Contrary to popular belief, cholesterol is an essential fat in your body, and is actually produced in the liver. Some of its functions include assisting the body in the production of bile acids, and vitamin D. Besides being vital in cell formation, it is also crucial for the production of essential hormones like estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, and progesterone. However, excessive cholesterol can have detrimental effects on your health.
Remember, cholesterol is insoluble and since it is transported around the body by lipoproteins, it affects the body depending on the type of lipoprotein. For instance, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) causes the formation of cholesterol deposits along the walls of blood vessels. The cholesterol often causes kidney failure, clogged arteries, heart attack, and stroke. On the other hand, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) transports cholesterol away from the blood vessels reducing the risks of the above diseases. Therefore, you need to lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. While you can get a high cholesterol treatment plan from the doctor, the following tips can also help to reduce your LDL cholesterol levels.
Lose the Extra Weight
Studies indicate that people with obesity have higher chances of getting cardiovascular diseases, and kidney or liver failure. They also have high levels of LDL cholesterol and small amounts of HDL cholesterol. Studies have shown that weight loss is an effective way to lower LDL cholesterol levels. Dieting will influence the way your body produces and absorbs cholesterol. For instance, diets that restrict portion sizes or increase monounsaturated fats will increase the good cholesterol and lower the levels of LDL cholesterol. However, when you are on a weight loss journey, ensure you scale back over time to avoid complications.
Maintain an Exercise Routine
A regular workout routine is good for your heart and your physical fitness. The exercises raise your HDL levels and lower LDL while also combating obesity and improving your immune system. If you have not been keen on physical activity, you should start immediately. Aerobic exercises and resistance training reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The elevation of the heart rate during the exercises has an impact on your cholesterol level too. While simple walking or cycling may suffice, you should increase intensity for better results. If you develop a regular workout routine, you will reap the benefits. To ensure you stick to the exercises, mix up the physical activities, or find a workout partner to give you the motivation to keep going.
Cut Back on Alcohol and Smoking
Smoking is known to have adverse effects on various body organs like the lungs and the heart. It increases the risk of cardiovascular infection by influencing the transport of cholesterol. The immune cells are responsible for ensuring cholesterol in the blood vessels gets to the liver where it is broken down or stored. Smokers have dysfunctional immune cells, which mean cholesterol remains in the blood vessels. The result is clogged arteries and, eventually, heart disease. Smoking also reduces HDL levels and increases LDL. Quitting smoking has been found to have a clear association with an increase in good cholesterol. So, ff you quit, you will be doing a favor to your body. It would be best if you also cut back on alcohol to reduce the risk of liver damage.
Eat a Healthy Diet
If you maintain a healthy diet, you will not require a high cholesterol treatment plan since your body will keep the cholesterol levels in check naturally. You should ditch poor eating habits and strive for a balanced diet. To maintain your cholesterol levels, limit the intake of saturated fats and trans fats, as they tend to increase LDL levels. However, if you eat monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, your HDL levels will rise. Monounsaturated fats are found in avocados and nuts, as well as vegetable oils like sunflower, olive, and peanut oils. Soluble fiber is also suitable for your cholesterol levels since it binds cholesterol and removes it from the body.
Cholesterol levels are manageable with a simple lifestyle adjustment. However, the results depend on the level of LDL in your body. If it is high, you should talk to a doctor about a treatment plan.