Cholesterol is a prevalent issue, not only among the elderly but also among the young. Suffering from high cholesterol increases your risk of fatty deposit build-up in the blood vessels. This factor increases your risk of heart attack or stroke. Your body needs a certain amount of cholesterol for proper function. However, trouble arises when your body has too much of it. So, what do you do? Here are 5 ways of lowering your cholesterol to ensure a healthy you.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance (sort of waxy) produced by the liver, in the correct amounts required by the body. Cholesterol can also be found in the foods you eat. Cholesterol is a necessary substance to produce vitamin D and other hormones, build cell walls, and for the creation of bile salts that help with the digestion of foods. As the liver produces the right amounts of cholesterol, the excessive amounts you find in a blood test are all that you gain from foods and other factors. Cholesterol is divided into two. These are low-density lipoproteins – also known as “bad” cholesterol – and high-density lipoproteins – known as “good” cholesterol. If you are wondering how to find the levels of good and bad cholesterol that is in your body, a simple blood test will provide you with the results. It should usually be taken after a prescribed period of fasting. Normal levels of cholesterol should be less than 150. You are considered borderline high if your cholesterol levels are between 150 and 199. A reading of cholesterol over 200 to 499 is considered high while anything over 500 is considered extremely high and requires immediate medical attention.
How to Lower Cholesterol
It is not easy keeping your cholesterol at normal levels. However, there are many ways in which you can do so. Here are five.
Control your diet –This means consuming food low in fat and cholesterol. For example, if you are drinking full-cream milk, consider switching to low-fat milk. Select foods with low saturated fat content. Avoid re-using oil used to fry things as this increases cholesterol levels. Furthermore, reduce your consumption of fatty and fried foods. Eat more high-fiber foods and foods rich in antioxidants.
Stop drinking and smoking –These two methods are sure ways of building cholesterol in the bloodstream. Smoking also increases your risk of cancer, emphysema, and lung diseases. Alcohol also leads to various health problems including high blood pressure and heart failure.
Exercise Regularly – This is something many active adults do. Exercise keeps the heart healthy by opening the arteries and releasing the blocks. You should consider exercising at least three or four days a week for half an hour. There are so many benefits of exercise that you really should try it and see the results.
Lose Weight – Being overweight significantly reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke. Weight loss encourages the prevention of cholesterol build-up. The only method of losing weight to avoid high cholesterol problems is through a proper diet and exercise.
Get the Proper Number of Hours of Sleep – Your sleep habits do affect your cholesterol levels. The fewer hours you sleep, the more chances of lipid buildup. The reason for this is unclear. However, studies have shown that people who sleep less do have more cholesterol in their blood.
If you suffer from high cholesterol levels or wish to prevent the buildup of high cholesterol, you can consider the above five points. With a little effort and perseverance, you can be assured of low cholesterol results at your next blood test.
This article is courtesy of ActiveAdultLiving.com. This is a website of more than 8,500 active adult communities where you are assured of an active, healthy life with friendly neighbors.
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