Elevated levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or bad cholesterol can clog your arteries and increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. Elevated cholesterol, if left untreated can lead to heart disease, leading to angina and heart attack. Among the many factors that influence cholesterol levels, age, genetics, etc. cannot be controlled. However, making lifestyle changes can help lower cholesterol levels, improving your heart health. High cholesterol at young age can be detected through a simple blood test. This article talks about simple yet effective lifestyle changes that can help improve your LDL cholesterol levels.
Choose Healthy Foods
Diet is the most important factor that causes elevated cholesterol, fixing your diet can greatly improve your cholesterol and heart health. Avoid deep fried foods and fatty meats that are high in trans-fat, which can clog your arteries and increase LDL levels. Cook your food in heart-healthy oils such as olive oil or canola oil that are rich in mono-saturated fats. Choose lean cuts of meats and opt for low-fat dairy over full-fat versions. Consuming foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, walnuts, etc. increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol, improving your heart health.
Eat More Fiber
Fiber in food sources is of two types — soluble and insoluble. Both have heart-health benefits, but soluble fiber helps lower your LDL levels. Beans such kidney beans, oatmeal, barley, fruits such as apples, vegetables, etc. great sources of soluble fiber, which can keep you full for longer, and reduce the absorption of cholesterol from the bloodstream. Choose whole grain products over refined flour to add more fiber and nutrients to your diet.
Get More Active
Moderate physical exercise for up to at least 30 minutes a day can improve HDL cholesterol levels, significantly improving your overall health. Pick up any physical activity you enjoy such as a brisk walk daily, riding your bike, dancing, swimming, etc. Maintaining healthy weight is key in reducing and managing high cholesterol levels. It is advisable to check with your physician before embarking on any physical fitness routine.
Elevated LDL levels are a risk factor for serious heart diseases and must be managed and treated by a doctor. If lifestyle changes mentioned above are not successful in lowering your LDL levels, talk to your doctor about medications that can help lower cholesterol. High cholesterol at young age can occur due to certain risk factors such as genetics.