According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 94 million U.S. adults aged 20 or older have high cholesterol.
And as per The Mayo Clinic, one of the leading causes of high cholesterol is poor diet – consumption of too many foods with trans fats and/or saturated fat.
A total cholesterol level under 200 mg/dl is considered healthy for most adults. Typically doctors believe readings of 200–239 mg/dl as borderline high and more than that as high.
Fitness Buffhq, a Fitness Trainer at Just Fitness Hub, says: “The following six habits can help lower high cholesterol and maintain your cholesterol levels within the healthy range”:
Take A Daily Walk
Adding a 15–30-minute brisk walk to your daily routine can contribute significantly to your health and wellness. According to Fitness Buffhq, “Exercising at least 2 1/2 hours per week is enough to raise HDL and improve LDL and triglycerides levels.”
Replace Margarine & Shortening With Olive oil, or Avocado oil
Margarine and shortening have trans fats, which increase high cholesterol. On the other hand, olive oil and avocado oil have monounsaturated fats, which are considered healthy because they cut down harmful LDL (bad cholesterol), increase HDL (good cholesterol) and decrease harmful oxidation that contributes to clogged arteries.
Snack On Fruit and/or Oat Cereal Every Day
Fitness Buffhq recommends eating a balanced amount of fiber each day. He says, “Foods like apples, prunes, beans, and oatmeal are high in soluble fiber, which can stop your body from absorbing cholesterol. Research found that people who consumed five to ten more grams of soluble fiber daily saw a drop in their LDL.”
Keep Away From Cigarettes
Smoking poses a significant danger to your heart. According to the CDC, “Smoking causes damage to your blood vessels, speeds up the hardening of your arteries, and substantially raises your risk for heart disease. Quitting smoking will help lower your risk for heart disease, and if you don’t smoke, don’t start.”
Consume Alcohol In Moderation
The subject of whether alcohol has a direct impact on cholesterol is still up for debate among experts.
That said, the American Heart Association (AHA) says if you drink, do so only moderately, stating, “Triglycerides and total cholesterol levels increase with higher alcohol intake. A recent study shows that heart damage may be occurring with heavy alcohol use even before symptoms appear.”
It further adds, “Though the question remains about whether alcohol can reduce heart disease risk, all agree that excessive alcohol harms the liver and increases the risk of dependence. To get any potential cardiovascular benefit, it is imperative to consume alcohol only in moderation.”
Note: Many experts say that alcohol is harmful to overall health. If you don’t drink, don’t start drinking.
Take Time To Relax
Although it may be difficult and need some advanced planning, taking out some time each day to destress can benefit your cholesterol numbers and heart health.
Fitness Buffhq says, “Stress can cause cholesterol to go through the roof. But this doesn’t mean you shell out money for daily massages or weekly spa sessions.”
He suggests simple solutions, saying, “Relax. Get lost in a good book, go for a walk with your friend, or do yoga. It’ll contribute a lot to keeping your cholesterol in check.”
Try including a few, or even all, of the above suggestions into your everyday routine, and see how your cholesterol levels improve.
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, the USA, obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me, age is just a number!”