Cholesterol is found in every cell in the body and it is only because of that, the body is able to produce hormones, build cells and digest food. While it is good for the body, its high levels can also have adverse effects. One of the two types, LDL cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein, referred to as bad cholesterol, often ends up attaching itself to the walls of the blood vessels, which leads to higher chances of heart attacks.
However, a few simple lifestyle changes can help to lower the LDL cholesterol levels in our body.
Avoid any intake of saturated fats, found in red meat and full-fat dairy. One should also eliminate trans fats, which actually raises overall cholesterol levels. Instead, have foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, mackerel, herring, walnuts and flaxseeds. Also add soluble fiber in your diet along with whey protein.
Moderate physical activity raises the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol, and lowers the LDL cholesterol. Make sure to exercise for 30 minutes, five times a week or vigorous aerobic activity for 20 minutes, at least three times a week. If not that, take a brisk walk for 30 minutes.
If you completely quit smoking, it will improve your HDL cholesterol level. In fact, within 20 minutes of quitting, your body gets back to your original blood pressure and heart rate. And in a year of quitting, the risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker.
Shedding those extra pounds helps in raising the high cholesterol. Avoid drinking sugary beverages or eating fried/salty foods, and keep track of the calories each day. This will, in turn, reduce cholesterol levels.
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Only drinking alcohol in moderation will maintain higher levels of HDL cholesterol. For healthy adults, it is advised to take one or two drinks a day for men and women of all ages. Too much alcohol leads to other severe health problems too.
So go make these changes in your lifestyle and reduce those cholesterol levels.