Mainly cholesterol is categorized into three types: high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein(LDL), and triglycerides. HDL cholesterol is beneficial cholesterol for your health. It absorbs excessive cholesterol and carries it back to the liver. That’s why HDL has another label named ‘good cholesterol. LDL, however, is harmful to your health. LDL cholesterol deposits in the wall of arteries, gradually making plaque and leading to cardiovascular disease. Triglycerides are similar to LDL cholesterol. It is a bad type of fat in the cells of your body. In the body, triglycerides are the main form of fat. The high amount of triglycerides leads to several health problems.
You already know about the types above of cholesterol. The blood test result shows the count of these three types of cholesterol, which means your total cholesterol, count of HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides separately. Have you heard about Non-HDL cholesterol? Is it another type of cholesterol? The article provides what you need to know about non-HDL cholesterol.
What Is Non-HDL Cholesterol?
As the name suggests, Non-HDL cholesterol is the measure of all the bad types of cholesterol. It includes low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) and very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol(VLDL). When non-HDL cholesterol increases, your cholesterol rate will also be high. It leads to several risk factors like cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart attack.
If you have high non-HDL cholesterol, you don’t need to panic. You can reduce this type of cholesterol by making dietary changes and other lifestyle adjustments. In some cases, people need medications to reduce Non-HDL cholesterol.
How to decrease Non-HDL Cholesterol?
You can use different methods to reduce non-HDL cholesterol. Here are the ways you can manage this type of cholesterol.
Diet for reducing non-HDL cholesterol
When it comes to cholesterol, diet is mandatory. People with high cholesterol must follow heart-healthy diets for reducing the bad cholesterol. If you have high cholesterol, what will you do to reduce the bad cholesterol? Of course, you will follow a diet that promotes high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels by reducing fat-based foods.
A person who is trying to lower their non-HDL cholesterol should consider the following things.
🛑 Avoid Saturated fat
Saturated fat is one of the main sources of bad cholesterol. A person’s daily calorie comprises 5-6 % saturated fat. Avoiding saturated fat is the best way to reduce your Non-HDL cholesterol levels.
🛑 Choose unsaturated food
Unsaturated foods are part of a heart-healthy diet. It can lower high cholesterol. Avocados, olives, nuts and seeds, fatty fish, and dark chocolate are some of the unsaturated food that you need to include in your diet. Unsaturated fats are good fats that help to improve levels of high-density lipoprotein. There are two types of unsaturated fats such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. These types of fat help to decrease the number of triglycerides. Unsaturated fat is not only good for your cholesterol but also good for your whole body. It works as a fuel to your body and supports cell growth.
🛑 Add more fiber intake
Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are rich in fiber. This component can not replace in your diet. Foods that are rich in fiber help to decrease the total cholesterol in the body. It also increases the count of HDL thereby you can decrease triglycerides and LDL cholesterol.
🛑 Avoid sugar content
Generally, people are obsessed with added sugars. It is commonly seen in most processed foods. Excessive use of sugar can cause bad cholesterol. Sugar-sweetened beverages, sweet snacks, ice creams, and pastries are high in sugar content. Avoiding high sugar-based foods can help you to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol as well. Cholesterol and blood pressure are linked. The diseases that are common in both conditions are cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart attack. Cholesterol plaque and calcium arteries cause your arteries. The high deposition of cholesterol makes the arteries become hard and narrow. Because of this narrowing, your heart has to strain much hard to pump blood through the blocked parts. This raises your blood pressure high.
🛑 Limit processed foods
You can not avoid cravings. Whenever you go outside, your stomach will definitely cry for some cheesy pizza, burgers, canned tuna, etc. but it will badly affect your health and cholesterol as well. High consumption of processed foods causes obesity. Obesity happens due to excessive fat depositions in the cells of your body. Obesity happens due to high cholesterol. So what you need to do is limit the high-processed foods. Occasionally use some cheese, bread, or the food you need instead of eating daily. The high amount of salt and saturated fat affects your cardiovascular health.
Exercise for reducing non-HDL cholesterol
A study conducted in 2018 proved that low-intensity exercise can change bad cholesterol levels. As you all know exercise is good for your health. It has several benefits too. Regular exercise helps to improve cardiovascular health and increases the heart rate. It is considered one of the treatments for high cholesterol. Let’s look at how it is useful for reducing bad cholesterol.
🛑 Brisk walking
Of course, walking increases our good cholesterol level. Studies show that A brisk 30-minute walk three times per week is enough to control your LDL cholesterol and is good for your heart health. According to American Heart Association says that this type of exercise is great for lowering cholesterol. It is the easiest way and anyone can do it.
Running helps to lower the bad cholesterol in the blood. Older studies have proved that people who ran a longer distance had more significant changes in the level of LDL cholesterol in the blood. A minimum of 30 minutes of running a day is enough to control cholesterol. You can select your favorite exercise such as walking, jogging, gardening, etc.
If you love to swim, then there is no need for another option. It is a great exercise for burning your very low-density lipoproteins. The present data suggest that anaerobic swimming increases HDL-c metabolism. The fat-burning properties of swimming for 30 minutes can elevate your HDL and reduce LDL cholesterol.
Medications for reducing Cholesterol
Medication is an effective method to lower bad cholesterol. Most medications are taken by people who are unable to lower their levels via lifestyle and dietary changes.
Let’s look at some of the medications that help to lower cholesterol.
Statins are one of the most commonly used medicines for lowering cholesterol. It has several side effects such as muscle pain, nausea, diarrhea, etc. but studies suggest that the drug can decrease LDL and triglycerides. It can slightly increase HDL. Lovastatin(Altoprev), fluvastatin(Lescol), pitavastalin(Livalo),pravastatin, simvastatin(zocor) are some of the most used statins.
👉 Cholesterol absorption inhibitor
Ezetimibe is one of the cholesterol absorption inhibitors that helps to decrease LDL and triglycerides and slightly increases HSDL. just like, statins, this inhibitor also has side effects such as stomach pain, muscle soreness, and fatigue. Therefore, it recommends avoiding pregnancy.
👉 Omega-3 fatty acids
It is essential fatty acid for the body. It gets from dietary sources like fish and nuts, or supplements like fish oil. The prescription versions such as Lovaza, Omacor, and Vascepa help to decrease triglycerides. it can slightly lift HDL level. For some people, it may feel disgusting to consume. The fishy taste, belching, and indigestion are some of the side effects of omega-3 fatty acids.
Smoking and drinking habits
If you have high cholesterol, you should avoid the habits of smoking and drinking. Both lifestyle habits are harmful to your health in different ways.
When it comes to alcohol, a moderate level of alcohol is fine. But what if it crosses the limits? The excessive use of alcohol is dangerous. The liver breaks alcohol into LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. If you drink large quantities of alcohol, gradually the number of triglycerides also rises. It can cause overweight and high blood pressure. High blood pressure and obesity cause severe heart diseases. You may not know about the disease in the initial stages. The symptoms mostly appear in the last stage of the disease. So, drinking in moderation is a healthy way to maintain a balanced cholesterol level.
Smoking can also play an essential role in high cholesterol. Nicotine and tobacco make LDL more likely to cling to the walls of blood vessels. It gradually leads to damage to heart and lung health. Quitting smoking can make a substantial difference in cholesterol levels and overall health.
Supplements for reducing cholesterol
Some supplements can help to lower high cholesterol. Keep remembering that if you are planning to take supplements, consult a doctor and get advice about whether supplements are suitable for taking either alone or with cholesterol-lowering medications such as statins. Here are some of the supplements that help to lower cholesterol.
Probiotics are one of the most used supplements. They are the live bacteria and yeasts that are seen in fermented foods and drinks. Scientists found the effectiveness of supplements by observing a tribe named Masaai. The tribe who consumed fermented dairy and meat regularly are low in cholesterol. Later some laboratory studies also reveal that certain species can affect the cholesterol level. It can elevate HDL cholesterol.
Plant sterol and stanols
Plant sterol and stanols have a vital role in the diet. Some manufacturers use it as a supplement for lowering high cholesterol. When you eat plant sterols, it digests and removes the waste cholesterol from the body. It improves the count of HDL and helps to remove bad cholesterol.
High HDL cholesterol is good for your health. On the other hand, high non-HDL cholesterol is harmful to your heart health. It increases the risk of heart disease. But, certain lifestyles and treatments can change the high cholesterol to a balanced level. It’s better to take a blood test to know about your cholesterol numbers and follow a healthy lifestyle to avoid high non-HDL cholesterol.