Eating vegetables and fruits can improve your good cholesterol levels
Worrying or stressing too much can increase your bad cholesterol level
Managing your weight is essential to maintain healthy cholesterol levels
For a healthy heart, you must maintain healthy cholesterol levels. A high cholesterol level can cause strokes, heart attacks, and other heart ailments. Age is one of the significant risk factors for increasing cholesterol levels in your blood, as per the NIH . Therefore, it becomes important for both women and men to keep a close watch on their cholesterol levels from the early age of 20 years .
However, you must be wondering what is good cholesterol, which is often talked about by experts? It is important to know that your body contains both good and bad cholesterol. Cholesterol is important to your body for synthesizing certain hormones and producing vitamin D. Good cholesterol or HDL protects your heart by removing bad cholesterol or LDL from your blood. This prevents LDL deposits in arteries, thereby preventing coronary ailments.
Regular checkups, an active lifestyle, and a healthy diet are some of the essential factors that keep your cholesterol level under control. For simple tips on how to lower cholesterol levels and protect your heart, read on.
Additional read: All You Need To Know About the Two Cholesterol Types
It is important to monitor your cholesterol levels regularly. Cholesterol levels are measured in mg/dL units . The normal cholesterol levels of an individual should be below 200 mg/dL. Ensure your good cholesterol levels or HDL cholesterol levels exceed 60 mg/dL to keep your heart healthy. One important point you need to note here is that your bad cholesterol level or LDL has to stay well within limits below 100 mg/dL. An abnormal increase in this can cause cholesterol plaque deposition in your arteries that can harm your heart. To know your cholesterol levels, do a blood test called a lipoprotein profile. This test will assess your total cholesterol levels along with HDL, LDL, and triglycerides.
Regular exercising is good for your heart and can protect you from heart diseases by increasing blood circulation. This raises your oxygen levels and keeps your cholesterol levels well under control. Maintaining an active lifestyle can lower your triglyceride and blood pressure levels too. Go for a 30-minute walk daily to increase HDL and lower LDL cholesterol levels in your blood.
To keep your cholesterol levels at bay, learn to differentiate between unhealthy and healthy fats. Choose foods with healthy unsaturated fats and limit the intake of foods high in unhealthy saturated fats to improve your cholesterol numbers. Healthy fats reduce the risk of heart diseases and stroke and include nuts, seeds, fish, and oils like sunflower, canola, or olive. Therefore, it is essential to check nutrition facts on food labels and choose heart-healthy options.
Fill your plate with vegetables and fruits as these are rich in vitamins and minerals. They are also good sources of fiber that can keep you full for a long period to help you control your body weight. Including them in your meals can improve your HDL levels. If you are looking to lower your LDL levels, don’t forget about legumes. Beans are excellent sources of soluble fiber, which reduces bad cholesterol levels. Adequate amounts of legumes, fruits, and vegetables are essential to maintain a healthy heart.
Stress is one of the key risk factors for heart diseases. If you worry or stress too much, your LDL or bad cholesterol levels may increase. This can affect your blood pressure and lead to coronary artery diseases. To keep a check on this, start by identifying your stress triggers and work towards reducing them. Follow tried-and-tested techniques like yoga, deep breathing exercises, and meditation to minimize your stress levels.
Weight management is a vital step towards maintaining healthy cholesterol levels in your body. Therefore, it is important to limit your meal portions to keep your weight in control. Try minimizing carbohydrate intake and increase portions of proteins and fiber in your diet to keep your weight in check. Having 6 smaller meals instead of 3 large ones and keeping yourself well hydrated are other ways to manage your body weight.
Additional read: Cholesterol Diet Plan: Best Foods and Diet to Lower Cholesterol
Making positive changes by shifting towards a healthier lifestyle can help in lowering your cholesterol levels. If your total cholesterol level exceeds 240 mg/dL, there is a risk of developing heart disease. So, make it a point to regularly check your levels and meet a doctor for the right advice. Book blood tests within minutes on Bajaj Finserv Health and teleconsult with a general physician or endocrinologist to ensure you’re on the right track.