It’s useful to understand exactly what cholesterol is before deciding how best to control it in your body. Cholesterolis a waxy, fat-like substance and is found in all your body’s cells. It’s useful because it helps make hormones and also helps you digest, but if you get too much “bad” cholesterol (known as LDL), there is the potential for a build-up of cholesterol in the arteries (the blood vessels that take your blood from your heart and send it around the body).
This can lead to a greater risk of getting heart disease, and the chances are that you won’t have any symptoms unless you are tested. To avoid the possibility of high cholesterol levels, there are some simple things that you can do so that it will be less likely to be a health risk.
Instead of taking medication to reduce your cholesterol levels, which can prove expensive in the long term, make it a priority to eat healthily. A few simple changes to your diet can make a real difference.
Cut down on foods that contain saturated fats, mainly found in dairy products and red meats. Try using monounsaturated fats such as olive oil for cooking instead of butter, and look for leaner cuts of meat as well as low-fat dairy. According to Health Testing Centers, healthy cholesterol levels can be maintained with healthy eating.
Reduce your intake of fried foods, which usually contain trans fats that aren’t good for your cholesterol levels. These are also found in commercially packaged foods such as snack cakes, crackers, and cookies, so be sensible about the amount of these products that you consume.
You should also look at eating foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, herring, and mackerel, as well as almonds and walnuts. These increase your “good” cholesterol (HDL) to help reduce blood pressure.
Take plenty of exercise
If you can, do exercise daily, but certainly several times a week if you’re pushed. Good exercise can raise your HDL and, as long as it’s okay with your physician, 30 minutes a day will make a real difference. Try to plan your exercise in ten-minute periods if you can’t do it all at once.
Get your weight down
It may sound obvious but reducing your weight will not only make you feel better within yourself but your body will also thank you for it. Regular exercise is one of the major ways that you can reduceyour weight, and it will improve your cholesterol levels. Couple that with the development of your healthier diet and you should be well along the road to getting your body in shape and reducing the risks of coronary disease and heart attacks.
If you do smoke, then stop. You’ll almost instantly decrease your heart rate and blood pressure, and you could improve your “good” cholesterol level.
In the end, it’s up to you. Listen to your body, treat it with respect, embark on the simple ways that you can help reduce your cholesterol levels, and look forward to a much healthier life.