How to Lower Your Cholesterol?
High levels of bad cholesterol can significantly increase your risk of contracting heart disease. Cholesterol builds up fatty deposits in the blood vessels, making it more difficult for blood to flow – this eventually leads to atherosclerosis. If the fat deposits break suddenly, a victim may suffer a heart attack or stroke. To stay healthy for as long as possible, you should consider lowering your cholesterol levels right away. If you fail to watch your cholesterol levels today, you may end up paying huge sums of money for high cholesterol treatment. Follow the tips below to reduce your cholesterol levels.
1. Increase your physical activity
Staying fit is the best way to lower your cholesterol levels. If you are obese, you don't need to strain yourself with serious workouts. Just take regular walks around the neighborhood, possibly with your friends or pets. Every day, try to increase the number of calories you burn by taking the workout a little bit further.
Those who are merely overweight can pay for a gym membership and take guided sessions with trainers. If your BMI is just slightly over the recommended level, you should be able to work out for hours without risking any adverse health effects.
Try to follow the NHS guidelines for physical activity – 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. Working out has many benefits, but it's important to note that diet plays a more significant role in weight loss compared to exercise alone.
2. Avoid alcohol
Alcohol has many negative effects, and one of them is the fact that it increases your levels of bad cholesterol. Once consumed, alcohol is converted to triglycerides and cholesterol, which end up in the blood. People who drink excessive amounts of alcohol can end up damaging and overworking their livers, and that can prevent the liver from removing cholesterol efficiently from the blood. The net effect would be an increase in cholesterol levels.
3. Check your diet
Everyone knows that diet is the key to good health, but few people know which foods they should consume to lower their cholesterol levels. You should note that the body requires a certain level of cholesterol to work optimally, and the liver will always produce the fatty substance to complement your dietary cholesterol. However, if you consume excessive amounts of cholesterol, the liver will need to remove it from your blood.
You should generally avoid taking foods that have high amounts of saturated fats, sugars, or trans fats. Your diet should always contain foods rich in soluble fibers, including legumes, flax, apples, and whole grains.
You should also eat more vegetables, fruits, and unsaturated fats. Be careful with artificial transfats and sugars since they directly increase cholesterol levels.
4. Avoid Smoking
Smoking cigarettes comes with many health risks. Besides increasing your risk of several types of cancer, studies have shown that smoking can raise your levels of bad cholesterol. Smoking will also lower your levels of good cholesterol and expose you to more health risks.
The good news is that the adverse effects of smoking can be erased quickly if you stop smoking. In about two weeks of living a smoke-free life, you should be able to breathe properly during your workouts.
You don't normally need to spend money on high cholesterol treatment, especially if the condition is not yet severe. Instead, you should start leading a more physically active lifestyle, eat healthier foods, avoid alcohol, and quit smoking.
However, if the condition worsens, don't hesitate to contact a doctor who will be able to prescribe you one of the many available, safe treatments for high cholesterol.