10 Tips for Lowering Your Cholesterol
Take these diet and exercise tips to heart to watch your cholesterol levels drop.
Has your doctor mentioned lowering your cholesterol? Whether it’s something you’ve been struggling with for a while or if you’ve been recently diagnosed with high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia), this quick list can help you lower your levels through diet and exercise. Cholesterol can be a huge problem, especially if you have a family history or are prone to heart disease, clotting or a number of other conditions. Lowering your cholesterol can leave you happier and most of all, healthier.
- There are two kinds of cholesterol, LDL (bad) and HDL (good). Eating more good cholesterol than bad is a good way to start. Diet is half the battle, so why not start out with the right foot? Foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids, plant oils and soluble fibers are great sources of good cholesterol.
- Do you like seafood? Even if you don’t, you may want to develop a taste for it, as it’s both heart-healthy and a great source of good cholesterol.
- Balance what you eat. American portion sizes are massive compared to the rest of the world. It may be difficult at first, but your body with eventually adjust to smaller portions and will thank you for it. You may even lose a little weight in the process!
- Are you a snack-a-holic? Nuts are a great source of monosaturated fat which fights bad cholesterol. So a salty, nutty treat may indeed be just what the doctor ordered. Other sources of monosaturated fats are also recommended for both a healthy diet and lowering your LDL levels.
- Stick to unsaturated fats as well. They help lower bad cholesterol and may even raise your good cholesterol level. Saturated fats such as those in butter and palm oil, for example, are best used in moderation.
- Whole grain cereals, bread and granola are great ways to help with your cholesterol levels. White bread, for example, boosts your blood sugar levels and makes you feel hungrier sooner. Wheat bread doesn’t raise your blood sugar as quickly, leading to a feeling of fullness that lasts longer.
- You knew it was coming – exercise! Even just 30 minutes a day of physical activity such as walking or swimming can drastically improve your situation, as it helps clear your arteries that may become clogged by cholesterol.
- Break it up. You don’t even have to walk, jog, whatever your preference, for 30 minutes straight. Do it ten minutes at a time, for instance.
- Even physical activities such as gardening or dancing can help. If you don’t like the gym or find walks too boring, get out there and do something fun!
10. Don’t worry, be happy! Stress can increase the amount of cholesterol your body retains, so take a breather every once in a while.