By making small changes to your lifestyle and eating habits, you can see a reduction in your cholesterol levels. So if you’re looking for ways to keep your heart healthy and lower your cholesterol, read on to learn more about these methods.
It’s important to pay attention to what you eat when trying to lower your cholesterol, as the foods you consume may be unknowingly harmful to your cholesterol. From fiber to different types of fats, here’s what to avoid and what to include more in your diet:
Increase dietary fiber
Increasing dietary fiber can help lower the intensity of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels without lowering HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels, something other dietary modifications cannot do. Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, whole grains and nuts.
Avoid trans fats
Trans fats are especially harmful because they raise LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol levels. These fats are usually found in processed or fried foods.
Reduce saturated fats
Saturated fats, which are found in red meat and dairy products, should also be limited if you want to lower your cholesterol levels. Replacing these foods with unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, avocados, and fish, is an excellent way to keep your cholesterol in check.
Exercise is an important part of any health regimen and is especially important when seeking to lower cholesterol. But where exactly should you start? Here are 3 recommended types of exercise that can get you started:
Cardiovascular exercise, such as walking, running, or swimming, can help raise your HDL cholesterol levels while lowering the intensity of LDL cholesterol levels. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day to optimize your heart health.
Adding strength-training exercises to your routine can also help lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol by increasing muscle mass and improving overall fitness.
Increasing flexibility exercises can help reduce stress and improve circulation. This can also result in improved cardiovascular health and reduced LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels.
Before trying any supplement, it is best to seek advice from a medical professional. Here are a few that can help lower your cholesterol levels:
Plant sterols and mastic gum
These are naturally occurring fatty acids found in plants that have been shown to effectively lower LDL cholesterol levels without affecting HDL cholesterol levels when taken regularly. Mastic gum comes from the mastic tree and appears to do the same.
Omega-3 fatty acids
This supplement has been shown to reduce inflammation, which over time can lead to improved cardiovascular health and reduced LDL cholesterol levels when taken regularly as a supplement or eaten as part of a healthy diet. You can easily find omega-3s in fish like salmon or sardines.
Niacin (Vitamin B-3)
Niacin is a vitamin that can be effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels over time when taken regularly as a supplement in conjunction with exercise and sensible diets.
Smoking has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease due to its effect on circulation. It can also raise your “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and decrease “good” HDL cholesterol levels.
Heart disease and blood flow
Quitting smoking reduces the risk of heart disease by reducing inflammation in the circulatory system. Quitting can also improve blood flow throughout the body, which helps improve oxygen delivery; this helps make it easier for your body to process fats more efficiently.
Stress has been linked to numerous health problems, including an increased risk of heart disease. Therefore, reducing stress should be an essential part of any program designed to control one’s cholesterol.
Meditation has been known for centuries as a method of reducing stress by helping people become more aware of their thoughts and feelings. This makes it an excellent extra boost to anyone’s overall health regimen.
High cholesterol can have serious long-term health consequences, so it’s important to take steps to control your levels. There are plenty of ways to do this, from diet and exercise to supplements and stress reduction. By making small changes to your lifestyle and eating habits, you can see a reduction in your cholesterol levels. So if you’re looking for ways to keep your heart healthy and lower your cholesterol, you’ll want to give these five methods a try.