High cholesterol levels are the leading cause of heart disease. Often, high cholesterol goes undetected due to lack of symptoms, until a fatal heart attack strikes. Why wait for the disaster to strike?
Following are some ways to reduce cholesterol level with lifestyle changes
Making exercise a regular habit will help you reduce your bad LDL cholesterol and boost good HDL cholesterol. You can either take up your favorite sport or try cycling, jogging, dancing and even walking as an exercise routine. Daily physical activity of at least 30-45 minutes can help reduce cholesterol levels.
Shed Those Extra Kilos
A healthy weight can bring back cholesterol levels to normal. Obesity is directly linked to a higher risk of developing high bad cholesterol and suffering a heart attack. Regular exercise and healthy eating habits can help you lose weight.
Follow a Heart-Friendly Diet
The heart works for you without rest. Why not repay the favour by following a heart-friendly diet? Monitor your dietary habits and increase the intake of healthy and natural food. Add fresh fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products to your plate. Increase the portion size of fibre rich foods like whole grains, nuts, lentils and pulses. Avoid oily and processed food which increases blood cholesterol. There are several other healthy and tasty alternatives such as roasted nuts, steamed food like idlis, salads with yoghurt dips etc.
Adopt Healthier Cooking Methods
You are what you eat! Along with healthy food, healthy cooking methods also contribute to cutting down cholesterol levels. Natural is the best foot forward! Raw salads and fresh fruit fall in this category. However, when you have to cook, baking, boiling, stewing and roasting are healthy options for food preparation. You must avoid fried items as they directly increase the ‘bad’ fats in the body like saturated and trans-fat. Using healthy cooking oils, rich in unsaturated fats like rice bran oil, sunflower oil and olive oil is a switch you should make, from traditional but unhealthy alternatives like palm oil.
Sugar Works Like White Poison
Excess intake of sugary foods increases levels of triglycerides, which cause heart problems. It is always better to use healthier substitutes like jaggery or honey. Don’t give in to those sugar cravings!
Smoking lowers the good HDL cholesterol levels. In fact, even passive smoking is harmful to your health. You need to kick this bad habit at the earliest to regain good health.
Manage Your Stress Levels
Stress is a major cause of heart disease. Our fast-paced lifestyles with a constant effort to do ‘too many things at once’ is all adding to our ever-increasing stress levels. You must learn to let go and not worry about problems too much. Worrying causes stress, which increases cholesterol levels. Every cloud has a silver lining and the good times are just around the corner!
You must adopt a healthy lifestyle, taking recommendations from this post, make wise choices and follow the doctor’s advice to keep your cholesterol in check. In matters of health, time is of the essence. Act fast to control high cholesterol, or else, it might be fatal!