Our liver produces fat-like substances, also known as Cholesterol. Cholesterol is responsible for creating cell membranes, certain hormones, and vitamin D in the body. Our liver produces lipoproteins to help transport cholesterol through the blood. Lipoprotein is of two forms:
- Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL)
- High-density Lipoprotein (HDL)
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) carries cholesterol to the arteries, whereas High-density lipoprotein (HDL) helps return LDL cholesterol pass to your liver for elimination from the body.
A health condition in which too much LDL cholesterol present in the body is called High Cholesterol. If you are suffering from high cholesterol, you are not the only one. About half the population is suffering from high cholesterol problems.
Having cholesterol is not bad as your body creates it and uses it for proper functioning and growth.
But too much accumulation of LDL cholesterol in the body can increase the risk of heart problems, such as heart attack, stroke, or peripheral artery disease (a health condition under which the arteries in your limbs narrow).
In this post, we have shared eight tips on how to improve your cholesterol level to pursue better heart health.
1. Opt for High-quality Foods
Quality and quantity in your diet play a vital role in lowering your cholesterol and improving heart health. Studies have shown patients suffering from high blood pressure followed diet therapy. The results were positive. So, aim to eat more healthy foods to reduce the risk of heart disease. Add fruits, legumes, veggies, low-fat dairy, whole grains, lean protein, Avocados, Nuts, Dark Chocolates, Soyfoods to your diet. At the same time, avoid or eliminate salty snacks and processed meats from your diet plan. Healthy eating adds nutrients to your body which helps cut down saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol from the body.
2. Add Omega-3 fat Diet to your Diet Plan
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats known to reduce blood triglyceride levels and improve high-density lipoprotein. Omega-3 fats are present in oysters, walnuts, flaxseeds, canola oil, and oily fish food items, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel. Consuming Omega-3 fats also overall benefits health functioning:
– improve the function of blood vessels.
– reduce inflammation at larger doses.
– may lower blood pressure.
– help maintain heartbeat at a normal rate.
– reduce blood clotting.
3. Be Aware of Saturated and Trans Fats
Avoid Saturated fat and Trans-fat diet as they can have a negative impact on your cholesterol. They are known to increase LDL and lower HDL ratio in the body.
Saturated fat occurs naturally in butter, dairy products, baked food, fried food, red meat, palm, and coconut oils. Make sure you consume only 5-6% saturated fat daily. Trans fat can also be found in red meat and dairy products but small amounts. However, trans fats are more harmful to raise cholesterol levels. Make sure you read Nutrition Facts panels before buying food items and avoid food with trans fats.
Unsaturated fat meals are known to improve blood cholesterol levels. Make use of olive oil instead of butter. Limit processed foods and eat salmon instead of meat.
4. Add more fiber to your diet
Increase your daily fiber intake as it helps lower your LDL cholesterol by 3 to 5 percent. Kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, oatmeal, barley, prunes, apples, citrus fruits, and pears are few common soluble fiber foods that can help reduce cholesterol absorption levels in the body. Our body absorbs fiber-like nutrients, playing a vital role in good health.
Studies show both soluble and insoluble fiber intake lowers the risk of heart disease. Soluble fiber is also beneficial for diabetic patients as it helps improve blood sugar levels.
5. Keep control of weight
Being overweight enhances the risk of high LDL bad cholesterol, raise triglycerides, and lower HDL level in the body. At times, it is not only about the quality, but quantity also plays a major role in your diet. We all know, obese patients have a risk of heart disease. But when you also have high cholesterol, the condition is more serious. In such a scenario, doctors recommend losing weight and exercise daily.
6. Involve more in Physical Activity
Involving more in physical activities can benefit health in many ways. It also helps reduce LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and increase HDL cholesterol.
– Reduce Your Health Risk.
– Strengthen Bones and Muscles.
– Helps in losing weight.
– Reduces the risk of depression.
– Helps in stress management.
– Help you Sleep Better.
– Reduce the risk of premature death.
7. Strive for better sleep
Studies have shown less sleep has increased the risk of high triglycerides and low HDL levels. It may further increase the risk for cardiovascular disease. An additional threat to your health due to Sleep loss:
– more likely to get sick.
– more likely to gain weight.
– higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
– high risk of high blood pressure.
– risk of depression and anxiety.
8. Laugh more, stress less
Stress has an overall impact on our health. It is risky for your heart, can lower your HDL cholesterol, increase LDL Cholesterol. Exercise, Health eating, intake of Medications and alternative supplements, laugh with friends and family, involve more in physical activity, and sports are some common ways to reduce stress or anxiety. High stress and high cholesterol are correlated to each other and can increase its risk.
Managing lifestyle, keeping a check on your diet, exercising, involving in physical activities can play a major role in maintaining cholesterol levels. But there are other factors responsible for high cholesterol, such as genetics. Intake of healthy fats and fiber, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can benefit your health. However, limiting saturated fat and refined grains can also help manage your cholesterol.