If you wish to contain cholesterol and think medicines will be enough, think again. Now when high cholesterol is the second-highest attributor to the total burden of heart diseases – the complexity has definitely risen.
Controlling and improving your cholesterol has got very little to do with medication, but a lot to do with your lifestyle. If you make a few necessary changes in your lifestyle, switch to a healthier lifestyle, you will soon observe a significant impact on your overall health and not just cholesterol.
From sugar levels, blood pressures, and weight management, healthier results in all of this can be achieved just by making a few healthy changes in your lifestyle. Let me introduce you with some easy ways to kick-start this journey:
1. Eating Healthy (especially, heart-healthy!)
A healthy lifestyle is immediately followed by healthy eating. However, for cholesterol patients, it’s wise to optimize your meals with heart-healthy foods.
Decrease saturated fats in your diet that is primarily found in red meat and full dairy products. They aggravate the total cholesterol of your body and can prove to be extremely harmful to cholesterol-patients.
Along with it eliminate trans fats from your routine. Aim to add foods that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. They do not affect your LDL cholesterol and also provide you with heart-healthy benefits like reduced BP. These foods include salmon, flaxseeds and walnuts. Make a habit of drinking one glass of karela juice for the good health of your heart and body. Benefits of Karela are well-known whether it is diabetes or any heart-related disease. Add soluble fibers like oatmeals, kidney beans, apples and pears as they will reduce the absorption of cholesterol in your body. Lastly, there is no substitute for protein, and you will have to aim to have whey protein, majorly found in dairy.
2. Get your body moving
You must aim to exercise most days of the week and increase your physical activity. Take the stairs, hire a personal trainer, go for a run – do anything that compels your body to do some physical activity.
It will improve cholesterol as it would raise high-density lipoproteins, which is also known as good cholesterol. There are cases when you are not permitted to work out extensively, so ask your doctor and define your limits. At least hit the gym thrice a week. You can also play your favorite sport on the weekends or ride a bicycle occasionally.
3. Quit smoking
The stick of death in your hand is the only truth behind millions of life-threatening diseases, out of which, one is Cholesterol. Quitting smoking will improve your HDL cholesterol level. Besides, you also know it is not just for cholesterol you need to quit smoking. Considering how tobacco causes 7 million deaths per year, it’s high time – call it a quit!
4. Lose the extra inches and weight
The higher you weigh than the ideal, the more you are prone to high cholesterol levels. One of the primary reasons why healthy eating was my first point and exercise the second was to help you lose the extra pounds you gained due to sheer negligence.
Kick out those sugary beverages from your life. Do not munch on chips and other junk food, and opt for healthy alternatives during midnight cravings. Incorporation of omega 3 fatty acids in your diet will also help you extensively. Avoid your cappuccino and switch to black coffee. Once you reach an appropriate number on your weight scale, you will observe how it will not only benefit you in cholesterol but other day-to-day activities as well.
5. Avoid drinking alcohol
Alcohol and a healthy lifestyle are two different paths. If you wish to have one you can’t have the other and vice versa.
You cannot binge-drinking weekends anymore. The most you can have is within moderation limits. For those you are not drinking – you are doing great. But for the rest, drink alcohol in moderation because that has been linked to higher levels of HDL cholesterol. But yes, benefits aren’t strong enough to stick to it in the long run. One drink per day must be the maximum. We all know too much alcohol has a severe impact on your health, damaging your liver, heart failure, and other health hazards.
Make yourself a priority
Diseases like cholesterol, diabetes, BP can easily be controlled with few lifestyle changes – only if you are determined. However, if your cholesterol refuses to drop even after months of following the same routine, it’s best to consult a doctor and do as per advised.