Work In Some More Movement To Your Daily Tasks
Do you need to start running every day? Do you need to join a gym or buy a bunch of home fitness equipment? If you want to, go ahead! But there are many other choices, and finding a routine that works for you is whats most important.
Ideally, you want to aim for at least 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity every week. You can break that up however you like. You might focus on doing something every day, or you could dedicate yourself to just a few days per week. The key is to just get started.
For example, do you usually take the elevator? Take the stairs instead. Do you walk your dog every day? Go a little farther than usual, or walk at a faster pace. Need to go shopping? Park farther away than you normally do. Catching up on your favorite TV series? Try stretching, dumbbells or kettlebells while youre watching rather than just sitting on the couch. Also look for chances to bring motion into your daily life, such as walking while you talk on the phone.
If youre feeling good, work up to more intense physical activity, like lap swimming, jogging or hot yoga. Dont overexert yourself, but remember that regular and consistent exercise has benefits beyond managing your cholesterol. It also helps reduce blood pressure and builds your overall physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Even if you just go a little farther or a little faster than you usually do, that extra activity will be a big step in the right direction for your health.
Final Thoughts On The Keto Diet And Cholesterol
So does the keto diet raise cholesterol? It can due to the high-fat content of the diet, however, the keto diet overall has positive effects on cardiovascular health markers.
The bottom in is that instead of focusing so much on cholesterol levels, its a better idea to tackle chronic inflammation. Inflammation is the primary cause of atherosclerosis, or hardening and stiffening of arteries that accompanies plaque deposits and increases risk for heart attacks.
If youre following the ketogenic diet, what are some ways you can take care of your heart and keep chronic inflammation at bay?
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Best Exercises For Lowering Cholesterol
Some research has indicated that it may be that how much you exercise is more important than what kind of exercise you do. That means its worth it to incorporate more activity into your day however you can. Take a walk during your lunch hour, choose the stairs, stand up to take phone calls, or store a jump rope at your desk.
In addition, try to incorporate at least 30 minutes of structured exercise into each day. Any exercise is better than none, but the following six types have shown in studies to be effective at reducing cholesterol levels.
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The Link Between Dietary And Blood Cholesterol
The liver produces as much cholesterol as the body needs. It packages cholesterol with fat in very low-density lipoproteins .
As VLDL delivers fat to cells throughout the body, it changes into the more dense LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, which carries cholesterol wherever it is needed.
The liver also releases high-density lipoprotein , which carries unused cholesterol back to the liver. This process is called reverse cholesterol transport, and protects against clogged arteries and other types of heart disease.
Some lipoproteins, especially LDL and VLDL, are prone to damage by free radicals in a process called oxidation. Oxidized LDL and VLDL are even more harmful to heart health .
Although food companies often advertise products as low in cholesterol, dietary cholesterol actually only has a small influence on the amount of cholesterol in the body.
This is because the liver changes the amount of cholesterol it makes depending on how much you eat. When your body absorbs more cholesterol from your diet, it makes less in the liver.
For example, a study randomly assigned 45 adults to eat more cholesterol in the form of two eggs daily. In the end, those eating more cholesterol did not have higher total cholesterol levels or changes in lipoproteins, compared to those eating less cholesterol .
While dietary cholesterol has little influence on cholesterol levels, other foods in your diet can worsen them, as can family history, smoking and a sedentary lifestyle.
How To Increase Hdl Cholesterol
Although HDL levels are driven by family genetics, you can improve HDL levels in three key ways:
- If you are a smoker, research clearly shows that quitting smoking can increase HDL.
- Adopting a heart-healthy diet low in fat and high in fiber can also modestly raise your HDL.
- Aerobic exercise can also have positive effects on HDL. Have trouble exercising? Find a buddy research shows it helps motivate you. That exercise can be as simple as increasing the amount of walking you do each week.
Lastly, although primarily used to decrease high LDL, some statin medications may potentially increase HDL levels moderately. Any medical treatment option should be discussed with your doctor. Importantly, high HDL does not protect you from the untoward effects of high LDL.
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Talk To Your Doctor About Supplements And Cholesterol
If all other methods of increasing your HDL cholesterol haven’t been effective, you might think of taking dietary supplements. Still, Ahmed cautions that supplements aimed at raising HDL only do so modestly. Also, supplements have not yet been proven to reduce heart attacks or strokes.
Speak to your doctor before taking any supplements to raise HDL cholesterol, because some supplements come with health risks or may interact with medication.
Use Polyunsaturated Fats Especially Omega
Polyunsaturated fats have multiple double bonds that make them behave differently in the body than saturated fats. Research shows that polyunsaturated fats reduce bad LDL cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease.
For example, one study replaced saturated fats in 115 adults diets with polyunsaturated fats for eight weeks. By the end, total and LDL cholesterol levels were reduced by about 10% .
Another study included 13,614 adults. They replaced dietary saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat, providing about 15% of total calories. Their risk of coronary artery disease dropped by nearly 20% .
Polyunsaturated fats also seem to reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
Another study changed the diets of 4,220 adults, replacing 5% of their calories from carbohydrates with polyunsaturated fats. Their blood glucose and fasting insulin levels decreased, indicating a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes .
Omega-3 fatty acids are an especially heart-healthy type of polyunsaturated fat. Theyre found in seafood and fish oil supplements .
Omega-3 fats are found in high amounts in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring and deep sea tuna like bluefin or albacore, and to a lesser degree in shellfish including shrimp .
Other sources of omega-3s include seeds and tree nuts, but not peanuts.
All polyunsaturated fats are heart-healthy and may reduce the risk of diabetes. Omega-3 fats are a type of polyunsaturated fat with extra heart benefits.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of High Cholesterol
High cholesterol generally doesnt have obvious symptoms, but it can increase the risk of serious health conditions if left untreated. Thats why its important to get a blood test and regular check-ups. If you are 45 or older , see your doctor for a cholesterol test as part of a Heart Health Check. If you have a family history of high cholesterol, speak to your GP about your heart disease risk.
How Is High Cholesterol Diagnosed
All kids should have their cholesterol checked when they’re between 9 and 11 years old and again when they’re between 17 and 21.
Kids over 2 years old should be tested if they:
- have a parent or other close relative with a total cholesterol higher than 240 mg/dL
- have a family history of cardiovascular disease before age 55 in men and age 65 in women
- have some kinds of medical conditions
- are overweight or obese
- have diabetes, high blood pressure, or smoke cigarettes
Your doctor can order a blood test to check your child’s cholesterol. Your child may have to fast before the test.
According to the National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines, the ranges of total and LDL cholesterol for kids and teens 218 years old are:
mg/dL = milligrams per deciliter
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How Is High Cholesterol Treated
If your child has an LDL cholesterol level of 130 mg/dL or higher, your doctor will talk to you about lifestyle changes or refer you to a dietitian. The goals are to:
- reduce fat and cholesterol in the diet
- increase exercise
- lose weight, if needed
Your doctor will probably do a cholesterol check again after 36 months of lifestyle changes.
Medicine might be considered for kids 10 and older whose LDL cholesterol is 190 mg/dL or higher if changes in diet and exercise haven’t worked. Kids with risk factors, such as diabetes or high blood pressure or a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, may need treatment at lower LDL levels.
How Can High Ldl Or Bad Cholesterol Levels Be Lowered
Therapeutic lifestyle changes to lower cholesterol
It must be emphasized that lifestyle modification remains a critical component of health promotion and ASCVD risk reduction, both prior to and in concert with the use of cholesterol-lowering drug therapies.- 2013 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Treatment of Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk in Adults
- Therapeutic lifestyle changes to lower LDL cholesterol can help lower and maintain levels naturally. This may involve:
- Getting regular exercise
- Eating a heart healthy diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol
Newer medications, PCSK9 protein antibodies, Alirocumab and evolocumab are potentially useful in treating certain patients where diet and statins have failed to adequately lower LDL level.
Foods fortified with plant sterols and stanols
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Drop Excess Pounds To Increase Hdl Cholesterol
If youre overweight or obese, shedding those excess pounds can help to raise HDL cholesterol. Leah Groppo, RD, CDE, clinical dietitian at Stanford Health Care in Stanford, California, says that losing around 7 percent of your total body weight is enough to cause a metabolic shift.But as Groppo notes, Maintaining weight loss is key.
Abdominal obesity fat that accumulates around your waist rather than in the hips and thighs seems to be associated with heart disease risk and lower levels of the good cholesterol. Weight loss is especially helpful for people who have an apple-shaped body.
Effective weight-loss methods include diet, exercise, and surgery. A study published in January 2014 in the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases found that 318 participants who received laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding showed a significant increase in their HDL cholesterol long-term, 12 years later.
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.
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Interpreting Hdl Cholesterol Levels
HDL levels below 40 mg/dL are associated with an increased risk of CAD, even in people whose total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels are normal. HDL levels between 40 and 60 mg/dL are considered “normal,” and do not very much affect the risk of CAD one way or the other. However, HDL levels greater than 60 mg/dL are actually associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
In other words, the dogma has been: the higher the HDL levels, the better.
While this belief is still thought to be almost always true, in recent years a fly has been found in the ointment. Drug companies have spent billions of dollars developing drugs that increase HDL cholesterol levels. However, to the dismay of all, these drugs have failed to reduce cardiac riskdespite the fact that they make HDL levels go up. Development of at least two of these drugs has now been halted. So the HDL story is more complex than scientists originally had hoped.
What Is High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is made by your liver. Its a waxy substance that your body uses to build cells, among other processes.
Eating fatty foods and oils can cause your liver to make extra cholesterol. It can also come from the meat and dairy products in your diet.
When you have a cholesterol screening, the levels of two types of cholesterol will be reported in your results: LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol.
LDL cholesterol is whats known as bad cholesterol. High LDL can also be linked to high triglycerides, a type of fat in your blood that comes from your diet.
If you have too much LDL cholesterol, it can build up into a hard, waxy substance in your arteries, called plaque. When this happens, your arteries become narrow and less flexible.
High cholesterol is one of the biggest risk factors for cardiovascular conditions such as heart disease and stroke. But while HDL cholesterol is considered good cholesterol, and not having enough of it can be a problem, too.
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What Medications Lower Cholesterol Lipids And Triglycerides
Lipid-altering medications are used to lower blood levels of undesirable lipids such as LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and increase blood levels of desirable lipids such as HDL cholesterol. Several classes of medications are available in the United States, including HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors , nicotinic acid, fibric acid derivatives, and medications that decrease intestinal cholesterol absorption . Some of these medications are primarily useful in lowering LDL cholesterol, others in lowering triglycerides, and some in elevating HDL cholesterol. Medications also can be combined to more aggressively lower LDL, as well as lower LDL and increase HDL at the same time.
Newer medications, alirocumab and evolocumab have been approved to help lower LDL levels in certain pateints where diet and other statin medications have not worked adequately.
Note: Dosing guidelines change. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a guideline concerning the potential dangers of taking the 80 mg dose of simvastatin .
What Can You Do To Keep Hdl High
Although medications can increase HDL cholesterol, research has shown that they do not necessarily alter your risk of heart disease, says Dr. Wassif. So we focus on LDL cholesterol reduction and recommend lifestyle changes. The American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association recommend:
A healthy, well-balanced diet. Eat a Mediterranean-style diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and lean vegetable or animal protein and fish.
Regular exercise, such as walking. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity activity.
Maintain a healthy weight, or lose excess pounds if needed. Besides improving your diet and exercise habits, a comprehensive plan may include lifestyle counseling for stress, sleep hygiene and other individual challenges you face.
Dont smoke. If you smoke, individual or social support groups are recommended while trying to quit to increase your chances of success.
Manage your blood sugar. If you have type 2 diabetes, a healthy diet and exercise are crucial, along with any medications your doctor may recommend.
Aim for a blood pressure of < 130/80 mm Hg. Get the proper amount of good-quality sleep, follow a low-sodium diet and meet the recommended exercise guidelines.
Start by taking these small steps to change your lifestyle. Theyll help you boost your HDL, making it easier for your bloodstreams cleaner to do its job.
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Take A Garlic Supplement
Theres to suggest that taking garlic supplements can moderately reduce LDL cholesterol.
As early as 2000 , research suggested that garlic may help to reduce your bodys absorption of cholesterol and lower triglycerides in your blood. But more research is needed to definitively understand how garlic is linked to lower cholesterol levels.
You can find garlic supplements at any health food store or simply start using more raw garlic in your cooking at home.