Things you need to know
-Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is present in your bloodstream.
-Cholesterol is required by the body to build healthy the structure of cell membranes.
-High cholesterol can reduce blood flow, putting you at risk for a heart attack or stroke.
High cholesterol levels
High cholesterol has no visible indications, which is why it is crucial to get yourself checked. You can have high cholesterol and still be in good health, which means it is a silent killer, and we don’t realise it’s happening until it’s too late.
If your cholesterol is high, there are chances of fatty deposits in your blood vessels which eventually accumulate to the point where the blood flow is restricted in your arteries. Those deposits can sometimes rupture and form a clot/blockage, resulting in a heart attack or stroke.
Though there are times when high cholesterol is due to hereditary, but typically it is the result of poor lifestyle choices. You can maintain high cholesterol by consuming the right amount of nutritious diet and focusing on regular exercise.
What causes high cholesterol
Practices and factors that can have a negative impact on your cholesterol levels
- Poor eating habits
- Obesity or being overweight
- insufficient physical activity
- Consumption of too much alcohol
- Lack of physical activity
Though high cholesterol levels are more frequent in people above 40 years but due to unhealthy lifestyle changes, high cholesterol can be seen in the younger generation as well. The liver’s ability to eliminate LDL cholesterol decreases as you get older.
The right lifestyle changes can help manage high cholesterol levels
Eat foods that improve heart health
Avoid fried and processed foods that are rich in trans fats and concentrate more on consuming foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids can have many heart benefits, commonly found in nuts, seeds, and fish such as mackerel and salmon. One of the most significant things in lowering your blood cholesterol level is to eat a balanced diet.
Quitting smoking can lower LDL cholesterol and improve HDL cholesterol levels. People who have an unhealthy diet and also smoke can increase the risk of heart diseases more than others. Smoking can also increase other risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
If a person goes approximately three to four months without smoking, their blood circulation and functioning of the lungs start to improve and within a year of quitting, the risk to your heart is decreased by half. Nonsmokers should stay away from passive smoking also.
Make physical activity part of the process
To help manage your cholesterol level, it is important to increase your physical activity by exercising every day for at least 20 to 30 minutes or as suggested by the doctor. Adding physical activity to your daily routine can help lower cholesterol levels and raise the HDL cholesterol known as good cholesterol.
Get yourself tested
It is important to go more often for your tests and checkups as part of maintaining your overall health. It will help you keep a note of your cholesterol levels and allow your doctors to better assist you in lowering your cholesterol levels.
Lose a few extra pounds
Making small changes in your diet can help you lose that extra weight that contributes to the high cholesterol level in the blood. Switch to normal water or fresh juice instead of consuming sugary beverages. Monitor your calorie intake if you are consuming unhealthy foods also. Look for methods to add extra movement to your daily routine, like start taking the stairs instead of taking lifts and elevators or going for a short walk in your break time.
Limit the consumption of alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol can raise major health issues such as increased blood pressure and heart failure. Consuming alcohol in moderation can help to improve cholesterol levels.
Fruits, vegetables, foods full of plant-based protein, grains and foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids can help in reducing cholesterol levels.
Fruits that can help decrease cholesterol levels are apples, avocados, oranges, and bananas. Cholesterol is required by the body to produce hormones, vitamin D and helps in the structuring of healthy cells.
Feeling numbness, nausea, extreme fatigue, chest pain, high blood pressure, and shortness of breath are all symptoms of high cholesterol.