Cholesterol is a fat-like, waxy substance that present naturally almost everywhere in the body. To work properly your body requires some amount of cholesterol. However, too much of cholesterol in blood combines with certain other compounds and can lead to plaque formation, by sticking to the walls of your arteries. This can cause narrowing and blockage of your arteries, so you need to lower your cholesterol level.
How to Lower Cholesterol
Changing your dietary habits can go a long way in reducing your cholesterol levels and improving the health of your heart.
To lower cholesterol levels, always prefer healthier fats in the diet.
Saturated fats from dairy products and red meat increase total cholesterol levels but along-with levels of low-density lipoprotein [LDL] or the bad cholesterol.
For a healthier diet, eat leaner cuts of meat, low fat dairy products and lots of monounsaturated fats which are rich in olive oil, peanut oil and canola oil.
Elimination of Trans Fats
Fried and processed foods like cookies, snack cakes and crackers are the rich sources of trans fat. Even packages labeled as “trans fat-free” cannot be trusted.
Always read the ingredients and avoid products containing partially hydrogenated oil.
Limit of Cholesterol Intake
Limit your daily cholesterol intake up-to 300 milligrams per day and to 200 mg per day if you have a diabetes or heart disease.
Organ meats, milk products and egg yolks are loaded with cholesterol. Replace them with egg substitutes, fat-free milk and lean meat.
Always choose whole Grains instead refined grains.
Whole grains contains rich nutrients and can promote healthy heart.
Include whole grain breads, whole-wheat flour, and brown rice in your diet, instead refined version of these elements.
Fruits and Vegetables
Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables as they can provide dietary fiber, which reduces cholesterol levels. Use seasonal fruits as snack options. Prepare casseroles, stir-fries and soups from seasonal vegetables. Limit the intake of dried fruit to about an ounce or two (a handful).
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Being well-known to lower the LDL or bad cholesterol, include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. These includes Fish like salmon, herring and mackerel, Nuts like walnuts, ground flaxseeds, and almonds.
Excess weight will be the main cause to increase the Cholesterol, even a few pounds. You may bring down the cholesterol levels significantly by losing just 5 to 10 percent of body weight. Include regular physical activity in daily routine, this can be done using simple tricks like using stairs instead of lift, working in the house garden, going to market by walking instead using bike or four wheelers. By making these small changes gradually you will notice the difference.
Exercising regularly will help in lowering cholesterol levels in both weighty and non weighty individuals. Moreover, HDL or good cholesterol levels are also increases by doing moderate physical activity regularly. Do at least 30 minutes of exercise daily after consulting your physician.
No smoking can be crucial factor in improving the HDL cholesterol levels. It also gives other benefits like lowering of blood pressure, causing a decrease in heart attack and risk of heart disease.
The recommended or safe amount in healthy adults is one drink a day for females of all ages and for males Two drinks per day. Consumption of alcohol than limit is related with certain serious medical illnesses like hypertension, stroke and heart attack.
Drink Green Tea
Replace sodas and other drinks containing high values of sugar with a healthy options like green tea. Green tea contain the compounds which help in lowering the levels of both total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.
Uses of Medications
Persons bearing high cardiovascular risk factors can prefer for cholesterol lowering medicines along with lifestyle changes.
However, medicines should always be taken under medical guidance.