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How to Manage High Cholesterol Effectively

6 min read

No matter how old you are, you must take steps in keeping your cholesterol levels healthy. This can be achieved by making healthy eating and lifestyle choices as well as managing any health conditions you may have. To manage your high cholesterol, here are some steps you can take from today:

1. Keep Active

Exercise is the number one most effective way to keep your heart healthy and cholesterol levels at an appropriate level. Exercise not only improves your physical fitness, but it also helps reduce LDL levels (the bad cholesterol). Try to follow the NHS recommendations on exercise – 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. Such workouts can include aerobic activity, resistance training, and walking.

Low-intensity workouts increase the good cholesterol known as HDL, while high-intensity exercise can decrease the LDL.

2. Include Monounsaturated Fats in Your Diet

Monounsaturated fats reduce LDL levels and protect the heart. To manage your high cholesterol, you should focus on eating monounsaturated fats, which will also help you keep your weight in control. Some of the best foods that contain monounsaturated fats are olives and olive oil, avocados, almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanut butter, and rice bran.

3. Omega 3s Are The Essential Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat to keep the heart fit. These fatty acids are mainly found in fish oil supplements and seafood as well as in oily fish like mackerel, herring, salmon, and tuna. There are also plant-based sources of omega 3 fatty acids that include walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and soybeans.

4. Avoid Trans Fats

Trans fats or saturated fats have been shown to increase LDL and decrease HDL levels. These fats are found in animal products, including butter, milk, dairy, and meat, such as bacon. There are also hydrogenated fats in processed foods, such as cookies, cakes, and deli meats that raise cholesterol levels and are bad for your heart.

5. Plant Sterols

Plant sterols are plant-based substances that are similar to cholesterol and occur naturally in fruits, vegetables, cereals, and nuts. But unlike animal-based products that increase the bad cholesterol, plant sterols don’t contribute to clogging the arteries and increasing LDL. Instead, they reduce the harmful cholesterol levels and are absorbed in the body from the diet. You can find plant sterols in vegetable oils, whole grains, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, and many fruits and vegetables.

6. Check Your Cholesterol Regularly

Since high cholesterol increases the risk of developing heart disease, it is important to monitor it regularly. Has your cholesterol checked by your doctor at least once every two years if you don’t have a pre-existing health condition? Some people need to get their cholesterol checked more often if they have a history of heart disease, stroke, or high LDL levels.

7. If All Else Fails, Take Medication

If you have followed a healthy diet and exercise, but your LDL levels are still high, consider taking low-dose statins. These medications can be found in most pharmacies without a prescription. However, you should first speak with your doctor before considering taking statins. Your doctor will assess your medical history before deciding on the right course of treatment. If you’re prescribed statins, your doctor will monitor the effectiveness of the medication and determine whether it works for you.

Statins are cholesterol-lowering drugs that are usually given to people who have been diagnosed with heart disease or other cardiovascular conditions. You may also be prescribed statins if you have a personal or family medical history that suggests you’re likely to develop heart disease within the next ten years. That being said, for most people, the first step to tackle high LDL is by making changes to their diet and exercising more often.

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