High cholesterol is becoming a growing problem in America and it is putting people at an increased risk of heart attacks and heart disease. Recent studies from the Mayo Clinic have uncovered five of the top proven lifestyle changes that you can make to reduce your cholesterol.
Losing weight is the most important step in lowering your cholesterol and even losing as little as 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can help to reduce cholesterol levels significantly. Assessing your daily eating and exercise routines and overcoming those bad habits is essential to starting your weight loss challenge. For example, if you eat when you are bored or frustrated you should look for an alternative method to relieve those feelings such as talking a walk or jog. Also, try to avoid fast food, as well as snack foods, while sitting on the couch watching television. We recommend snacking on fruits or vegetables when you feel the urge to eat. Always try to find new ways to incorporate more exercise into your daily routine even if it is as simple as just taking the stairs instead of the elevator. You should be proactively looking for healthy alternatives to contribute to your weight loss challenge.
Making Just a Few Changes
Making even just a few changes in your diet can help to lower cholesterol and improve heart health. The Mayo Clinic suggests that eating heart healthy foods is a core factor in reducing your cholesterol. Avoiding saturated fats that are found in red meats and dairy products is important because it prevents your LDL (Bad) cholesterol from rising. Choosing leaner cuts of meat and low-fat dairy as substitutes for saturated fats is an easy change that most of us can make to reduce our cholesterol. In addition, you should eliminate trans-fat from your diet and limit your cholesterol intake to no more than 300 milligrams per day (Less than 200mg if you have heart disease or diabetes). Some healthier alternatives that we recommend include eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon or almonds.
Exercise is not only critical in reducing your cholesterol, but it can also contribute to raising your HDL (Good) cholesterol. Most doctors recommend exercising at least 30 minutes a day even if you have to do it in intervals. It is important to stay motivated and not break from your routine. Joining an exercise group or finding a friend to exercise with can make it much more enjoyable and something that you look forward to each and every day. Try to find every opportunity throughout your day to add in at least a little physical activity.
Smoking is a bad habit that not only leads to an increase in cholesterol but also contributes to many other pressing health problems. Quitting may improve your HDL cholesterol level and also decrease your blood pressure levels. In addition, it lowers your risk for heart attack and after only one year of quitting your risk of heart disease is half that of a regular smoker.
Alcohol (Oh, Well…)
Lastly, drinking too much alcohol can lead to serious health problems such a high blood pressure, heart failure, and stroke. If you do not drink in moderation alcohol can have ill effects on your cholesterol levels as well. For healthy adults, it is recommended only to have one drink a day if you are 65 or older and only two drinks per day if you are below the age of 65.
Simply put, making these lifestyle changes can lead to a reduction in your cholesterol levels, and you may start to see results almost instantly. However, sometimes lifestyle changes are not enough and adding medications such as Lipipure may help to lower your cholesterol as you continue to make the appropriate changes to living a healthier lifestyle.