How to reduce cholesterol includes following a low-fat diet plan, daily exercise, and in some cases, taking prescription medication. High cholesterol levels increase the risk of heart disease and a person who has it will not be able to tell on their own since there are usually no symptoms associated with it. This is why it is important to get lipid levels checked at least once a year especially if one is overweight and suffering from other symptoms associated with heart disease. Uncontrollable factors include genetics, age, and gender. Controllable factors include limiting foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol, and maintaining a daily exercise routine. Sometimes if lipid levels are very high, a physician will prescribe medication along with advice on how to lower cholesterol.
A fat like substance in the blood can build up in the walls of the arteries causing restricted blood flow to the heart. This fat like substance is cholesterol and can lead to a condition called “hardening of the arteries” and can eventually lead to heart attack if left untreated. Understanding how to reduce cholesterol is the first step in tackling this problem. When lipid levels are checked there will usually be a breakdown of HDL and LDL levels, and triglycerides. HDL is the good cholesterol and actually contributes to keeping arteries clear. LDL on the other hand, is the bad cholesterol and is the main culprit in buildup and blockages in the arteries. Levels over 240 mg/dL are considered high and the LDL levels are considered high if they are above 129 mg/dL. In order to protect against heart disease HDL levels should be 60 mg/dL or higher.
Diet is a very important consideration when trying to find ways on how to lower cholesterol. There are many sites online that offer tips on proper eating for optimum health. Choose lean cuts of meat, such as poultry, and seafood and eat foods high in fiber. Beans are high in protein and provide high fiber content, along with whole-grains, and nuts. Choose low or nonfat dairy products and margarines that contain no fatty acids. Minimize hydrogenated fats in the diet by reading labels and choosing products that do not contain trans fats. Avoid items that contain partially hydrogenated oils that can be found in many prepackaged foods. Choose tuna and salmon for additional health benefits since these foods contain omega 3 fats and studies have shown that they help to raise HDL levels and reduce inflammation in the body which can lead to damage to blood vessels.
Physical activity raises quality of life and should be a consideration when seeking out ways on how to reduce cholesterol. Exercise can improve health significantly if maintained on a regular basis. A daily routine of 30 minutes of activity per day can contribute to better overall health. Most physicians recommend at least 30 minutes of some type of aerobic exercise and suggest finding an activity that is enjoyable to do. Walking, bike riding, and swimming are some good suggestions. Incorporate spending time with a pet to accomplish exercise goals by taking the dog for a walk everyday. Spend time in prayer and seek God for guidance and strength to make the right choices and do something positive towards living a lifestyle that will lead to good health. “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (John 3:1-2).
Being overweight is a major contributor to many health problems and can play a significant role with high blood cholesterol. Losing weight can have a very positive effect on health in many areas and provide good results on how to reduce cholesterol. Being overweight can contribute to heart disease and stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and higher blood fats. Additional risk factors that can affect LDL numbers include cigarette smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, a family history of heart disease, and a sedentary lifestyle.
Age, gender, and heredity are uncontrollable things that can affect blood cholesterol levels. Age can contribute to health issues and many people find that as they age eating healthy and taking care of oneself becomes much more crucial. Gender studies that have been published offer some valuable information on the difference between men and women’s health concerns and how to lower cholesterol. Women seem to do better before menopause with blood lipid levels but after menopause it becomes of greater importance to eat healthy and exercise. Heredity can play a part with health problems since some conditions seem to run in families.
There are several choices of prescription medications that a doctor may prescribe for someone with high blood fats. Doing some research online will help one to find information on these types of drugs, along with the side effects and other valuable information on how to lower cholesterol. Some of these drugs have shown success with lowering LDL and raising HDL. If diet doesn’t seem to be working it might be a good ideal to ask a physician about prescribing one of these medications to help with the problem.