Your likelihood of getting heart disease and having a heart attack rises with high cholesterol. By taking the correct medication and altering your lifestyle, you can lower your cholesterol. Change your lifestyle by starting with these five healthier options to lower your cholesterol.
If you already use medication, making these changes may help you lower your cholesterol more effectively.
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What is high cholesterol?
You have high cholesterol when there is an excessive amount of fatty molecules known as cholesterol in your blood. It is mainly triggered by eating fatty foods, skipping workouts, being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol. Additionally, it may run in families. By eating a balanced diet and exercising more, you can reduce your cholesterol. Some individuals also need medicine.
Too much cholesterol might cause blockages in your blood vessels. It makes you more likely to experience a stroke or have heart problems. There are no signs of elevated cholesterol. You can only find out if you have it by a blood test.
When should you get your cholesterol levels checked?
If you are 20 years of age or older, experts advise having your cholesterol levels checked at least once every four to six years. In the event that you have a history of high cholesterol or other cardiovascular risk factors, your doctor might advise more frequent cholesterol testing.
A lipid panel is a test that your doctor can use to determine your overall levels of LDL, HDL, and triglycerides. The overall amount of cholesterol in your body is represented by the total cholesterol level in your blood. LDL and HDL are the two forms of cholesterol that are present.
If your total or LDL cholesterol readings are high, your doctor might make the diagnosis of high cholesterol. When the levels of your LDL and HDL are out of balance, elevated cholesterol can be dangerous.
Tips for lowering cholesterol through healthy eating
Heart health benefits come from consuming more plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Include beans (such as haricot beans, kidney beans, baked beans, and bean mixes) and legumes (or pulses such as chickpeas, lentils, and split peas) in at least two meals per week. Look at food labels and select items with the least salt or sodium.
In tacos, beans are a wonderful substitute for meat. You may also consume hummus and vegetable sticks as a snack. Legumes can also be included in stews, curries, soups, and pasta sauces. In stir-fries or curries, use tofu or lentils for the meat.
Pick wholegrain pasta, rice, bread, cereals, and noodles.
Fresh fruit and plain, unsalted nuts make a tasty snack (ideally two serves of fruit every day).
Instead of using spreads created with saturated fat, switch to avocado, nut butter, tahini, or spreads prepared with healthy unsaturated fats (such as canola, sunflower, or extra virgin olive oil) (such as butter, coconut oil, and cream).
Cook with healthy oils, such as canola, sunflower, soybean, extra virgin olive, sesame, and peanut oils.
Pick cheese, yogurt, and milk that are flavorless. Choose low-fat products if you have high cholesterol or heart disease. Make sure there is no added sugar by reading the labels. You can also drink non-dairy milk and yogurts; just make sure they have calcium added and no added sugar.
Limit or stay away from processed meats like deli meats and sausages (such as ham, bacon, and salami).