First and foremost, what exactly is cholesterol? It is a waxy, fat-like molecule that our bodies require for cell growth. Despite the fact that it frequently receives a negative rap (and too much can be dangerous). The truth is that without cholesterol, our bodies simply cannot operate.
Not all cholesterol is the same. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – or “bad cholesterol” and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) – is “good cholesterol”.
When your cholesterol readings are high, it usually means you have too much LDL and not enough HDL. There are things you can do right now to help lower your LDL and raise your HDL.
Read nutrition labels carefully to avoid trans fats
You’ve probably heard this advice numerous times. Because reading nutrition labels is one of the simplest things you can do to help regulate your diet.
Nutrition labels can help you understand which nutrients are good for you. Furthermore, they can assist you in avoiding trans fats, which are one of the worst elements for your cholesterol levels.
Check labels and avoid trans fats wherever possible. They are some of the worst offenders when it comes to elevated cholesterol. In addition, eliminating them from your diet can significantly influence well.
Select meats with lower saturated fats, such as fish or chicken
Many red types of meat include high quantities of saturated fat, which can boost LDL cholesterol levels. Choose skinless chicken or skinless turkey instead of processed meats for healthier choices. You might also try including more seafood in your diet.
Fish is low in saturated fat and high in omega-3 fatty acids. They are excellent for your heart and can increase your good HDL cholesterol levels.
Having said that, steak and hamburgers can be difficult to resist. When grilling, choose thinner cuts of meat. It’s fine to have some saturated fats in your diet. All you have to do is consume them in moderation.
Soluble fiber, found in foods such as oatmeal, apples, prunes, and beans, prevents your body from absorbing cholesterol. According to research, persons who ate 5 to 10 grams more of it each day showed a decrease in their LDL. Eating extra fiber fills you up, so you don’t crave snacks as much. However, eating too much fiber at once can produce gastrointestinal cramps or bloat. Increase your intake gradually.
“At least 2 1/2 hours of exercise each week is sufficient to enhance HDL and lower LDL and triglycerides,” says Sarah Samaan, MD, a cardiologist in Plano, TX. Start cautiously if you haven’t been active before; even with 10-minute bursts of an active body. Choose an activity that you enjoy. Also, having an exercise partner can help you stay on track.
Did you know that when you’re anxious, your cholesterol levels can skyrocket? Relax. Get lost in a good book, go for a coffee with a friend, or hit the yoga mat. It will aid in the control of your cholesterol.