How to reduce cholesterol? 5 lifestyle changes to make right now!
Dr. Sneha Ganatra
November 02, 2020
Cholesterol plays an important role in the normal functioning of your body and is key to the production of several hormones. However, as is true with most things in life, anything in excess can be harmful, and this is especially true in the case of cholesterol. What is otherwise responsible for keeping your cells healthy can turn truant and high levels of bad cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), can quickly become a problem if left unchecked. In fact, some of the more serious symptoms of high cholesterol include kidney failure, heart attacks, strokes, and clogged arteries.
Knowing that bad cholesterol can negatively impact your quality of life, make a conscious effort to stay healthy. A good first step is to learn how to reduce cholesterol by making lifestyle changes. While you can undergo high cholesterol treatment by way of medication, living healthier may just be the smartest option to consider, especially in cases when your cholesterol levels aren’t too high, to begin with.
To help you start in the right direction, here are 5 tips to help prevent high cholesterol problems.
Pay more attention to the food you consume
Among the more effective ways to control cholesterol levels is to eat right. This means you need to pay careful attention to the foods you consume on a regular basis, especially if recent blood tests reveal the presence of a high LDL cholesterol level. The first step here is to pinpoint foods that promote bad cholesterol build-up, identify cholesterol-reducing foods and figure out which of these already form a part of your regular diet. The goal is to consume foods that have an adequate amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the healthy kind, and minimise LDL cholesterol, the unhealthy kind.
Ideally, you should first start by limiting foods high in LDL cholesterol, such as butter, cheese, organ meats, processed meats, whole milk and red meat. Instead, consider switching over to foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds as these have heart-healthy benefits to offer. Moreover, it is important that you start consuming soluble fibre as it reduces the absorption of cholesterol in your blood. Foods such as kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, apples, pears, and oatmeal are good examples of these. When it comes to controlling cholesterol, diet is key and paying attention to your food goes a long way.
Also Read: Healthy Food Habits
Exercise multiple times a week
Physical activity has many benefits for the heart and has a role in controlling the cholesterol levels in your body. There are studies that show that regular exercise helps reduce bad cholesterol, LDL, and increase good cholesterol levels. In fact, you should aim to complete at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or at least 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise in a week for optimal results. This greatly helps reduce blood pressure and blood sugar levels while increasing HDL cholesterol steadily.
However, for those with physical injuries or inexperience with exercising, there are other options you can start off with. For instance, you should consider taking the stairs more often, or parking further away from your destination and take a walk. Even a brisk walk can do wonders for your health, provided you are consistent with it.
Also Read: Exercises for Burning Belly Fat
Cut down on smoking and work toward quitting altogether
Smoking is known to damage blood vessels, harden up the arteries and increase the risk of heart disease. In fact, smoking changes how your body handles cholesterol, often due to reduced HDL cholesterol levels. Simply put, the decrease in good cholesterol hinders the body’s ability to transport cholesterol back to your liver, where it is broken down.
Keep tabs on your body weight
A study on weight-loss diets found that weight loss increased cholesterol absorption from the diet and decreased the creation of new cholesterol among persons who were assigned the diets. Moreover, within the same study, there was an increase in good cholesterol while the amount of bad cholesterol didn’t change. This decreases the risk of heart diseases and improves health greatly.
In short, keep tabs on your weight as being overweight has a negative impact on cholesterol levels in the body. A good way to identify the ideal weight you should be at is to consult a specialist regarding your body mass index (BMI). Typically, being between the range of 18 and 25 is considered healthy, but it is better to get professional advice on the ideal weight for optimal health.
Read More: Healthy Weight Loss Tips
Steer clear of trans fats
Trans fats are a common ingredient you’ll find in most packaged goods as manufacturers use it to keep food fresher for longer. However, these are extremely unhealthy for your body, especially since they increase bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol levels. In fact, this ingredient is so unhealthy that in 2017, researchers found that the eliadic acid trans-fat has toxic effects on neuron-like cells, which resulted in cell death.
Employing home remedies for cholesterol control is a good thing and is a proactive step to sustainably maintaining your health. Relying solely on medication shouldn’t be the only approach to controlling bad cholesterol symptoms as it doesn’t fix the underlying problem- unhealthy living. However, this doesn’t discount the importance of getting medical help, as is it important to consult a physician to get the best care in time.
A neat solution that you can opt for whether you need a heart-healthy cholesterol control diet, high cholesterol treatment or if you’re simply looking to identify foods that lower cholesterol is the Bajaj Finserv Health app. This digital provision allows you to enjoy personalised healthcare at your fingertips and with complete confidentiality.
With it, you can schedule virtual consultations, book appointments with the best doctors, get personalised healthcare plans, and even track fitness. Moreover, when lowering bad cholesterol, you can store your health records to track important information like your BMI and any changes in real-time. This makes it easier to share and get the best medical care possible. To enjoy these benefits, get the app today on either Google Play or the App Store.