Women health

Top 5 cholesterol-lowering lifestyle adjustments

Changes in your lifestyle can help you lower your cholesterol and increase the effectiveness of cholesterol-lowering drugs.

High cholesterol raises your chances of developing heart disease and having a heart attack. Medications can assist you in lowering your cholesterol. If you'd prefer to make lifestyle changes to lower your cholesterol first, try these five suggestions.

If you already take drugs to decrease cholesterol, these changes may help them work better.

1. Eat foods that are good for your heart

You can lower your cholesterol and enhance your heart health by making a few dietary modifications.

Reduce your intake of saturated fats

 Total cholesterol is raised by saturated fats, which are found predominantly in red meat and full-fat dairy products. Saturated fat consumption should be reduced to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, or "bad" cholesterol.

Tran’s fats should be avoided at all costs

Tran’s fats are commonly found in kinds of margarine, store-bought cookies, crackers, and cakes, and are occasionally stated on food labels as "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil." Tran’s fats boost cholesterol levels in the body as a whole. The use of partly hydrogenated vegetable oils has been banned by the Food and Drug Administration until January 1, 2021.

Consume omega-3 fatty acid-rich meals

LDL cholesterol is unaffected by omega-3 fatty acids. They do, however, have other heart-healthy benefits, such as lowering blood pressure. Salmon, mackerel, herring, walnuts, and flaxseeds are all high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Increase your intake of soluble fiber

Soluble fiber can help to lower cholesterol absorption into the bloodstream. Oatmeal, kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, apples, and pears are all high in soluble fiber.

Whey protein should be added

Many of the health advantages attributed to dairy products may be due to, whey protein, which is found in dairy products. Whey protein, when taken as a supplement, has been demonstrated to lower LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and blood pressure.

2. Increase your physical activity by exercising most days of the week

Exercise can help lower cholesterol levels. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, also known as "good" cholesterol, can be raised with moderate physical exercise. Work up to 30 minutes of exercise five times a week, or 20 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity three times a week, with your doctor's approval.

Adding physical activity to your daily routine, even if it's only for a few minutes at a time can help you lose weight. Consider:

  1. Taking a vigorous stroll during your lunch hour every day
  2. Getting to work on your bike
  3. Participating in a preferred sport
  4. Consider finding an exercise buddy or joining an exercise club to stay motivated.

3. Give up smoking

Smoking cessation raises HDL cholesterol levels. The advantages appear quickly:

  1. Your blood pressure and heart rate recover from the cigarette-induced surge within 20 minutes after quitting.
  2. Your blood circulation and lung function start to improve three months after you quit smoking.
  3. Your risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker within a year after quitting.

4. You should lose weight

Carrying even a few extra pounds raises cholesterol levels. Small adjustments add up. Switch to tap water if you consume sugary beverages. Snack on air-popped popcorn or pretzels, but monitor your calorie intake. If you're craving something sweet, consider sherbet or low-fat candies like jelly beans.

Look for methods to add extra movement to your daily routine, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking further away from your workplace. During your work breaks, go for a walk. Increasing standing activities, such as cooking or yard work, is a good idea.

5. Consume alcohol in moderation

Moderate alcohol consumption has been associated to better HDL cholesterol levels, but the evidence isn't strong enough to suggest alcohol to anyone who doesn't already consume it.

Consume alcohol in moderation if you choose to do so. For healthy individuals, it means no more than one drink per day for women of all ages and men over 65, and no more than two drinks per day for males 65 and younger.

Drinking too much alcohol can cause major health issues such as high blood pressure, heart failure, and strokes.

If a change in lifestyle isn't enough

When it comes to lowering cholesterol levels, healthy lifestyle modifications aren't always enough. If your doctor prescribes medicine to help you lower your cholesterol, follow the directions carefully while continuing to make healthy lifestyle changes. Changes in your lifestyle can help you keep your medication dose low.


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