Do you know that cholesterol levels vary by weight, age and gender? After some time, a person’s body tends to deliver more cholesterol, meaning that all adults should check their cholesterol levels regularly – about every 4 to 6 years.
Cholesterol is measured in 3 categories: LDL (bad cholesterol), HDL (good cholesterol) and total cholesterol. The balance between these three levels is very important. While LDL and total cholesterol levels have to be kept low, having more HDL cholesterol can protect a person against developing heart-related issues including strokes and heart attacks.
Age is the main factor in the amount of cholesterol in your blood. Being older than 45 years old (if you are a man) and older than 55 (if you are a woman) is a risk factor for having a cholesterol issues. Usually, men have a tendency to have higher levels of cholesterol throughout life than women. But women are also not protected from high cholesterol levels. During the menopause the cholesterol often increases.
Total cholesterol level less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is considered normal for adults. A level between 200 and 239 mg/dL is viewed as borderline high. Values higher than 240 mg/dL is considered high.
LDL (bad) cholesterol level has to be less than 100 mg/dL. Levels between 100 and 129 mg/dL are acceptable for individuals with no health issues, but should be of more concern for those with heart disease risk factors or with heart disease. A reading between 130 and 159 mg/dL is borderline high and 160 to 189 mg/dL is considered high. A level of 190 mg/dL or higher is considered very high.
HDL (good) cholesterol level should be kept higher. A reading of less than 40 mg/dL is thought to be a major risk factor for heart issue. A reading between 41 mg/dL and 59 mg/dL is reviewed as borderline low. The optimal reading for HDL is of 60 mg/dL or higher.
As the cholesterol levels start to increase with age, health specialists typically recommend taking earlier steps in life to avoid high levels of cholesterol. Years and even months of unmanaged cholesterol can turn out to be considerably trickier to treat in just one go.
The 4 lifestyle changes you may be advised to make are:
If your LDL levels are still too high after these lifestyle changes, talk to your GP about cholesterol-lowering medications like statins, but give these pieces of advice your best shot.
Cholesterol is found everywhere in your body and has essential natural functions when it comes to producing hormones, digesting foods, and producing vitamin D. It is generated by the body and can also be taken in from food.
Cholesterol is fat-like and waxy in appearance. It is both good and bad. There are 2 types of cholesterol. HDL (good cholesterol or high-density lipoproteins) and LDL (bad cholesterol or low-density lipoproteins). At normal levels, it is an important substance for the body, but if concentrations in the blood get too high, it turns into a silent danger that causes risk of heart attack.
Here are some facts on cholesterol:
Find out some of the causes of high cholesterol and change your lifestyle to keep it at normal levels.
Eating too much trans fat and saturated fat can raise your cholesterol levels. A diet rich in vegetables and fruits, beans, whole grains, and good fats can help lower the “bad cholesterol”.
In general, avoid the food if any of these things appear high on the product label’s ingredient list:
Trans fats: These are harmful to you! They can be found in packaged snacks such as cookies, pastries, crackers, breakfast sandwiches, microwave popcorn, cream-filled candy, doughnuts, fried fast foods, frozen pizza and some types of margarine. Read the nutrition facts to be aware of all the fats in the product.
Salt: Too much sodium can raise your pulse. You probably already know not to have too much salty snack foods and canned soup. But did you know it can also be hidden in rolls and breads, cold cuts and cured meats, some chicken, pizza, and some fast-food products?
You might be surprised how frequently it’s also found in frozen foods. Read labels and try not to get more than 2,400 milligrams daily.
Sugar: Sugar might cause problems such as heart disease, weight gain, and diabetes as well as cholesterol. It is essential to limit the the sugar in what you drink and eat.
Make movement a part of your cholesterol-lowering plan to avoid heart disease. Research proves that a combination of aerobic (cardio) and resistance training is the best thing to do for reducing the risk of heart attack. In a study of obese and overweight participants, researchers found out that engaging in both types of activity gave more benefits for fat and weight loss rather than practicing either of the mentioned.
If you want to keep your cholesterol levels in normal range, you should not only exercise regularly and eat a heart-healthy diet.
… quit smoking…
Smoking brings down your HDL (good) cholesterol levels. It makes all heart health markers bad: smoking causes inflammation, which can contribute to blood clots, atherosclerosis, and risk of heart attack. Consult with your doctor and build up a plan to help you quit smoking.
… and drink alcohol only in moderation
Moderate use of alcohol has been connected with higher levels of HDL cholesterol, yet the benefits are not strong enough to recommend alcohol for anyone who does not already drink. If you drink alcohol, do so with some restrain. For healthy grownups, that means up to one drink per day for ladies of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to 2 drinks per day for men age 65 and younger.
Drinking a lot of alcohol prompt dangerous health problems, including heart failure, high blood pressure and stroke.
Be healthy and lower your “bad” cholesterol levels. Adopting healthy habits, for example, being active and having a balanced diet, can help prevent your cholesterol becoming high in the first place.
It is vital to keep your cholesterol in check because high “bad” cholesterol levels increase your risk of heart issues and stroke. Talk with your doctor about your cholesterol and if the GP has advised you to change your diet to reduce your blood cholesterol, you should eliminate saturated fat and eat more fibre, including a lot of fruit and vegetables.
Here are 5 useful tips and tricks that can help lower your cholesterol within weeks.
You know you must get your “bad” cholesterol numbers down, but how low do you have to go? That depends on several factors, such as weight, age and gender, as well as, on your personal and family history of heart diseases.
If you do not already have cardiovascular problems, the goal is to lower your total cholesterol level to less than 5.0mmol/l and LDL “bad” cholesterol to under 3mmol/l.
If you already have cardiovascular disease, your goal is to get your total cholesterol level down to less than 4.0mmol/l and LDL “bad” cholesterol to under 2.0mmol/l.
Forgot about the fatty and processed meats such as salami, bologna, pepperoni and hot dogs. Also cut back on the fatty red meats like prime cuts of beef, ribs, pork, lamb or veal. Remember to skip the skin on chicken or turkey. Avoid full-fat dairy products, for example cheese, whole milk, cream, sour cream, butter and cream cheese. All of these foods contain saturated fat associated with higher blood cholesterol and plaque development.
You don’t have to remove all fats from your diet. Rather, switch to unsaturated fats, which may raise your “good” cholesterol levels and lower your “bad” cholesterol. Instead of mayonnaise or butter on bread, try using olive oil. Canola, peanut and avocado are good options for cooking. Fats that are semisolid or solid at room temperature, such as butter and coconut oil, are referred to as saturated fats. It is recommended to limit consumption of saturated fats to less than 5–6% of your daily diet.
Research proves that following a low-carbohydrate eating plan can help you reduce cardiovascular risk factors and lose weight. Choose high fiber carbohydrates, such as beans, oatmeal, lentils, whole grain starches and fruits which will provide the energy you need, but also will keep you feeling full. The trick is to be careful with your portions, aim for no more than about 1 cup of starch and/or fruit with meals. Additionally, fill up on vegetables, which are high in fibers and low in calories.
Go for a moderate level of exercise. When you have safely mastered moderate-intensity physical activity, consider High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) 1 to 2 times per week. Emerging studies suggest this type of training can help raise HDL “good” cholesterol levels.