According to Bharat Bhise, high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol are bad for your body since they can result in clogged arteries, kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke. However, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is good for the body since they carry away the cholesterol from the blood vessel walls.
Tips & Tricks
Now, you can rely on medications to lower your cholesterol levels, but it is also important to make healthy lifestyle choices to get the most benefits. Here are a few tips you can follow to lower your cholesterol:
- Consume heart-healthy foods – It is recommended you avoid consuming saturated fats found in full-fat dairy products and red meat to reduce LDL cholesterol. Instead, you should consume food rich in monounsaturated fats which can decrease LDL levels and increase HDL levels and contribute to your heart health. Sources of monounsaturated fats include avocados, olive oil, canola oil, nut butters, pecans, cashews, and more.
Additionally, it is recommended you consume polyunsaturated fats such as omega-3 fatty acids which are found in fishes such as salmon, shellfish, mackerel, tuna, and more.
You can reduce the absorption of LDL cholesterol in your bloodstream by consuming soluble fiber. Sources of soluble fiber include fruits, oat cereals, flaxseeds, beans, lentils, fiber supplements such as psyllium, and more.
- Quit smoking – Cigarettes contain toxic compounds such as acrolein which impair the function of the HDL. As a result, smoking cigarettes changes how your body handles cholesterol and increases the risk of heart diseases. As a result, it can lead to the development of clogged arteries in smokers much faster.
Quitting smoking can improve blood circulation and lung function within three months and the risk of heart disease is reduced to half after a year of not smoking.
- Improve your fitness levels by exercising – Moderate physical activity for at least 150 minutes a week is a natural way to lower LDL levels and improve HDL levels. In fact, the longer you work out, the better. For the best results, it is recommended you perform a vigorous aerobic activity for at least 20 minutes three times a week.
You can also include resistance training and your favorite sports in the training. The best part is that exercising regularly can also help you to lose weight which also contributes to lowering LDL levels.
- Minimize the consumption of alcohol – Alcohol can improve HDL levels when consumed in moderation. Still, there is a great debate on the benefits of consuming alcohol since it can introduce a plethora of harmful side effects when its consumption is not controlled. Thus, it is recommended you limit alcohol consumption to up to 2 drinks per day.
Bharat Bhise suggests you avoid consuming food products that contain trans fats or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil since these increase the total LDL cholesterol and decrease HDL levels. Foods that include trans-fat include fried fast foods, margarine, pastries, baked goods, store-bought cookies, and more. You can also consume supplements such as fish oil, psyllium, and coenzyme Q10 to manage high cholesterol levels.