If your cholesterol level is high, you’re at higher risk for heart disease, like atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, angina, and peripheral vascular disease. Regardless, you shouldn’t feel bad about it since you can actually reduce your LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise your HDL (good cholesterol).
All individuals have bad (LDL) and good (HDL) cholesterol, as they are fatty substances that are naturally formed in the body with the help of the liver. Though, bad cholesterol can also be gotten from the foods we eat. A waxy, fat-like substance known as cholesterol is a kind of fat required by the body to make hormones and build and repair cells.
A definite amount of LDL cholesterol is okay; only when it is high in the bloodstream can it prevent you from developing all kinds of health issues. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is often called “bad cholesterol” because it is a mixture of fats and proteins that can effortlessly build up in your blood vessels.
On the other hand, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as the “good cholesterol” because it helps reduce other forms of cholesterol from the blood to the liver, where they’re eliminated from the blood and removed from the body.
A person that develops too much LDL cholesterol in the blood vessel may find it hard for their blood to pass through the vessels to various parts of the body. And blood vessels that have gone narrowed by fats can subject the heart to work more forcefully to pump blood.
As much as lifestyle changes can help you lower your LDL level, your genes matter too. You may need to take medications to get your cholesterol back on track.
In this article, we’ve listed tips to cut your bad cholesterol levels and improve your health. While this might not work for everyone (since our bodies are different), speak to a doctor about how to go about it.
1. Be on the move
Sarah Samaan, M.D, a cardiologist in Plano, Texas, says, “Exercising at least two and a half hours a week is enough to raise HDL and improve LDL and triglycerides.”
Therefore, if you haven’t been active for some time, you can start an exercise that you enjoy with an exercise partner. It can help keep you on track. Even a ten-minute activity block might help cut your LDL levels.
You can integrate additional activities into your everyday routine by using the stairs instead of the elevator. You can also be parking far away from your office so that you can trek to where your office is. Furthermore, take walks during work breaks.
2. Lose weight.
A few extra pounds of your body weight adds to it, but small changes can contribute. If you take too many sugary beverages, switch to water. But if you crave sugary things, try candies with little or no fat, like jelly beans.
3. Chill out
Stress can make your cholesterol go through the roof. Are you aware of that? Hence, you need to relax and get lost in a good book or meet a friend for a coffee. Or better still, call for a yoga mat and start working out! It’ll help keep your bad cholesterol at bay.
4. Spice it up.
By now, you should be shaking pepper on your pasta. But if not, listen up; spices such as black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, garlic, and curcumin can do more than flavour in your food. They can also help with your bad cholesterol. Studies reveal that consuming half to one clove of garlic daily could lower cholesterol levels by 9%.