Fast and Easy Steps to Lower Your Cholesterol
Oh, your doctor has finally told you that you need to lower your cholesterol?
It was going to happen eventually, with your medical history (not to mention all that fast food that you eat on a regular basis), so it probably wasn’t as much of a shock as you thought it would be.
Lowering you cholesterol is essential for reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke, and numerous medications are available that can help you bring those numbers back down to a manageable scale. However, if you really want to do your heart a favor, then you might want to consider making a few changes in your lifestyle.
Don’t worry. They’re easy to do.
By following these fast and simple tricks for better heart health, you’ll not only keep your cholesterol levels in check but you can have the satisfaction of finally living just a little bit healthier this year.
Lifelong tips to Lower your Cholesterol
1 . Know Your Fats: Cutting excess fats from your diet is one of the first steps for lowering your cholesterol. However, did you know that certain fats can help lower it even further? There are two main types of cholesterol: HDL (the good) and LDL (the bad). Good fats such as Monosaturated Fats (found in nuts, avocadoes and olive oil) and Polysaturated fats (found in corn oil and pumpkin seeds) can raise your HDL levels of cholesterol while lowering your LDL levels.
2. Cut Back on Calories: Super-sized meals and excessive portions are the number one reasons for obesity in the United States. More often than not we find ourselves experiencing the old adage “his eyes are too big for his stomach,” and we reach for portions that are much larger than we can use or even burn off during exercise. Keeping your portions under control is one of the easiest ways to lower your cholesterol.
Tip: For a “hands on” approach, use your hands as units of measurement. According to WebMD, one serving of meat should fit in the palm of your hand. One serving of fresh fruit should be about the size of your fist. And a serving of vegetables should fit in your cupped hand. Although they might not look like much, these portion sizes can help you see how much food you really need rather than how much you want
3. Benefit with Beans: You may be a “meat and potatoes” kind of person, but beans make for an excellent substitute for protein and starch. Beans are rich in fiber, helping you to feel full for longer periods of time, as well as high in protein, which can help boost muscle growth for a better metabolism.
4. Move it and Lose it: If you work a 9 to 5 desk job, where all you do all day is sit and stare at a computer screen, then your sedentary lifestyle may be contributing to your high levels of cholesterol.
Finding time and energy to exercise and lose weight may seem difficult at first, but the more you move and lose, the more you’ll reduce your risk for heart disease. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day (and it can be accumulative) can create a significant impact on your overall heart health.
5. Find Time to Unwind: Does traffic get your blood boiling? Are you too impatient to wait in line at the grocery store? Is anxiety about your upcoming presentation keeping you up at night? Studies have shown that the more you stress, the higher your blood pressure will rise on a regular basis, which in turn increases your risk of suffering a heart attack.
Although you may feel too busy to find a few extra moments to breathe, remember to take for yourself throughout the day. Take a nap. Exercise. Read a book. The more you can relax and unwind, the better you’ll feel and the better off you’ll be in the long run.
By making a conscious effort to improve your lifestyle and lower your cholesterol, you’ll not only reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke but you’ll also look and feel better about yourself overall. Managing your cholesterol may feel like a seemingly impossible task, but by following these simple and fast tips while listening to your doctor’s recommendations, you can keep your heart going strong for years to come.