Cholesterol Levels Through the Roof? 5 Tips for Managing Your ConditionPosted on June 18, 2012 by admin in Health Care Tips
It’s the rare person that doesn’t know that high cholesterol is undesirable. The problem is that many people know nothing about cholesterol beyond this one small fact. Yes, having high cholesterol is bad, but how do high levels of cholesterol affect us and what can we do about it? High levels of cholesterol can have disastrous effects on the human body. Luckily, there are steps that everyone can take to reduce cholesterol in the body and maintain health levels. Here are five tips for keeping high cholesterol at bay:
1.Watch What You Eat
Aside from a predisposition to high cholesterol, weight remains the number one factor in the development of high cholesterol. By maintaining a proper diet, people can keep their levels of cholesterol within normal limits. Here are dietary guidelines:
- Total fat: a daily caloric intake of less than 30 percent
- Saturated fat: a daily caloric intake of less than seven percent
- Polyunsaturated fat: a daily caloric intake of less than ten percent
- Monounsaturated fat: a daily caloric intake between ten and 15 percent
- Cholesterol: fewer than 200 milligrams per day
- Carbohydrates: a daily caloric intake of 50 to 60 percent
Exercise has little effect on levels of LDL in the body, but a heart-healthy work out plan can improve HDL and triglyceride levels. Once these levels are under control, patients reduce their risk for heart disease significantly. People should aim for at least 30 minutes of heart-pumping exercise three times per week or more. Walking, swimming and bicycling are all great, low-impact exercises that people of all ages can enjoy.
Smoking cigarettes does not necessarily impact the levels of cholesterol in your body, but smoking does go hand-in-hand with the effects of high cholesterol. Hypertension, poor circulation and heart disease are all effects of both high cholesterol and tobacco use. By following a smoking cessation program, patients can lower their risk for these issues significantly.
4.Lose Excess Weight
Fat stores in the body contribute to high levels of cholesterol in the blood stream. While watching what you eat and exercising can help lower cholesterol, you may have to make a more intense effort if you want to shed excess weight. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables and a rigorous exercise program will not only help you lower your cholesterol level, but also help you lose that extra weight that you’re carrying around.
If you quit smoking, lose weight, exercise and follow a healthy diet, you should see a decrease in your cholesterol levels. If after three months your levels have not decreased dramatically, your doctor may prescribe medication. Keep in mind that your medication is not a replacement for your new healthy lifestyle! Medication, along with healthy habits, can help lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk for coronary heart disease.
High cholesterol levels in your body should be taken very seriously. High cholesterol can lead to heart disease, stroke and even a heart attack, any of which can be fatal. If you are diagnosed as having high cholesterol, follow your doctor’s advice to the letter. Doing so may save your life!
Guest Post by Robin
About the author: Robin Little lives and writes in Baltimore, MD. She writes for www.healthtestingcenters.com.