Cholesterol levels have been on the rise because of fast food and other packaged foods that deliver little to no incentive for maintaining cholesterol levels. But as such, cholesterol is vital in the functioning of the body as it keeps the cell walls flexible.
Although medication is one way you can lower cholesterol levels, the best way is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In this article, we’ll go through a few through which you can reduce cholesterol levels in your body.
By changing your diet, you can lower cholesterol while also improving heart health. Foods that are rich in saturated fats, red meat for example, and Trans fat, such as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, raise cholesterol and hence, lowering the intake of foods such as this would result in the reduction of LDL cholesterol, or the bad cholesterol. Accordingly, it is essential to eat foods that are rich in soluble fibre as it helps in the reduction of absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream.
Many recommend a low-fat diet in order to lose weight, and although this reduced the levels of LDL cholesterol, it also decreased the highly needed HDL or the good cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. That is why it is essential to instead be on a monounsaturated diet which protects the loss of HDL cholesterol and reduces LDL. Oxidation of lipoproteins, one of the key components that cause the clogging of arteries, is reduced when foods that are rich in monounsaturated fats are taken. Avocados, olives, almonds, olive oil and cashews are some examples of monounsaturated fat-rich sources.
Having a regular workout not only helps you stay in shape, but exercising also increases HDL while also decreasing LDL levels. A study involving 20 overweight women and a regime that combined both aerobic and resistance exercise found a significant reduction in LDL levels after just 12 weeks.
The exercises need not be intense as walking also increases HDL. But it helps significantly if you there are intense workout sessions as these increase the benefits. Resistance exercises are known to decrease the LDL levels even if they aren’t done severely as increasing each set increases the benefit.
Smoking changes the way the body handles cholesterol as the tar found in cigarettes can prevent the transportation of cholesterol from the walls of the vessels to the blood by the immune cells.
Due to this inability, the immune cells cause the arteries to be clogged faster. It must also be noted that the HDL levels are low while LDL levels are high among smokers.