Are you worried about alarmingly high levels of cholesterol? There are millions across the world who suffer from the same problem as yours. In a research study, it was found that 60% of stroke patients had high cholesterol that was undiagnosed.
Top 5 Tips To Reduce Cholesterol Levels!
Like cholesterol, there is one more factor that you need to closely monitor. They are triglycerides, a type of fat lipid found in your blood. Excessively high levels of cholesterol can increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart disease.
5 Tips To Reduce Your Cholesterol And Triglycerides
By making simple lifestyle changes, it’s very much possible to lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. If you are already taking medication, then these simple lifestyle changes can enhance their cholesterol-lowering effect. Let’s quickly check out all those tips.
1. Have Heart-Healthy Foods
A few changes to your diet can lower your cholesterol and improve heart health.
- Cut down on saturated fats – Saturated fats are mainly found in red meat and full-fat dairy products. Reduce your consumption of saturated fats that can bring down the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, generally known as bad cholesterol.
- Stay away from trans fats – You might have seen the label “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” on food items such as margarine, cakes, cookies, and crackers. They are nothing but trans fats that can spike up your overall cholesterol levels. Stop consuming foods that contain trans fat.
- Have foods high in omega-3 fatty acids – Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids include seafood such as salmon, herring, mackerel and walnuts, and flaxseeds. It’s one of the best ways to lower your triglyceride levels.
- Increase consumption of soluble fiber – Soluble fiber comes with the benefit of cutting down the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. Have foods such as oatmeal, brussels sprouts, kidney beans, apples, and pears that contain soluble fiber.
- Include whey protein – One of the major health benefits of dairy products is the presence of whey protein. Studies have shown that including whey protein as a supplement can reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and blood pressure.
2. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise can lower your triglyceride levels and enhance high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol.
- With your doctor’s approval, exercise for at least 30 minutes five times a week.
- If it’s a vigorous aerobic activity, spend around 20 minutes, three times a week.
- Also, try to add more physical activity to your daily tasks such as going for a brisk walk during your lunch break or climbing the stairs at the office.
3. Quit Smoking
Once you bid goodbye to smoke, it improves your HDL cholesterol levels. It can lead to amazing benefits.
- Within 20 minutes of kicking that habit, your blood pressure and heart rate recover from the spike caused by cigarettes.
- Within 3 months of stopping smoking, there will be an improvement in your blood circulation and lung function.
- Within a year of quitting, the probability of heart disease will be just half when compared to that of a smoker.
4. Lose Your Weight
A few extra pounds of your body weight can lead to high levels of cholesterol. If you even have mild to moderate hypertriglyceridemia ( a condition where the triglyceride levels are elevated), then it’s time to focus on reducing calories. The extra calories in your body are converted to triglycerides and stored in the form of fat. Cutting down calories will naturally lead to a reduction of triglycerides. Try the following simple tips for weight reduction.
- Replace sugary beverages with tap water.
- Having air-popped popcorn or pretzels is fine, but ensure that you keep a track of the calories.
- If there is an irresistible temptation to have sweets, try sherbet or candies such as jelly beans that have little or no fat.
5. Drink Alcohol, Only In Moderation
Moderate consumption of alcohol is linked to higher levels of HDL cholesterol. However, the benefits aren’t strong enough to suggest alcohol to a person who doesn’t have the habit of drinking. Alcohol contains high amounts of calories and sugar. If you have hypertriglyceridemia, then abstain from having any kind of alcoholic drink. Consuming too much alcohol can cause serious health issues such as high blood pressure, stroke, and heart failure.
Apart from the tips suggested above, there are several medicines to lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
If you have high cholesterol levels or a history of blocked arteries or diabetes, then your doctor may recommend statins such as atorvastatin calcium (Lipitor) and rosuvastatin calcium (Crestor).
Fibrate medications can also bring down your triglyceride levels. Some of them are fenofibrate (TriCor, Fenoglide, others) and gemfibrozil (Lopid). They are not recommended if you have severe kidney or liver disease.
However, always consult with a doctor before popping up pills to control your cholesterol levels.