What Lifestyle Changes Have the Most Impact on Blood Cholesterol Improvement?
Cholesterol is a waxy fat-like substance containing lipoproteins that is not only present in many foods but is also manufactured by the liver. While cholesterol is important for many aspects of our health, including neurological and brain development, low-density cholesterol can cause the formation of plaque that clogs the arteries and results in many different types of heart disease. By making changes to the lifestyle, the cholesterol level in the blood can be controlled and also improve the efficacy of medications for heart health. Some of the most high-impact lifestyle changes that you can make to reduce the level of blood cholesterol:
Adopt a Diet That Is Heart-Healthy
Reduce your consumption of full-fat dairy products and red meat, which are very rich in saturated fats that elevate your cholesterol level. Try to eliminate trans fats from your diet; they are typically found in margarine and store-bought bakery items like cakes, cookies, and crackers containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Try to increase your consumption of foods containing omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, herring, mackerel, flaxseeds, and walnuts that not only improve cholesterol levels but also reduce blood pressure. Also, make a conscious attempt to increase the amount of soluble fiber in your diet as they prevent cholesterol absorption into the bloodstream. Foods like oatmeal, Brussels sprouts, kidney beans, pears, apples, etc. are rich in soluble fiber.
Exercise Regularly and Be More Active
It is established that indulging in moderate physical activity can help to raise the HDL or “good cholesterol”. Working out for half an hour every day for at least five days in a week can help significantly, however, do consult your doctor before starting the exercise regimen. Additionally, walking briskly instead of taking the car out for short errands, playing a sport, or joining an exercise group can help to reduce the cholesterol level and reduce body weight.
Quitting smoking has both the most immediate as well as the most enduring effect on cholesterol management and cardiac health. You can recover from the spike induced by smoking within 20 minutes after stopping smoking and a marked improvement in your lung function and blood pressure within three months. In just a year, you would have managed to reduce your risk of heart disease by half. A lipid profile test that uses laboratory biochemicals will definitely establish the reduction of the cholesterol levels.
Obesity is a major contributing factor behind high levels of cholesterol. It can be easier to lose weight than you think by making small changes to your lifestyle, for example, stop drinking sodas and beverages with added sugar, stop gorging on deep-fried snacks, and switch to baked pretzels or air-popped popcorn. Reduce your portion sizes and go slow on butter, bread spreads, oily food, and red meat. Exercise regularly and increase your activity level. Limit your alcohol consumption.
A combination of the lifestyle changes can be sufficient for you to lose weight, improve your blood circulation and lung function, and significantly reduce your blood cholesterol level. Continue with your prescription drugs as usual until your doctor advises you to reduce the dosage.