Saturday: Enjoy One Glass Of Wine
Its a matter of delicate balance: Too much alcohol is bad for the heart, but alcohol in moderation may be good. A moderate amount of alcohol can help raise your HDL cholesterol, says Kramer. Low-risk drinking is defined as having no more than three drinks in a single day, and no more than seven per week, for women for men, it means having no more than four in a single day, and no more than 14 per week, notes the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Moderate drinking means having only one drink a day for women and two for men, or less if youre over age 65. Keep in mind that one drink is 12 ounces of beer, 8 oz of malt liquor, 5 oz of wine, or one 1.5 oz shot.
Now, since it’s Saturday night, you can also bolster those positive effects of HDL cholesterol with some physical exercise. How? Thats easy: Go dancing!
How Long Does It Take Cholesterol To Go Down
People who need to use medications such as statins to lower their cholesterol should see their cholesterol levels fall quickly. These medications may work in a matter of weeks, and they generally work to a larger degree than lifestyle changes.
However, because diet affects the levels of cholesterol in the body, doctors commonly recommend that people make changes to their diet and lifestyle in addition to taking medications.
Making simple changes to the diet and lifestyle can help reduce cholesterol. These changes vary depending on how strictly a person adheres to their diet. Other factors, such as exercise and reaching a moderate body weight, also play a role.
Some dietary changes may cause minor reductions in cholesterol in as little as
Cholesterol is a waxy, fatty substance that the liver produces. In the body, cholesterol plays a roll in cell function and the breakdown of some types of fatty acids. The body can create all the cholesterol it needs.
Regularly eating these foods adds more cholesterol to the body and raises the levels of cholesterol in the blood.
Additionally, some fats and oils may stimulate the liver to make more cholesterol, potentially increasing the levels even more.
Dietary and lifestyle changes and medications can all help lower blood cholesterol levels.
Path To Improved Health
There are 2 main types of cholesterol:
- Low-density lipoprotein .This delivers cholesterol to the body. This is called bad cholesterol. You want a low level of this type.
- High-density lipoprotein .This removes cholesterol from the bloodstream. This is called good cholesterol. You want a high level of this type.
A high level of LDL is bad for your body. Likewise, a low level of HDL is bad for you. If your doctor says you need to improve your cholesterol, youll need to lower your LDL and increase your HDL. Medicines can help with this. But the simplest way to improve your cholesterol is through lifestyle changes.
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Drink Alcohol In Moderation
Moderate alcohol consumption has been shown to increase your levels of good cholesterol, which, in turn, can reduce your levels of bad cholesterol.
The effects arent enough to encourage people to start drinking, but it does mean that perhaps its a good idea not to cut all alcohol from your diet just for the sake of reducing calories.
Myth: I Dont Need Statins Or Other Medicines For My Cholesterol I Can Manage My Cholesterol With Diet And Exercise
Fact: Although many people can achieve good cholesterol levels by making healthy food choices and getting enough physical activity, some people may also need medicines called statins to lower their cholesterol levels. Guidelinesexternal icon also suggest that other medicines in addition to statins may be needed to help control cholesterol.2
People who may need statins or other medicines to manage cholesterol levels include the following:
- People with familial hypercholesterolemia or people with very high levels of bad cholesterol. FH is a genetic condition that causes very high LDL cholesterol levels beginning at a young age. If left untreated, cholesterol levels will continue to get worse. This greatly raises the risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke at a young age.
- People with cardiovascular disease . People with CVD may already have narrowed arteries because of too much plaque. Medicines that lower cholesterol may help reduce the risk for heart attack or stroke.
- People with diabetes.Type 2 diabetes lowers HDL or good cholesterol levels and raises bad cholesterol levels. This combination raises your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Other groups of people may also need medicines to manage their cholesterol, including people who have a high risk for CVD. Always talk to your health care provider about the best ways to manage your cholesterol.
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Instant Oatmeal Also Lowers Cholesterol
If you are looking for the cholesterol-lowering effects, instant oatmeal or quick-cooking oats do the job as well as steel-cut oats or rolled oats. They are still considered to be a whole grain. However, because these forms are made into very thin flakes that are quicker to digest, they have more of an effect on raising your blood glucose level. To prevent a rapid rise in your blood glucose, its wise to have some lean protein or healthy fat with your instant oatmeal, such as low-fat milk or chopped nuts.
You must also be careful when buying packaged flavored instant oatmeal to note the ingredients. These forms often include sugar and flavorings which you may not want.
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Lower Your Cholesterol Whether Youre Eating Breakfast Lunch Dinner Dessert Or Even A Snack
Did you know cholesterol in food only plays a small part in increasing our bodies cholesterol levels? But what we eat has a big role to play in managing our cholesterol and heart health.Consistently poor eating habits, combined with a lack of physical activity can lead to unhealthy weight gain, which can also raise levels of unhealthy cholesterol levels and lower levels of HDL cholesterol which can negatively affect your heart health.
High-density lipoprotein is often called the good cholesterol because it helps to remove other forms of cholesterol from your bloodstream and helps to keep cholesterol from building up in the arteries. Low-density lipoprotein is often called the bad cholesterol because it is the main source of cholesterol build-up and blockage in the arteries.
Time and time again we hear that balance is the key to health. There are some foods that can improve LDL cholesterol levels and eating these foods in moderate amounts can help keep us fighting fit. Foods containing healthier fats or soluble fibre are great examples of this. So with this in mind, here are some delicious ideas that can help you eat your way to a healthier heart.
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What Are High Triglycerides
Triglycerides are a type of fat-like substance in the blood that the body uses for energy. Some triglycerides are needed but too much of them can put people at higher risk for heart attack, stroke, inflammation of the pancreas, and other health problems.
What Are Symptoms of High Triglycerides?
High triglycerides also can run in families.
How Long Does It Take To Reduce Cholesterol
Cholesterol drops over time, not suddenly, after a few days of healthier living. There is no set period in which cholesterol is guaranteed to drop.
Cholesterol-lowering drugs usually produce a change in LDL within 6 to 8 weeks. It is possible for lifestyle changes to change cholesterol levels within weeks. However, it may take longer,
- Total cholesterol: less than 200 milligrams per deciliter
- LDL bad cholesterol: less than 100 mg/dL
- HDL good cholesterol: higher than 60 mg/dL
- Triglycerides: less than 150 mg/dL
According to an article in the journal , the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association recommend using statins to lower cholesterol in people with cholesterol higher outside of these levels.
However, they also recommend doctors consider a persons cholesterol levels and overall risk of cardiovascular disease before prescribing a cholesterol-lowering medication.
The AHA recommends that people with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease get high-intensity statin therapy maximally tolerated statin therapy to lower LDL by at least 50%.
The AHA also recommends high-intensity statin therapy for individuals with severe primary hypercholesterolemia .
There are a number of habit changes a person can incorporate into their daily routines in order to gradually and consistently lower their LDL levels over time. Including:
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How Can Foods Help Lower Cholesterol
People can often reduce their cholesterol levels dramatically by changing the foods they eat. Diets high in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterolfound in meat, dairy products, and eggsraise cholesterol levels, which increases heart attack risk. Foods high in saturated fat are especially dangerous because they can trigger the body to produce extra cholesterol.
Plants do the opposite. They are very low in saturated fat and free of cholesterol. Plants are also rich in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol. Soluble fiber slows the absorption of cholesterol and reduces the amount of cholesterol the liver produces. Oatmeal, barley, beans, and some fruits and vegetables are all good sources of soluble fiber.
It is important to continue to work closely with your health care provider to monitor your health and manage medications, even as you make dietary changes.
Ways To Lower Your Cholesterol Almost Instantly
Cholesterol is vital to many processes in the human body, and when people talk about high cholesterol in a negative way, they are usually referring to LDL rather than HDL , or VLDL . Being told you have high cholesterol can be alarmingbut luckily it can be reversed, provided you make some changes to your lifestyle. “There are ways to manage high cholesterol, and the wonderful news is that heart disease is 90% preventable,”says preventative cardiologist Leslie Cho, MD. “Even if you have a significant family history of high cholesterol, you can prevent heart disease.” Read onand to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
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Develop Healthy Sleep Habits
Sleeping too little is common but detrimental to your health. In fact, loss in sleep is associated with increased cholesterol levels and related problems, such as high triglycerides and blood pressure. To improve your sleep, aim for consistent bed and waking times, sleep in a cool, dark, comfortable room, and avoid stimulating activities, such as working on a computer, before bed.
How Can I Lower My Cholesterol With Medicines
As well as making lifestyle changes, some people will need to take cholesterol-lowering medicines to reduce their risk of heart and blood vessel disease, known as cardiovascular disease. The medicines most commonly used are called statins.
Your doctor will consider all your risk factors for cardiovascular disease before suggesting medication not just your cholesterol and lipid results. If youve already had a heart attack or stroke, taking statins can substantially lower your risk of having another one.
Statins work by slowing the amount of cholesterol made in your liver. In response, your liver uses the cholesterol already in your blood to make up for the deficit. This lowers the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood.
If statins alone do not lower your cholesterol enough, you may need additional medicines.
Contact your doctor if your medicines are causing any side effects.
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What Is The Ideal Cholesterol Level
The ideal blood cholesterol level is below 150 milligrams per deciliter , based on the results of the Framingham Heart Study and other research. At that level, heart disease is very unlikely. Unfortunately, nearly 107 million Americans have cholesterol levels that are greater than 200 mg/dL, which is dangerously close to 225 mg/dLthe average cholesterol level of coronary artery disease victims.
Myth: Eating Foods With A Lot Of Cholesterol Will Not Make My Cholesterol Levels Go Up
Fact: It can be complicated. We know that foods with a lot of cholesterol usually also have a lot of saturated fat. Saturated fats can make your cholesterol numbers higher, so its best to choose foods that are lower in saturated fats. Foods made from animals, including red meat, butter, and cheese, have a lot of saturated fats.
Instead, aim to eat foods with plenty of fiber, such as oatmeal and beans, and healthy unsaturated fats, such as avocados, olive oil, and nuts. Learn more about healthy diets and nutrition at CDCs nutrition, physical activity, and obesity website.
Talk with your health care provider about ways to manage your cholesterol. Learn more about medicines to lower cholesterol.
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How Quickly Can You Lower Cholesterol
Reviewed byDr. Victor Marchione, MD.Written byDevon AndrePublished onOctober 11, 2020
Lowering cholesterol takes effort. It requires a multi-faceted approach centered around diet, lifestyle, and, if needed, medication.
But how long does it take to lower cholesterol?
Longer than you might hope.
Even though it can take months to achieve a noticeable improvement in cholesterol with hard work, there is a massive payoff: routines you develop in your quest to reduce cholesterol can translate into long-lasting effects.
In essence, the proper adaptations have the potential to leave your struggle with high cholesterol in the past.
Following a heart-healthy diet like the Mediterranean or DASH diets, in conjunction with regular activity, should lead to noticeable results in about three months. Of course, there will be variations between individuals, but that timeline can offer good guidance.
To achieve results, of course, you have to stick to the routine.
Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, reducing saturated fat, and increasing dietary fiber can all help. For most, this involves eating far more plant-based foods and limiting refined and processed foods.
Some general dietary guidelines to follow that may help lower cholesterol include cutting saturated fat to less than 10 grams per day, eating 30 grams of fiber per day, and making sure at least 10g of fiber intake comes from insoluble fiber.
Cut Back On Animal Fats
Forgo fatty, processed meats such as bologna, salami, pepperoni and hot dogs, as well as fatty red meats like ribs and prime cuts of beef, pork, veal or lamb. Also, skip skin-on chicken or turkey. Avoid full-fat dairy products such as whole milk, cheese, cream, sour cream, cream cheese and butter. These foods contain saturated fat as well as cholesterol, which are both associated with higher blood cholesterol and plaque buildup.
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What Is The Difference Between Hdl And Ldl Cholesterol
Cholesterol doesnt dissolve in blood. To be transported in the bloodstream, cholesterol is packed into two types of carriers: low-density lipoproteins or high-density lipoproteins . LDL cholesterol, which is sometimes known as bad cholesterol, is necessary in limited quantities , but high LDL cholesterol levels can dramatically increase your risk of a heart attack. Thats because LDL particles can contribute to atherosclerosisor clogged arteries. HDL cholesterolsometimes called good cholesterolhelps clear LDL cholesterol from the arteries.
When doctors measure cholesterol levels, they first look at total cholesterol as a quick way to assess a persons risk. For a more exact guide, they divide the total level by the HDL level. Heart attack risk is minimized by having a lower total cholesterol and a higher proportion of HDL cholesterol. The ratio of total cholesterol to HDL should be less than 4 to 1.
Unfortunately, the average American man has a ratio of 5 to 1. Vegetarians, on the other hand, average about 3 to 1. Smoking and obesity lower HDL vigorous exercise and foods rich in vitamin C may increase it.
Get To A Healthy Weight
Weight loss from a healthy diet and exercise can potentially help lower high cholesterol. If you have overweight or obesity, losing just 3 to 5 percent of your body weight can help lower LDL and raise HDL cholesterol, according to the NHLBI.
For instance, if you weigh 200 pounds, then a 5 percent weight loss is 10 pounds. Derocha says aiming to lose that amount over six months is a very realistic goal.
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Eat Plenty Of Avocado
An avocado a day keeps heart disease away. Despite its high fat content, this delicious fruit can improve blood lipids and make weight loss easier. A 2015 clinical trial published in the Journal of the American Heart Association indicates that eating one avocado daily as part of a moderate-fat diet may lower total and LDL cholesterol and boost cardiovascular health without affecting good cholesterol levels.
This fruit is loaded with fiber, antioxidants and monounsaturated fats. These nutrients support cardiovascular function and overall health. Soluble fiber, for example, binds cholesterol in the GI tract and eliminates it from your body. According to the National Lipid Association, eating 5 to 10 grams of fiber daily can lower bad cholesterol levels by up to 11 points.
A large avocado boasts 13.5 grams of fiber, which is more than half of the daily recommended intake, and also provides 19.7 grams of monounsaturated fat milligrams per deciliter and 221 milligrams of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Compared to other fruits, itâs lower in sugar and carbs, so it doesnât cause insulin spikes. Thanks to its high fiber and fat content, it keeps you full longer and curbs hunger.
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Dietary And Lifestyle Changes
Dietary and lifestyle adjustments are key to making lasting changes in cholesterol levels.
Although they might not produce results as quickly as medications do, a person may notice their cholesterol levels drop in just a few weeks or months if they stick to a healthy diet and lifestyle plan.
Increase intake of plant foods
A 2017 study found that the people who ate vegetarian diets had significantly lower cholesterol levels than the participants following omnivorous diets.
The authors also note that some targeted diets using plant foods might cause stronger effects. For example, a diet rich in soluble fiber, plant sterols, and vegetable protein sources, such as soy and nuts, reduced LDL cholesterol by an average of 28.6% in just 4 weeks.
People who need to reduce their cholesterol quickly can work with a dietitian to create a targeted diet plan.
Increase fiber intake
While adding plant foods to the diet increases fiber intake naturally, it may also be helpful to take a fiber supplement or over-the-counter fiber drink to support the body.
Fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and may help prevent the body from absorbing cholesterol.
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