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.
Myth: I Cant Do Anything To Change My Cholesterol Levels
Fact: You can do many things to improve your cholesterol levels and keep them in a healthy range!
- Get tested at least every 5 years .1,2 Learn more about cholesterol screenings.
- Make healthy food choices. Limit foods high in saturated fats. Choose foods naturally high in fiber and unsaturated fats. Learn more about healthy diets and nutrition at CDCs nutrition, physical activity, and obesity website.
- Be active every day. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults get 150 to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. Learn more about physical activity basics and tips.
- Dont smoke or use tobacco products. Smoking damages your blood vessels, speeds up the hardening of the arteries, and greatly increases your risk for heart disease. If you dont smoke, dont start. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk for heart disease. Learn more about tobacco use and ways to quit at CDCs smoking and tobacco use website.
- Talk with your health care provider about ways to manage your cholesterol if any medicines are given to you to manage your cholesterol, take them as they are prescribed. Learn more about medicines to lower cholesterol.
- Know your family history. If your parents or other immediate family members have high cholesterol, you probably should be tested more often. You could have a condition called familial hypercholesterolemia .
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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Saturated And Unsaturated Fat
There are 2 main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Eating too many foods high in saturated fat can raise the level of cholesterol in your blood.
Most people in the UK eat too much saturated fat.
Foods high in saturated fat include:
- meat pies
- cakes and biscuits
- foods containing coconut or palm oil
Eating foods that contain unsaturated fat instead of saturated fat can actually help reduce cholesterol levels.
Try to replace foods containing saturated fats with small amounts of foods high in unsaturated fats, such as:
- oily fish such as mackerel and salmon
- nuts such as almonds and cashews
- seeds such as sunflower and pumpkin seeds
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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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Natural Ways To Lower Your Cholesterol Levels
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Cholesterol is made in your liver and has many important functions. For example, it helps keep the walls of your cells flexible and is needed to make several hormones.
However, like anything in the body, too much cholesterol or cholesterol in the wrong places creates problems.
Like fat, cholesterol does not dissolve in water. Instead, its transport in the body depends on molecules called lipoproteins, which carry cholesterol, fat and fat-soluble vitamins in the blood.
Different kinds of lipoproteins have different effects on health. For example, high levels of low-density lipoprotein result in cholesterol deposits in blood vessel walls, which can lead to clogged arteries, strokes, heart attacks and kidney failure .
In contrast, high-density lipoprotein helps carry cholesterol away from vessel walls and helps prevent these diseases .
This article will review 10 natural ways to increase the good HDL cholesterol and lower the bad LDL cholesterol.
Eat Plenty Of Good Fat
Healthy fat, known as unsaturated fat, is liquid at room temperature. The two main types of unsaturated fat are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Theyre very similar, and both types can help lower LDL, increase HDL, decrease inflammation, stabilize heart rhythms, and more.
Monounsaturated fats have just one carbon-to-carbon double bond in their molecular structure. They help lower LDL cholesterol and improve the health of your cells. Monounsaturated fat is found in nuts, avocados, sesame seeds, and olive, canola, corn, and safflower oils.
Polyunsaturated fats have more than one double bond in their molecular structure. Theyre essential for blood clotting and building cell membranes, and since your body doesnt make polyunsaturated fats, you have to consume them in your food.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat found in fatty fish like salmon and sardines. Omega-3 fatty acids can lower triglyceride levels and increase HDL cholesterol, and theyre essential for brain function and cell growth. Non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, and seaweed.
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Complications From High Cholesterol
Your overall health is at risk when your blood vessels are blocked. There are diseases directly linked to high cholesterol levels, particularly cardiovascular disease.
WebMD says the main risk is when the buildup of cholesterol in your arteries slows blood flow to the heart muscle. This buildup is known as plaque, which leads to the hardening of the arteries and makes them narrower. If the arteries become completely blocked this can result in angina or heart attack.
How Can I Lower My Cholesterol In 30 Days
A few changes in your diet can reduce cholesterol and improve your heart health:
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How Long Does It Take To Reduce Cholesterol Levels
How long it takes to lower your cholesterol can vary, but changing your numbers over a six-month time period is a realistic goal, Grace Derocha, RD, CDE, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, tells LIVESTRONG.com.
Why? Six months gives your body time to process excess cholesterol and for you to form healthy habits that can help lower and prevent high cholesterol, she says.
Avoid Tobacco Products And Limit Alcohol Consumption
Its common knowledge that smoking is bad for the lungs, but you might not know that it can damage your arteries as well. Combining that with plaque buildup due to high cholesterol can lead to serious heart health problems. Thats why the CDC says flat out that if you currently smoke, you should quit, and non-smokers should never start.
Alcohol isnt quite as detrimental, but can raise overall cholesterol and levels of triglycerides in the blood if consumed in large quantities. The CDC recommends consuming no more than one or two alcoholic beverages per day in order to maintain your heart health.
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Eat Heart Healthy Foods And Exercise
We have all heard the saying eat right and exercise. Eat heart-healthy foods, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. I know it is tempting to walk out the door in the morning with a bagel or doughnut, but consuming simple carbs on a regular basis is not the healthiest way to start the day.
In comparison, a fiber- and protein- rich breakfast may fend off hunger pangs for longer and provide you with more energy.
Exercise may also help to improve cholesterol. I usually go to the gym three days a week, but we should all try to exercise 30 minutes a day, five times a week.
Learn more about how to make heart-healthy choices at TakeCholesteroltoHeart.com/MuyBueno
Cut Back On Added Sugar
A sugary diet can cause your liver to make more LDL cholesterol while lowering your HDL levels. Excess sugar can also raise your triglycerides and inhibit an enzyme that breaks them down. To prevent this, replace sugary fare with naturally-sweet alternatives. Instead of a bowl of candy, for example, have unsweetened applesauce or a baked pear. When you do indulge in high-sugar treats, stick to modest portions.
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How Your Diet Affects Cholesterol Levels
Foods high in cholesterol are those that come from animalsfull-fat dairy, organ meats, egg yolks, for example. If you have high cholesterol, strive to consume fewer than 200 mg of cholesterol each day. Although cholesterol in food can increase your cholesterol levels, its not the most important factor for high cholesterol.
Here are the most important dietary considerations for lowering your cholesterol.
Effects Of High Cholesterol Levels
The liver is the main processing centre for cholesterol and dietary fat. When we eat animal fats, the liver transports the fat, together with cholesterol in the form of lipoproteins, into our bloodstream.
Too much cholesterol circulating within LDL in our bloodstream leads to fatty deposits developing in the arteries. This causes the vessels to narrow and they can eventually become blocked. This can lead to heart disease and stroke.
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/8here Is How To Lower Bad Cholesterol Level
High level of LDL cholesterol, also referred to as bad cholesterol is a common health concern. It is linked with serious health ailments like heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes, which at times can turn fatal. This makes it vital to keep a track of the cholesterol level to evade life-threatening health issues.
Misconception: Only Men Need To Worry About Cholesterol
Both men and women tend to see higher triglyceride and cholesterol levels as they get older. Although atherosclerosis typically occurs later in women than men, cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in women. Weight gain also contributes to higher levels.
Premenopausal women may have some protection from high LDL levels of cholesterol, compared to men. Thats because the female hormone estrogen is highest during the childbearing years and it tends to raise HDL cholesterol levels. This may help explain why premenopausal women are usually protected from developing heart disease.
But cholesterol levels can still rise in postmenopausal women, despite a heart-healthy diet and regular physical activity. So women nearing menopause should have their cholesterol levels checked and talk with their doctor about their risk factors and treatment options.
At one time, it was thought that hormone replacement therapy might lower a womans risk of heart disease and stroke. But studies have shown that HRT doesnât reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke in postmenopausal women. The American Heart Association doesnât endorse HRT as a means to lower cardiovascular risks.
Doctors should consider women-specific conditions, such as premature menopause and pregnancy-associated conditions, when discussing their cholesterol levels and potential treatment options.
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Let South Denver Cardiology Associates Help
If you are trying to improve your health by cutting down on your cholesterol, South Denver Cardiology Associates offers many programs that might be useful. This includes our gym and various exercise classes.
We can also help you assess the seriousness of your heart problems with extensive diagnostic testing options. For example, we offer a heart scan that looks at the calcification of your heart arteries. This can help you understand your heart risks in the near term.
To learn more about the benefits of working with South Denver Cardiology, please call 303-744-1065 or use our online form to schedule an appointment today.
Mr Monastyrsky So What Can I Do To Lower My Cholesterol And Reduce My Risk Of Heart Disease
Well, a complete answer to this question will require a season-long mini-series, and, then, someâ¦ So lets be practical, and concentrate on the fiber-related aspects of this quagmire:
Again, thank you for watching!
Take good care of yourself!
God bless you and your family!
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Lowering Cholesterol With Diet And Exercise
Exactly how exercise works in improving your cholesterol levels is still not totally clear. Although there have been studies examining the effects of exercise on cholesterol, these studies have also been coupled with other cholesterol-lowering lifestyle changes, such as following a healthy diet or losing weight.
Recent studies examining the effect of exercise alone reveal a few ways that exercise may help improve your cholesterol levels:
- Lipoprotein particle size. Some studies have shown that exercise can change your LDL . Smaller lipoproteins, such as small, dense LDL, have been associated with contributing to cardiovascular disease but having larger LDL particles do not carry this same risk. Studies have shown that moderate exercise can increase the size of your LDL particles, which can help to reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. In one study, a 12-week endurance exercise program reduced small, dense LDL by up to 17%.
- Reverse cholesterol transport. A few studies in mice have suggested that exercise can enhance the transport of cholesterol from the bloodstream to the liver, where it will eventually be filtered out of the body.
- Absorption. A few studies have shown that eight to 12 weeks of endurance exercise may slightly reduce the absorption of cholesterol from the small intestine into the bloodstream. The amount of cholesterol made by the liver does not appear to be affected by exercise.
How Much Does Metamucil Lower Ldl Cholesterol
In a meta-analysis1 of 8 studies involving 384 people with high cholesterol levels who had been following a low-fat diet for several weeks, adding psyllium supplementation lowered LDL cholesterol an additional 7%.
Another well-designed study,2 from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, found that 197 people who had been taking psyllium for 6 months netted LDL cholesterol levels that were 6.7% lower than the 51 people in the placebo group.
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I Do Not Get The Necessary Result But Im Only Interested In A Non
There are a number of excellent herbal or natural cholesterol busters on the market. Herbal varieties usually contain either red yeast rice or guggul gum extract, both of which have been used for centuries and are effective in regulating blood lipids. The non-herbal natural busters usually contain ingredients that either absorb cholesterol themselves or inhibit the absorption of cholesterol from foods. Read our article on natural cholesterol-lowering foods, herbs, vitamins and supplements. They are safe and are a good alternative to prescription drugs, especially when combined with a proper diet and exercise.
In conclusion, how long to reduce cholesterol will depend on your commitment and discipline to working actively towards your goal. Finally, we must say that all these current polemics and the surrounding hysteria around cholesterol do not really help to approach the subject objectively enough. But at least we know that we have bet on the right cards when we take care to eat and live healthily.
Add Plant Stanols Or Sterols
Include 2 grams of plant stanols or sterols per day. This may help lower your LDL cholesterol. Stanols and sterols are found in fortified foods or supplements. To add these in your diet you can:
Add foods fortified with stanols and sterols. Ask your dietitian for more information.
Include daily supplements such as CardioSterols or Cholestoff capsules and Benecol chews.
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Dont Forget About Exercise
Along with a healthy diet, youll want to do some form of physical activity each day. Aim for 60-minutes of moderate cardio daily. Exercising has cardiovascular benefits which are something to prioritize when trying to lower your cholesterol.
Choose fun activities you can look forward to. It could be cycling, dancing, swimming, gardening, or anything else that gets you moving. Even just going for a stroll around your neighborhood can be beneficial for your health.