It is very important to keep cholesterol at an optimal level to benefit from a healthy life. In case of high cholesterol levels after a medical exam translates into hyperchloesterolemia, that will require a total lifestyle change, introduction of certain dietaty measures in order to reduce the elevated cholesterol levels for a healthy heart.
Good and bad cholesterol – the human body needs only a small quantity of cholesterol to function properly, but can accumulate too much saturated fat and cholesterol from unhealthy diets of, thus increasing bad cholesterol (LDL). Elevated levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) can lead to the formation of atheromatous plaques in arteries, which in turn lead to heart disease. To reduce bad cholesterol (LDL), good (HDL) cholesterol is necessary and that helps eliminate bad cholesterol (LDL), but mainly lifestyle must be changed and a proper diet adopted.
Portion control – it’s hard to imagine what does a serving of meat or fish means, which will not affect cholesterol. We can achieve this by measuring using our own hand, meaning a healthy serving of meat is not larger than a palm. Also serving fresh fruit or a serving of steamed vegetables, rice and pasta should not exceed the size of a fist.
Fruits and vegetables for a healthy heart – antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables that are consumed help lower bad cholesterol (LDL), and foods fortified with plant sterols lowers blood pressure which also helps lower bad cholesterol (LDL).
Healthy fatty acids. Fish is low in saturated fat but rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help maintain a healthy heart. Omega 3 fatty acids help lower triglycerides, a type of fat found in blood, but fatty acids can help lower cholesterol and slow down plaque development in arteries.
Whole grains – oatmeal and whole grains provide a necessary caloric intake for the whole day, they also cam help reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and weight loss.
Nuts – a handful of nuts is a delicious dessert, which help lower LDL cholesterol. Walnuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, which reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) while leaving HDL (good) intact.
Unsaturated fats protect the heart – unsaturated fats like those found in olive oil, help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) cholesterol and help increase the good (HDL).
More beans, less potatoes – we need energy from carbohydrates and whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta and beans, increase sugar levels less and have more fiber, lowering bad cholesterol.
Physical activity – even 30 minutes of physical activity per day for five days can help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL). It also helps maintain a healthy ideal weight, reducing the chances of developing clogged arteries. Aerobic or cardiovascular exercise such as walking decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Eliminate stress – chronic stress can increase blood pressure, adding the risk of atherosclerosis that occurs when cholesterol plaque builds up in the arteries. So stress should be reduced as much as possible through various methods of relaxation.
Weight loss – weight loss is one of the best things you can do in the fight against cardiovascular disorders. Obesity increases the risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, which affects the arteries making them more likely to collect atheromatous plaques.
Keep in mind that managing cholesterol is a lifelong process, so it is very important to communicate with your doctor and follow his advice.