While cholesterol is essential for building healthy cells in our body, it can also be dangerous to our health if the levels become too high. High cholesterol can put you at risk for heart disease as fatty deposits build up in blood vessels. To prevent or reduce high cholesterol, certain dietary and lifestyle changes are required.
- Saturated fats are one of the biggest culprits and should be avoided. They are found mainly in full fat dairy products and red meat.
- Trans fats are dangerous to one’s overall health and should be avoided if you have, or want to prevent high cholesterol. Trans fats are usually listed as partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and are in in many store bought baked goods.
- Check labels carefully when you purchase food items to ensure you are limiting your intake of saturated fats and trans fats
- Increasing your physical activity has been shown to reduce high cholesterol. It just takes about 30 minutes moderate exercise about 5 days a week.
- Fiber rich foods are essential to a healthy diet and soluble rich fiber found in beans, fruits and vegetables are especially beneficial for lowering high cholesterol.
- Include Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet which have overall health benefits and includes salmon, walnuts and flaxseed.
- If you are a smoker, your cholesterol will improve considerably if you quit, according to studies.
- You don’t have to give up drinking alcohol entirely, but moderation is the key to a healthier life.
High cholesterol should not be regarded as a death sentence as changing to a healthier lifestyle can make a difference. In some cases, however, your doctor may prescribe medication to help lower your cholesterol.
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Sources: Mayo Clinic, Medical News today, Healthline