cooked chips to air-popped popcorn, apples and carrots but the latter are considerably better for you. If you feel an urge for a snack chose a light healthy alternative to the likes of cool ranch flavor tortilla chips.
Good sleep schedules and adequate sleeping periods re crucial in the body’s daily healing process. Sleeping has been demonstrated to have significant impact on cholesterol level, Besides, if you are doing this right you will also need to rest after a hard day exercising.
When shopping for groceries read all labels carefully and try to keep away from products that have saturated fats in them. Even if you’re staying away from saturated fats yourself in your diet, a quick lunch stop at a deli or grabbing a croissant for breakfast may reverse your entire progress in just a few days both calorie and cholesterol-wise. Try to know everything you eat and pay close attention to ingredients.
Quit Smoking, Start drinking Tea
Smoking is the perpetual risk factor and, no surprise the habit is correlated not only with lung cancer but high cholesterol as well. Green tea on the other hand is chock full of anti-oxidants and said to help in eliminating LDL cholesterol or, in any case, reducing it by 5%.
Strangely enough, moderate consumption of alcohol seems to reduce the risk of high cholesterol, particularly in men. While drinking too much rarely has any benefits, 1-2 drinks a day are actually recommended by doctors.
Give Medication a Try
Cholesterol medication is so widespread that there actually are low-fat non-dairy spreads containing compounds that actively fight cholesterol calledstanols. Proper anti-cholesterol medication is much stronger though. Highly effective statins created to fight LDL (like Crestor) can lower cholesterol by up to 50% over a course of treatment.
While an admirable cause to tackle, we must always remember that high cholesterol is a symptom rather than a cause of disease. Plaque deposits do increase the risk of heart attack by a significant percentage but cholesterol is nothing but a by-product of an unhealthy lifestyle. We can treat the symptom with medicine but we can only make a difference in our lives if we change our lifestyle and start eating and living healthily.