5 Lifestyle Tips for Keeping Your Cholesterol in Check (and Risk of Heart Disease)
High cholesterol is often blamed for the increase in heart disease (and it’s true), but the right amount of cholesterol has its benefits. It’s vital to producing hormones, regulating metabolism and increasing the absorption of Vitamin D.
Low-density cholesterol (LDL) is waxy and sticky and can build up inside your veins and arteries. On the other hand, high-density cholesterol (HDL) can cleanse the waxy deposits in your arteries and prevent blockages.
As you’ve probably guessed, cholesterol isn’t the enemy. Balance is key. So when you see high total cholesterol numbers, find out if it’s your good cholesterol driving the numbers up or if it’s your bad one. If your “bad” cholesterol is high, there are steps you can take to lower it.
Our team at Synergy Health 360 put together this article to inform you about how a few small wellness lifestyle changes can have a big impact on your HDL levels and heart health.
1. Avoid trans fats
Most trans fats are made via a food processing method called partial hydrogenation. They’re used widely in the food industry as an inexpensive way to give flavor to products and increase shelf life for baked goods and semi-prepared foods.
Studies show that trans fats increase LDL, while saturated fats increase both LDL and HDL. Margarine is a common source of artificial trans fats.
2. Limit your intake of sugar and simple carbohydrates
Sugar and simple carbohydrates cause inflammation, which when coupled with high LDL can lead to fatty build-ups in the arteries. A high intake of sugar can also increase your risk for diabetes, a condition known to exacerbate heart disease.
3. Watch your homocysteine levels
At high levels, the amino acid homocysteine increases your risk of high cholesterol and heart disease. High levels of homocysteine are usually found in people who suffer from B12 deficiency and heavy coffee drinkers.
4. Try to exercise at least three times per week
While the mechanism isn’t fully understood, exercise can lower LDL levels when done regularly. Intense and moderate exercise works best, but even light exercises are shown to improve cholesterol markers.
5. Switch to heart-friendly medications
In some cases, medications are the culprit of high LDL levels. Here are just a few of the drugs that could be causing you issues:
If you suspect your medication is causing your cholesterol levels to rise, our team can help you avoid complications by switching you to a more heart-friendly treatment plan.
Learn more about what you can do to lower your risk
At Synergy Health 360, our team can guide you towards a healthier lifestyle. And if necessary, we can also introduce medications to keep your cholesterol levels in check.
If you want to find out more about your current health condition, contact us to schedule an appointment for expert advice.