Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States and high cholesterol is a dangerously powerful contributing factor. High dietary cholesterol poses a threat to everyone, regardless of your age. Basically, the amount of cholesterol found in your veins determines the speed of how blood and oxygen flow throughout your body. Too much cholesterol in your blood gradually builds up along the walls of your arteries and slows down blood flow, which ups your risk factor for several diseases (not just heart) that are avoidable if you take the necessary precautions. It’s not enough to change your diet, you will have to change your habits.
If you suffer from high cholesterol, you are at risk of cardiovascular disease, strokes, heart attacks, and death. Don’t be fooled by the common misconceptions that high cholesterol is only applicable to older adults. On the contrary, your cholesterol level is affected by your age, gender, family health history, and diet. For your cholesterol levels to drop significantly, you are going to need to change the way you live your life. Implementing a healthy diet and increasing your amount of exercise will benefit you in the long run, and will dramatically lower your cholesterol levels.
“Fat” Knowledge for Your Dietary Needs
Following a healthy diet and engaging in active exercises will help your lower your high cholesterol. Not only will you feel better emotionally and physically, you will be able to distinguish what foods benefit your body, and what foods don’t as you start your journey toward a healthier, happier life.
Knowing which fats raise and lower your cholesterol is an important aspect of monitoring and lowering your high cholesterol. Saturated fats, such as beef, veal, lamb, pork, poultry, and butter are all considered dietary cholesterols, and increase your cholesterol levels. To counteract the increase, implement into your diet unsaturated fats like fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, and high-in-fiber foods to help lower your cholesterol.
Monitoring Your Cholesterol
Understand what not to eat is easy when you are trying to lower your cholesterol. However, it is a lot harder to monitor if you are exercising regularly and eating what you want. Here are a few tips on how you can monitor your cholesterol levels with your diet, while you simultaneously lower it too:
- Reduce the saturated fat in meats and poultry
- Choose fish twice a week
- Use liquid vegetable oils instead of solid fats
- Substitute egg whites instead of whole-eggs
- Lower your dairy fat intake
- Increase the fiber and whole-grain intake
- Reduce sodium
In addition, it is recommended to reach out to your health care providers to ascertain your current heart disease and stroke risk. It can be scary, but receiving heart disease screenings will let you know where you stand in terms of heart health. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your cardiovascular health.
In order for you to lower and monitor your high cholesterol, you are going to have to make some major adjustments to how you live your life. Lifestyle changes are necessary, if not required, to be able to lower your cholesterol level. These changes include your diet, weight, and exercise activity. Most importantly, however, it is involves dramatically changing your mindset towards your body and your health. If you live a lethargic lifestyle, it is in your power to improve your health. Don’t you want to live a long and healthy life? Take pride in your body and treat it right. Your cholesterol levels can be manipulated and monitored, but it is up to you to want to take back your life.
Carolyn Heintz, a nutritionist, mother, and writer. In addition to offering personal nutrition consulting, she runs a personal health advice blog, “Lifelong Health and Wellness.”