High cholesterol also increases your risk of heart disease. But the good news is that the risk can be controlled. It can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and increase “good” HDL cholesterol. Just make a few simple changes.
“I tell my patients that you have to start somewhere and just keep going,” says Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “Once she changes her lifestyle, everything starts to change, and the improvements she sees at six weeks are often even greater at three months.”
It’s not all about lifestyle. Genes are also important. You may also need to take medication to get your cholesterol levels back on track. But daily habits can help. By making a few simple changes, you may be able to lower your drug dosage and reduce the chance of side effects.
Follow these tips to reduce your cholesterol and improve your health.
“They raise LDL and lower HDL, increasing your risk of developing heart disease and stroke,” Steinbaum says.
Therefore, the FDA has taken steps to remove artificial trans fats from the food supply. However, some products may still contain small amounts of trans fat. Therefore, when purchasing food, check the nutritional label and ingredients. If the package says “partially hydrogenated oil,” that’s just a fancy name for a trans fat.
You don’t need to lose a lot of weight to lower your cholesterol. If you’re overweight, losing just 10 pounds can reduce your LDL by up to 8%. But to really lose weight, you need to stick with it over time. A reasonable and safe goal is 1 to 2 pounds per week. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute states that inactive overweight women typically need 1,000 to 1,200 calories a day to lose weight, while active overweight women and women weighing over 164 pounds typically need 1,200 to 1,200 calories a day. It points out that it requires 1,600 calories. If you are very active during your weight loss program, you may need additional calories to avoid hunger.
“At least 2 1/2 hours of exercise per week is enough to raise HDL and improve LDL and triglycerides,” says Dr. Sarah Samaan, a cardiologist in Plano, Texas. If you haven’t been very active, start slow. Even her 10 minutes of activity counts. Choose an exercise that you enjoy. And let’s make friends. An exercise partner can help you reach your goals.
Foods such as oatmeal, apples, prunes, and beans are rich in soluble fiber, which prevents your body from absorbing cholesterol. Studies have shown that people who took an additional 5 to 10 grams daily had lower LDL. Eating more fiber will make you feel fuller, so you won’t want to snack as much. However, be careful not to consume too much fiber at once, as this can cause abdominal pain and bloating. Increase your intake slowly.
Try to eat it 2 to 4 times a week. “Not only are the omega-3 fats found in fish good for your heart, but replacing red meat with fish reduces your exposure to saturated fat, which is abundant in red meat, and lowers your cholesterol,” says Samaan. To tell. catch? Some fish, such as sharks, swordfish, and king mackerel, are high in mercury. That can increase your risk of heart disease. Instead, choose wild-caught salmon, sardines, or bluefin tuna. Omega 3 and Omega 6: What is the difference?
“Using olive oil instead of butter can reduce LDL cholesterol by as much as 15 percent, which is similar to the effect of low-dose drugs,” says Samaan. The “good” fats found in olive oil are beneficial for your heart. Choose extra virgin olive oil. It’s less processed and contains more antioxidants that help prevent disease.
Most types can lower LDL. The reason: They contain sterols, which, like fiber, prevent the body from absorbing cholesterol, Steinbaum says. Nuts are high in calories (1 ounce of almonds has 164 calories!).
Did you know that feeling stressed can increase your cholesterol? Relax. Indulge in a good book, go for coffee with a friend, or bring a yoga mat. Helps keep cholesterol in check.
If you’re not sprinkling cinnamon on your cappuccino or sprinkling pepper on your pasta, listen up. Spices like garlic, curcumin, ginger, black pepper, coriander, and cinnamon not only add flavor to your food, but they can also improve your cholesterol. Research shows that eating half to one clove of garlic every day can lower your cholesterol by up to 9%. Bonus: Adding extra seasoning to your food also reduces your appetite, which can make it easier to lose excess weight, Steinbaum says.
“Smoking can raise LDL and lower HDL, and quitting smoking often improves these numbers,” Samaan says. One study found that people who quit smoking had a 5% increase in “good” cholesterol in one year. However, if you are regularly around people who smoke, be careful. Inhaling second-hand smoke every day can also increase bad cholesterol levels.
Laughter is like medicine, says Steinbaum, and increases HDL. Want to add some comic relief to your life? Check out silly pet videos online, sign up for daily joke emails, or watch funny movies.