What puts you at risk?
Cholesterol is present in all of our cell membranes. It helps in the production of Vitamin D and some hormones needed in our body. Cholesterol is usually associated as a negative term for health because only small amount of cholesterol is needed to benefit our body. Excessive amount will pile up in our arteries which could cause the narrowing and blockage of bloodstream leading to cardiovascular disease. People who have family history of cardiovascular disease and stroke are more likely to develop hypercholesterolemia which is commonly known as high blood cholesterol. A person is most at risk to have elevated cholesterol if genetic factor which is linked to high cholesterol is present, as studied and presented by the researchers at Harvard Medical School. Other lifestyle and diet decide if you will get the disease.
Tips on how to lower your cholesterol in the blood
• Lose Weight. If you have excessive weight, reduce weight in a healthy way will not only help in decreasing your LDL cholesterol and fat levels but will also improve your health and will make you look & feel better.
• Eat Healthy.
- Limit your intake of unsaturated and saturated fats. If possible, replace saturated with unsaturated fats. Saturated fats are found mainly in animal foods such as butter, lard, cream, meat and cheese while unsaturated fats are present in nuts, grains, seeds, olive, canola, almonds and avocados. According to studies, unsaturated fats can lower LDL-cholesterol and can increase the HDL-cholesterol.
- Have a less cholesterol diet. Cholesterol is mostly found in animal products such as organ meats like liver, intestines, heart and brains. Egg yolk, shellfish, crabs and animal fats have high cholesterol level. Recommended dietary allowance for cholesterol is 300 mg/day.
- Eat more Fiber. It is present in foods like barley, fruits, vegetables, legumes and oats. It increases the rate of metabolism thus speeds up elimination of cholesterols.
• Lifestyle Modification. Limit your intake of alcohol drinks and softdrinks because it contain high amount of calories which can increase your weight. Quit smoking gradually because it can damage the blood vessel walls which make it more at risk to narrowing and blockage of bloodstream. Smoking can also reduce the HDL-cholesterol which is the good cholesterol in the blood.
• Regular Exercise. Spend 20 to 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise for at least 5 times a week such as brisk walking, cycling or jogging. Sedentary lifestyle often leads to deterioration of body systems and many diseases.
• Consult your doctor. If you are in doubt that what you are feeling is no longer normal, ask for an advice from a physician so that they could run a test and further assess your status. Regular monitoring of health will keep you away from the hospital admission. As for the fact that prevention is still better than cure.
• Medicine Compliance. If your doctor will prescribe a medicine to lower your cholesterol or if you already have maintenance medication, make sure to take it as advised. Most drugs when stopped abruptly have dangerous effects.
To lower your cholesterol is not as easy as simply reading these tips. Self-discipline, self motivation and action is the key to achieve your goal.
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