You must have heard about cholesterol levels. What is cholesterol?
Well, it is a waxy substance used by the body to create cell membranes. It is produced by the liver and also found in animal products such as meat and eggs. The level of cholesterol is checked by the blood.
There are two types of cholesterol: LDL or low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein or HDL. LDL is bad cholesterol and HDL is good cholesterol.
Too much LDL can lead to a fatty build-up of plaque in the arteries. And this creates the risk of heart attack, stroke and other health concerns. HDL, the good cholesterol can remove some of the LDL by sending it back to the liver that then throws it out from the body. Triglycerides are another fat forms that can be risky if produced in a high amount as it can lead to the fatty build-up in the arteries.
That’s why it is important to prevent or minimize your bad cholesterol to lead a healthy life. While there are many medications to do that, changes in your lifestyle and diet play an important role.
Here is how you can prevent the risk of developing high cholesterol level.
Take Heart-Healthy Foods:
First of all, you need to be careful about what you are eating. A few changes in your diet can minimize the risk of cholesterol and improve your heart health as well.
Reduce your intake of saturated fats that are mainly found in red meat and full-fat dairy products. They increase your cholesterol level. Reducing your intake of saturated fats can lower your low-density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol (also known as bad cholesterol).
You also need to stay away from trans-fats that are generally listed on a food label as “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil “. These fats are generally found in cookies, crackers, cakes and margarine.
Instead, add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. They reduce blood pressure. Some of the great sources of omega 3 fatty acids are flaxseeds, herring, walnuts, mackerel and salmon. Also, take more soluble fibre. These fibres minimize the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. Soluble fibre is found in foods such as apples, pears, kidney beans, oatmeal and Brussels sprouts. Whey protein can be added which is found in dairy products. They reduce LDL cholesterol and blood pressure as well.
Exercises can also reduce the risk of high cholesterol. If you are a beginner, don’t feel the pressure to get into athletic training or do hardcore weight training. Even a physical activity as simple as walking can do the trick.
Exercises such as cycling, aerobics, brisk walk and playing sport can improve the good cholesterol that is known as High-Density Lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol. Doing weightlifting can also benefit your health. According to one study, people who participated in resistance training can clear LDL from their bloodstream faster than those who didn’t.
Yoga poses can also help. According to one study, a three-month yoga program can reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. It also raises the good cholesterol level.
Obesity increases the risk of bad cholesterol. Top of that, it also reduces the clearance of LDL cholesterol from the blood.
Therefore, an overweight person is more likely to have bad cholesterol. Losing 5 to 10% of your body weight can reduce LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and other risk factors causing heart diseases.
Weight loss can improve your body’s response to insulin and minimise inflammation. As your weight decreases, your body has a better response system to changes in dietary fats.
If you are overweight, a slight weight drop can help. The 5 to 10% weight loss can happen in six months. All you need to take care of your diet and do some workouts. Or it is better if you talk to your doctor about your weight loss goals and create a plan. You can also try a herbal weight loss supplement.
Limit Your Intake Your Alcohol:
While alcohol itself doesn’t include cholesterol, it can impact cholesterol levels in the blood in both negative and positive ways. To understand the association between alcohol and cholesterol, it is useful to first understand how alcohol is received by the body. The liver metabolizes alcohol and also generates cholesterol. Alcohol can increase cholesterol levels as alcohol is processed by the same organ being responsible for producing alcohol. Many studies have proved that excessive intake of alcohol can raise an LDL level that is the bad cholesterol.
Top of that, alcohol can increase triglyceride levels. The body extracts calories from alcohol to use it as energy. Because alcohol is often taken with food, the body tends to store calories from food as fats in the form of triglycerides. Many alcoholic beverages also contain added sugars, which further raises the risk of triglyceride levels. High triglyceride levels can risk your lever, including fatty liver conditions.
But that doesn’t mean consuming alcohol always harm the body. Light to moderate consumption can raise HDL or good cholesterol. According to a study, consuming one 4-ounce service per day of red wine can benefit the heart, including raising HDL levels.
HOW MUCH ALCOHOL IS TOO MUCH?
Well, it varies based on your age, body size, lever size and how quickly alcohol is metabolized. Some people are likely to break down alcohol more quickly than others.
However, moderate drinking is still a better option. Moderate drinking is 1-2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women.
Smoking is injurious to health. If you need a slight excuse to quit smoking, keep in mind that smoking can increase bad cholesterol. Smokers are likely to have an increased level of LDL and lower level of HDL (good) in their blood. Therefore, the risk of building plaques is high for them. If you already have high cholesterol levels, smoking just makes you prone to cardiovascular problems like stroke and heart attack.
The solution is simple—quit smoking.
Within 20 minutes of quitting, your blood pressure and heart rate recover from the spike induced by a cigarette. If you quit smoking for three months, the blood circulation and lung function start to improve. Quitting smoking for a year can reduce the risk of heart disease almost by half.
So you must have understood how to reduce or prevent cholesterol level. It is all about taking good food, doing workouts, and adapting health lifestyle. For more information visit our Official Website
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