Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. This condition occurs when blood vessels become narrow or blocked. If you have been diagnosed with heart disease, you have a greater risk of having a heart attack, stroke or chest pain. Fortunately, there are things you can do to lower your chances…
5 Lifestyle Changes for Improving Cholesterol
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 33 percent of American adults have high cholesterol. Having your cholesterol levels regularly checked by your primary care provider is essential. You need to understand what your numbers are so that you can know if you are at risk of developing heart-related problems. If you already have high cholesterol, there a few lifestyle changes you can make to lower your levels.
Your cholesterol numbers have a large impact on the overall health of your heart. High cholesterol leads to fatty deposits forming in the arteries. When your arteries are blocked with fatty deposits, it is much harder for your blood to flow properly. These deposits will increase your risk of experiencing a heart attack.
5 ways to improve cholesterol
The following is a list of changes that you can make to keep your heart healthy and reduce cholesterol levels.
1. Eat heart-healthy foods
Choosing to eat foods that support a healthy heart is ideal when it comes to lowering your cholesterol levels. The American Heart Association recommends limiting your daily intake of saturated fat to five to six percent of your daily caloric intake. You also should minimize the number of trans fats consumed. Heart-healthy food choices include eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, chicken, fish and nuts.
2. Be more active
It is essential for you to be physically active each day, with some days including moderate to intense exercise. Making an activity schedule is best. It can include fun exercising options like biking and swimming. Being inactive not only lowers your good cholesterol, but it can also increase your bad cholesterol levels. If you have not exercised for some time, start slow. Walking around the neighborhood with friends or family is a great way to start.
3. Stop smoking
Smokers already know that smoking is bad for their overall health. Since smoking lowers your good cholesterol levels, it is recommended that you stop smoking. Many benefits come with quitting smoking, and you can add protecting your arteries to the list.
4. Lose weight
If you are overweight, it raises your bad cholesterol levels and lowers their good cholesterol levels. Moreover, obesity is linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. The Department of Health and Human Services states that losing only five percent of your body weight reduces your risk of having heart problems.
5. Consume alcoholic drinks in moderation
Researchers are still debating whether alcohol has a positive effect on cholesterol levels. However, the American Heart Association notes that cutting alcohol reduces the chances of developing heart disease and high blood pressure. Drink your alcohol in moderation to keep your cholesterol in check.
Is your heart healthy?
While these changes can have a positive impact on your health, nothing can replace seeing a doctor. During an appointment, a doctor can test your blood and monitor your heart to gain a full understanding of your health. If you do not have a primary doctor, please call our office to schedule a visit.
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