If you have high cholesterol, it can cause a plaque buildup within your artery walls–which, is called atherosclerosis. Then, you have a higher chance of getting any of these diseases such as:
- Peripheral arterial disease
- Coronary artery disease
- Transient ischemic attack
- Heart attack
Even if you survive, any of these diseases can cause permanent damage. To illustrate, atherosclerosis can narrow and harden your arteries–which, limit the much-needed blood flow to your heart and brain, especially during physical activity.
So, we’ve curated a list of ways to lower your cholesterol.
There are times when medication is the most useful antidote to managing high cholesterol levels, especially when prescribed by your physician. This isn’t anything to worry about, just ensure you understand any side effects.
A popular cholesterol reducing drug is Zetia. This is prescribed when patients can’t tolerate statins. Zetia is safe, and it works.
Increase Your Physical Activity
Increasing your activity even by 10 minutes per day can help you lose weight and feel better. Moderate exercise raises HDL cholesterol, which is considered the “good” cholesterol. With your doctor’s approval, try to get 30 minutes of exercise at least five or six days per week.
You don’t have to start with a boot camp–you can start by walking, riding a bike, swimming or playing your favorite sport. To keep from losing interest, find a workout buddy. There are no rules with exercise, you are not trying to win a bodybuilding competition here.
You just want to lower your cholesterol. Do whatever exercise you enjoy.
Stop Eating Trans Fats
Trans fats increase the bad cholesterol and lowers the good cholesterol. This can then increase your risk of getting a heart attack. Trans fats can be found in some fried foods, snack cakes, cookies and a lot of junk foods.
Even small amounts can add up if you eat these types of foods regularly. Stick to healthy oils instead. If you love potato chips, try baked sweet potato chips sprinkled with sea salt.
Start Losing Weight
Even weighing a few extra pounds over your ideal weight can contribute to high cholesterol. Losing five percent of your weight can improve that number.
Think of why you haven’t lost weight. What is preventing you from shedding a few pounds? Is it your work schedule?
Are you too tired? Do you feel like giving up every time you pass your favorite donut shop?
Many of us eat when we’re stressed–this is not uncommon. But, small changes can add up.
Instead of eating food to ail your emotions, go for a walk. Choose healthier snacks such as bite-sized vegetables and air-popped popcorn. Try not to eat when watching TV.
If you go to the movie theater, skip the greasy butter on the popcorn. Eliminate sodas. Try to cut down on caffeine, as it can increase your cravings for sugar.
And, as you increase your activity levels, you will naturally have more energy and feel less attached to food.
You know that having high cholesterol levels can be deadly. So, get started on the tips above for a healthier you.