With so many ads warning us against unhealthy life choices and so many foods specifically targeting people with high cholesterol, it’s time we finally talked about it.
Most people have a limited view of what cholesterol actually is. Cholesterol is waxy, fat-like substance that occurs in the body naturally. There are 2 types of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol).Despite what you might think, not all cholesterol is bad. It is required to produce certain hormones, bile acids, vitamin D as well as maintain the structure of the cell walls.
An undesirable increase in the LDL levels indicated high cholesterol. It can be genetic or caused by obesity, PCOS, diabetes, pregnancy, etc. Poor diet habits and lack of exercise also increase your risk of high cholesterol. Due to the high cholesterol, it becomes harder for blood to flow through the arteries leading to blood clots, strokes, heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.
Unfortunately, despite all its ill effects, there are no symptoms related to high cholesterol. So in order to be on the safe side and live healthily, we have compiled a list of things you can do keep bad cholesterol at bay and be your healthiest self.
Avoid Trans fat
Trans fat lowers your good cholesterol levels and increases the level of bad cholesterol. It makes to you susceptible to strokes and other heart-related diseases. Avoiding or limiting foods rich in trans-fat (cookies, cakes, doughnuts, chips, etc) might be the way to go if you have high cholesterol.
Exercising and staying physically active has been proven to increase the level of good cholesterol in your body. In addition to that, there are many other benefits like more stamina, muscle tone, better sleep, etc. It is the secret to living a healthy life.
If you are overweight or live a sedentary lifestyle, it might just be the reason for your high cholesterol. Try losing weight (safely, of course!) and try to maintain a healthy weight to reduce the risk of cholesterol-related diseases.
Omega 3 fats
I know, I just said to cut down on fats but the fact is, you should cut out “bad” fat. Omega 3 fatty oils are proven to reduce the risk of heart diseases and strokes. It even lowers high cholesterol and high blood pressure, though the drop isn’t that significant.
High fiber foods
Foods such as oatmeal, kidney beans, apples, pears, etc are rich in soluble fiber which lowers the level of bad cholesterol. Soluble fiber lowers the absorption of cholesterol into the blood which reduces blockage of arteries and reduces your chances of a stroke. Having oats for breakfast at least thrice a week has been proven to lower the cholesterol levels over a period of time.
Another thing to add to vices of smoking is that it lowers the level of good cholesterol in the body. So it would be a good call to refrain from smoking altogether for a healthier life.
Go for tea
Green tea or black tea lowers your bad cholesterol levels while leaving the good cholesterol unaffected. Of course, for an immediate effect, you’d need to down a huge amount but sticking to 2-3 cups a day might have significant benefits over a period of time.
While all the above factors might help in lowering your risk of getting high cholesterol, the actual state of your health is in your hands. Go for regular blood sugar checkups, get enough sleep and drink enough water—overall trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle has benefits beyond preventing certain ailments.
Stay healthy, Stay happy!