Do you have high cholesterol levels?
If so, there are several ways to help lower your cholesterol. From eating a healthy diet to taking prescribed medications, simple lifestyle changes can significantly impact your heart health and longevity.
High cholesterol is a significant risk factor for heart disease and other severe conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 70 million American adults have high LDL cholesterol, which can cause a buildup of plaque in the arteries. This can lead to blocked arteries and an increased risk of stroke or heart attack.
Although genetics plays a vital role in how much cholesterol we produce, there are several ways that we can lower our cholesterol levels without relying solely on medication. Keep reading to learn about lifestyle changes that can help reduce cholesterol levels and improve overall health.
Here are five ways to lower your Cholesterol
Eat a healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet is essential to overall wellness and good health. Incorporating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and plant-based proteins into meals benefits your body in numerous ways. These foods are filled with vital nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that play a crucial role in keeping your body running at its peak performance. On the other hand, processed meats high in saturated and trans fats have been linked to heart diseases and other health problems. Eating too many of these foods can cause cholesterol levels to rise, putting people at risk for various health issues. It’s essential to eat a balanced diet full of essential nutrients while avoiding excessive amounts of unhealthy items for optimal long-term health.
Incorporating regular physical activity into your daily routine is one of the most important things you can do to increase good cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad cholesterol (LDL). Exercise doesn’t have to involve a marathon; a moderate level of physical activity, at least 150 minutes per week, can do wonders for your HDL and LDL levels. The best way to take advantage of the full benefits of exercise is to make it an everyday habit. Regular morning walks with friends or family can improve your cholesterol levels and enhance your mental well-being. You don’t have to be running marathons, even if small chunks of regular exercise will significantly improve your physical and psychological health.
Quitting smoking is one of the best ways to reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease and other chronic illnesses. Smoking increases the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in your body and reduces the levels of good cholesterol (HDL). It also decreases blood flow and oxygenation throughout your body. Quitting smoking helps to reverse these effects and lower your cholesterol levels. Additionally, quitting smoking will reduce inflammation throughout your body and lessen the chances of plaque buildup that can further increase your risk for stroke and heart attack. Leaving is difficult, but with a bit of commitment, it can be done and ultimately lead to healthier lifestyle choices.
Maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is key to keeping cholesterol levels in check. Weight affects how much fat and cholesterol your body produces, so taking steps to reach or maintain a healthy weight can be beneficial. Eating a well-balanced diet, regular exercise, and avoiding high-calorie foods are all critical factors in running and maintaining the right weight. Incorporating physical activity into your lifestyle, such as walking and jogging, can also help you achieve a healthy weight while improving cardiovascular health. Keeping an eye on food portion sizes and engaging in mindful eating practices can also help you manage your weight over time. Following these strategies may increase body awareness and help you make wise dietary decisions that promote good overall health.
Take cholesterol-lowering medications
Cholesterol-lowering medications are an essential tool in managing high cholesterol. When lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise are not enough, statins or fibrates can help reduce cholesterol levels. This can lower your risk of heart attack or stroke, which are associated with high cholesterol. If you have been prescribed these medications, it is essential to take them as directed by your healthcare provider to ensure that you receive the most benefit. Taking these medications faithfully in combination with lifestyle changes can be a powerful way to improve your overall heart health.
Working with your healthcare provider to determine the best approach for lowering your cholesterol levels is essential.