How to Effectively Lower Your Cholesterol

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Although cholesterol is demonised in the media, it plays a number of essential roles in the body. Cholesterol forms part of the cell membranes and is required for the synthesis of steroid hormones, such as oestrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

That being said, too much cholesterol in the body can lead to negative health outcomes. Chronically high cholesterol increases the risk of atherosclerosis, angina, and heart attack.

The optimal level of total cholesterol in the bloodstream is less than 5 mmol/L, a low-density lipoprotein (LDL) level of less than 3 mmol/L, and a high-density lipoprotein (HDL) level of above 1 mmol/L. Staying under this threshold ensures optimal health and avoids the negative side effects of having too-high blood cholesterol levels.

Thankfully, there are many things you can do to keep your blood cholesterol levels within a healthy range. You can learn more about how long it takes to lower cholesterol by clicking here. We’ve discussed some of the best cholesterol-lowering strategies for optimal health.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Excess body fat and obesity (a body mass index (BMI) of above 30) have been closely linked to high plasma cholesterol levels. In particular, obesity is linked with increased fasting plasma triglycerides (a type of fat), high LDL, and low HDL.

Obesity increases blood cholesterol due to its associated comorbidities, which include hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Those who are obese are more likely to lead sedentary lifestyles and consume high-fat foods, contributing further to high cholesterol levels.

Maintaining a healthy weight can help to keep your blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels within the optimal ranges. Exercise regularly to burn body fat and boost your well-being, and avoid consuming too many calories or saturated fat in your diet.

Limit Your Saturated Fat Consumption

Speaking of saturated fat, this is something to focus on when you’re trying to reduce your cholesterol levels.

Too much dietary saturated fat can raise LDL cholesterol and lead to fatty deposits buildup in the arteries. Narrowed arteries lead to atherosclerosis and increase the risk of angina, acute coronary syndrome, and coronary artery disease.

Avoid foods that contain high amounts of saturated fats, particularly trans fats. These foods include takeaways, fatty cuts of meat, butter, lard, cheese, pastries, biscuits, and cakes.

Avoid Smoking

Smoking tobacco can damage the cells that line the major arteries in the body, making them more prone to narrowing or rupturing and increasing the risk of serious cardiovascular events. It can increase LDL concentration in the blood and lower HDL to further increase cardiovascular risk.

If you don’t currently smoke, keep it that way! If you currently smoke, don’t panic! Stopping smoking from today means you can halt the progression of cardiovascular disease and maybe even reverse your risk over the next decade to a similar level to somebody who doesn’t smoke by avoiding tobacco.

Consider weaning yourself off tobacco to prevent severe nicotine withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, headaches, and irritability. Quitting smoking slowly also increases the likelihood that you will stay away from tobacco in the long term.

The post How to Effectively Lower Your Cholesterol appeared first on Wellbeing Magazine.

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