One of the leading causes of heart disease in the United States is high cholesterol, only just behind stroke. The major cause of both of these conditions is blocked arteries which lead to the brain or the heart. In most cases the blocking of these arteries is caused by a build up of plaque which, in turn, is caused by high cholesterol.
Good and Bad Cholesterol
There are two types of cholesterol and only one of them is harmful. LDL (low-density lipoproteins) are the culprits which leaves fat on the artery walls, while HDL (high density lipoproteins) go direct to the liver where it is excreted. The problem with cholesterol is that it leaves no clues that it is there until there is a problem. People often don’t realise they have high levels of bad cholesterol until they show symptoms of a health problem which is a result. Cholesterol is a manageable problem and, even if you have been diagnosed with high levels, you are able to lower the amount with life style changes and diet.
The first thing you need to do is to get a test performed so that you are informed of what your actual cholesterol number is. This will help you to manage the problem and devise a plan for lowering the effects. The test can be conducted by your doctor and is non invasive and simple. After you receive your results you can sit with your doctor and talk about what your next step should be and what kind of change you need to make to get your number into the optimal range.
Lower Your Bad Fat Intake – As with cholesterol there are bad fats and good fats. The fats that you want to avoid are the saturated, trans fats. These are obtained from animals and whole milk dairy items. These fats are the ones that will increase your LDL cholesterol levels. Fats that are acquired from plants and vegetable oils are okay and can be eaten as they will not increase your LDL levels.
Increase Your Fibre Intake – Mostly present in plants, fiber are carbohydrates which the body cannot digest. Studies show that increasing the intake of fibre can lower risk of coronary problems. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, both of which are said to be beneficial. Soluble fibers are said to help lower LDL more effectively and can lower the cholesterol build up in the body.
Increase Exercise – Over time, exercise has continually proven to be beneficial to the body in numerous different ways. By increasing your exercise regime and doing more activity on a regular basis you will be able to help reduce your cholesterol and decrease your risk of health problems in the future. They say that simply doing 30 minutes of exercise ever day can reduce your LDL down to 5%.
High cholesterol is not an alarming problem and can be kept under control with dietary changes and regular exercise. By changing these small elements of your lifestyle you will find that you are able to reduce your risk of high cholesterol and further health conditions from which it may arise.