Top 5 Food and Lifestyle Changes to Lower Cholesterol
High cholesterol has become a common health issue amongst people of any age, mainly among the youth. This is because of their unhealthy diet choices and the change in their lifestyles. Many adults have cholesterol level much higher than the recommended one. Heart diseases are not taken seriously unless and until there is a severe occurrence of heart attack or stroke. Adults who are in the age range of 20 years need to be specifically aware of the heart diseases as such disorders can have severe effects on their overall health in the later stage. Rather than depending on the medications and drugs, it is advisable to change the eating habits, diet and start consuming healthy foods. By incorporating a healthy diet, you can reduce the risk of certain cardiovascular diseases.
Following are the list of foods and lifestyle changes you need to adapt: Foods to Lower Cholesterol
Oats and Oatmeal consist of both, soluble and insoluble fibers which are linked to the high level. Oats contain an important constituent called beta-glucan which helps in reducing the levels. Daily intake of about 40 g of oat bran or 60 g of oatmeal can decrease around 5% serum cholesterol. Start every morning with a bowl of hot oatmeal garnished with nuts and fruits. This makes a quite healthy breakfast which increases your fullness and prevents binge eating. You can even grind oatmeal in its powdered form and add it wheat flour or soups and smoothies.
Apart from fish being considered as a rich source of protein, it also helps in reducing triglycerides, blood pressure and it also reduces the risk of blood clots. The presence of omega-3 fatty acids in fishes such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel helps in reducing the triglycerides and increases the HDL cholesterol in the body. You can either bake or grill the fish to avoid consumption of unhealthy fats. If you are a vegan or a vegetarian, you can get omega-3 fatty acids from flax seeds or canola oil. An alternative to fish is fish oil supplements to meet your omega-3 fats requirements.
Soy is very beneficial in lowering the level of cholesterol. Consume at least 25 grams of soy to reduce the triglycerides and a slight increase in HDL cholesterol. Soy products have a relatively low glycemic index which lowers the insulin levels and manages the blood sugar level, thereby preventing weight gain and eventually reduces cholesterol level.
Physical movements often contribute to the overall health of the body. Adequate and regular exercise greatly helps in solving many problems like maintaining weight, regulating blood sugar levels and lowering LDL cholesterol. Exercise helps in stimulating the enzymes in the muscle which then converts the cholesterol into HDL cholesterol. Apart from lowering the LDL, it has many other benefits like strengthening the heart, bones, muscles and aiding weight loss. Strenuous workouts and exercises should be prevented and instead, swimming, walking, jogging, yoga, cycling, etc should be practiced on a daily basis.
Smoking is linked to the risk of certain cancer and several heart diseases. Smoking causes a lot of problems in cholesterol levels and results in a rapid increase in LDL or bad cholesterol. Quitting smoking can contribute to reducing the blood pressure. Smoking causes an increase in the level which sticks around the walls of arteries and causes a blockage, thereby adding a risk to the heart. A decrease in the HDL cholesterol caused due to smoking can prevent the toxins to eliminate from the liver, thus damaging the liver and heart health. Hence, it is necessary to quit smoking to prevent such severe health issues in future.
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