One of the first things a doctor will suggest to help lower your cholesterol is to make lifestyle changes. However, even if a treatment such as a statin is suggested, you'll also be encouraged to change the factors in your lifestyle that could be having an influence on your cholesterol levels. Following a healthy lifestyle while on cholesterol-lowering medication has also been proven to enhance their effects.
Making healthier food choices is incredibly important when managing cholesterol, as it's more than likely the reason behind your high cholesterol. Ways to make healthier food choices would be to choose healthier types of fats, which means that you should try and eliminate trans fats from your diet, eat more grains and make sure that you eat enough fruit and vegetables.
30 minutes of moderate exercise a day is recommended as the minimum for you to be healthy. It's believed that doing regular exercise can stimulate 'good cholesterol' in your body.
Losing just a small amount of weight can make a significant difference to LDL levels in your blood. This doesn't mean that you have to start an extensive weight loss regime, but you might want to evaluate your current eating habits and try and make healthier choices, as in this way you'll be likely to achieve more sustainable weight loss. You'd be surprised at what a big difference just a few changes in eating habits can make.
For example, if you find that you tend to eat when situations are stressful you could substitute eating with something else, such as a walk. You might want to start packing healthy lunches and reviewing the amount of calories you consume during your day. It's not always advised to calorie count, but cutting down on portion sizes and choosing healthy snacks all contribute to keeping the amount of calories you consume to a healthy level.
Cut down on your alcohol consumption and smoking
Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to high cholesterol as well as cardiovascular disease. Alcohol can also cause weight gain, which is one of the risk factors of high cholesterol. There is some research that suggests that alcohol intake in moderation can improve levels of good cholesterol, however consuming too much alcohol can increase the level of triglycerides in the blood, which along with LDL can be harmful to your health.
Smoking isn't just bad for your lungs but also for your overall health. It's known to influence blood pressure and increase a person's risk of having a heart attack. In just a few minutes after quitting your blood pressure will decrease and within one year your risk of a heart attack will have decreased by half. Quitting smoking will also improve HDL levels and will ultimately have an impact on levels of 'bad cholesterol' in the blood.
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