Obesity, diabetes and cholesterol are responsible for majority of deaths all over the world. Your cholesterol level is an important parameter to know health of your heart. We hear all the time that cholesterol is bad for our body but it is not true, indeed cholesterol is required by the body to fulfill energy requirement. Basically, there are two types of cholesterol – Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) which is also known as “bad cholesterol “ and High Density Lipoprotein (HDL), also known as “good cholesterol”. Increase in the level of LDL or bad cholesterol in the body will result in formation of plaque in the artery walls. More and more plaques will narrow the artery lumen and may eventually block the blood flow that causes heart attack or other cardiac diseases. On the other hand HDL or good cholesterol fights against plaque buildup in arteries and removes attached bad cholesterol from the body, therefore helps in improving blood circulation.
You should be aware of common terms related to your heart health. Today, I would like you to look at simple but practical tips to control Cholesterol level that can eventually, ease off your burden of healthcare cost, which is rising every year around the world:
Tips to control Cholesterol
Diet: Diet is the primarily concern for keeping a check on the fat content.
- Avoid consuming red meat: You should replace red meat with white meat (poultry) and fish which have a low fat level. Research supports the cholesterol-lowering benefits of eating fish because of its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Avoid too much of saturated fat and trans fat: They increases the level of your LDL cholesterol. It is recommended that you should shift towards skimmed milk, low cholesterol spread or light cheese, instead of your normal high fat foods.
- Increase intake of soluble fiber: Make your diet rich in soluble fiber. It reduces absorption of cholesterol (LDL) in your intestines. Soluble fiber is found in foods such as kidney beans, apples, pears, psyllium, oatmeal, barley and prunes.
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids: As per Mayoclinic studies, walnut which is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, significantly reduces blood cholesterol and keep blood vessels healthy and elastic. Almonds and some other nuts appear to have a similar effect.
- Garlic: Garlic is considered as one of the natural remedy to reduce cholesterol level. It is recommended that you should consume few cloves...
of garlic or 600 to 1,200 mg of garlic extract per day, divided into 3 doses. Garlic may reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Beans: Beans are rich in pectin, which is considered to be an effective cholesterol reducing agent.
- Grapes: Grapes also contain a cholesterol reducing compound. Studies show that taking at least 11/2 cup of grapes in a day can lower cholesterol level by 7 % in just two months of time.
- Barley: 3 grams barley oil extract or 30 grams barley bran flour per day may reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.
Exercise daily: Stop being a ‘couch potato’. Daily exercise will help you to increase the good or HDL cholesterol level and lower the bad or LDL cholesterol level. Aerobic exercises like running, jogging, swimming, cycling, etc. are very good for your heart and will help in reducing cholesterol level.
Lower your body weight: If you are overweight or obese than it is high time that you should control your weight. Being overweight can create various health problems including increased level of LDL.
Avoid smoking and excessive intake of alcohols: Smoking and alcohol consumption is one of the risk factors for increase in cholesterol level in the body. Therefore, in order to lower the bad cholesterol level, you should quit or avoid smoking and .
In my view cholesterol can be controlled easily by making proper diet and life style choices. You should aim to get out and stay out of medications for the life threatening diseases, as soon and as long as possible. For that you not only need to be aware of the precautions and choices that you have to make, but integrate them in your daily routine.