Tips to Lower Your Cholesterol
To lower your cholesterol, you have two levers: dietetics and drug treatments.
As a first step, your doctor will provide you with dietary advice to reduce the ingestion of harmful fats.
If these tips do not work, drug treatments may reduce body fat absorption, reduce LDL cholesterol, increase HDL cholesterol, or have combined actions.
A rate of “bad” cholesterol too high often reflects an unhealthy lifestyle or unbalanced eating habits. Eating well or playing sports can undoubtedly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. But do you know how to lower your cholesterol? We give you 10 useful tips.
Also See: Benefits of maintaining a health weight
1. Reduce the Overall Fat Intake
The overall intake of fats for a person should not represent more than 30 to 35% of total calories (instead of 40 to 42% most often today). Indeed, fats, especially saturated fatty acids contribute to a rise in “bad” cholesterol. They are brought by:
- Fats of animal origin (meat, eggs, cheese, whole milk);
- Viennese pastries and pastries;
- Some industrialized products such as biscuits, ready meals, etc.
2. Choose Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Unsaturated fatty acids (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated) allows reduction of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (this is especially the case of polyunsaturated fatty acids) while preserving the “good” HDL cholesterol (thanks to monounsaturated fatty acids).
These unsaturated fatty acids are provided by:
- Vegetable oils (sunflower, maize and rapeseed oils are rich in polyunsaturates; olive and peanut oils contain mostly monounsaturates);
- Margarines obtained from these oils;
- Oleaginous nuts;
- Fatty fish from cold seas (which provide highly polyunsaturated fatty acids)
3. Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Choose fresh fruits and vegetables (seasonal, canned, or frozen if desired).
4. Stop Smoking, Moderate Alcohol Consumption
Stay away from smoking. Stop or limit intake of alcohol.
5. Play Sports
Exercise regularly. For example, you can do brisk walking, cycling, swimming, mild sports that require little investment.
6. Beware Of Salt
Remove the salt shaker at the table, as often as you can, and avoid regular consumption of foods rich in salt (cold cuts, cured meats).
7. Read the Labels Carefully
Labels provide valuable information about the type and amount of lipids (cholesterol is a lipid) found in foods sold in stores. By learning how to decipher them, it is possible to halve your daily consumption of lipids.
8. Monitor Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, such as hypercholesterolemia (higher than normal cholesterol levels), increases the risk of heart damage (heart attack and heart failure). Thus, it is important to regularly monitor your blood pressure so as not to aggravate the risk factors.
9. Set a “Target Value”
It is important to carry out regular lipid tests in order to know your cholesterol level. You can talk about the results with your doctor, and he can set a goal on cholesterol to achieve: the target value.
10. Vary Your Diet
It is essential to have a varied diet. For example, you can eat every day:
- Potatoes or pasta, rice or pulses;
- Raw and cooked green vegetables;
- Milk and yogurt and lean cheese;
- Meat or poultry or fish;
- Raw fruits
A healthy diet low in fat almost always results in lower cholesterol levels. If healthy eating, physical activity, and other changes have had no effect after six months, your family doctor may want to prescribe medication to lower your cholesterol level. It is a treatment for life; it must be considered only if good habits have not worked.
Lowering your cholesterol levels by eating healthy, low-fat foods is easier than you think. It is a matter of common sense and willingness to improve one’s health. You do not have to stop eating your favorite foods, but maybe eat less often or replace them with healthier choices.
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