Whether you have healthy cholesterol levels or whether they are elevated, it can be quite beneficial to you to know the ways to lower cholesterol without having to rely on prescription medication.
The reason is that – like all prescription drugs – those meant for reducing cholesterol levels are known to come with a range of different potential unwanted side effects. Therefore, if all you need to do is make some simple lifestyle changes to improve your levels, that might be worth your while.
The reason it’s important to find ways to lower cholesterol when your levels are already high is that high levels can increase your risk of heart disease in general as well as heart attacks.
The following are some helpful ways to lower cholesterol by way of your lifestyle:
Maintain a healthy body weight – When you’re overweight – even by a few pounds – you increase your risk of having high cholesterol. Every little effort counts. Even if you reduce your body weight by as little as 5 to 10 percent, you’ll make a significant reduction in your cholesterol levels. Speak with your doctor about your current BMI and where you should ideally be. Discuss your eating habits and your daily activity routines to find out where you can make some small but very meaningful changes. Looking at your eating and exercising habits more mindfully can send you in the right direction.
Choose heart-healthy foods – Instead of thinking about the way you eat in terms of what you should be cutting out, try to focus on what you should be including. Focus on including healthier fats, whole grains, fruits and veggies and foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. By filling your fridge and cupboards with these foods, you’ll have less room for the bad fats and high cholesterol foods that have contributed to your struggle in the first place.
Exercise nearly every day – While it’s more than fair for you to want a day off, try to realistically add physical activity to most days of the week. Even if you’re quite out of shape, do what you can at the start and build up to the point that you can do a minimum of 30 minutes per day. This doesn’t mean you need to get a gym membership. A
brisk walk – or two shorter brisk walks – almost every day can make a tremendous difference. Taking a 15 minute walk at lunch and another one either first thing in the morning or right when you get home at night can be easy to fit into any schedule.
Quit smoking – You’ve already heard it thousands of times. Make this the one that reaches you. Quit smoking and you’ll instantly improve your health. Within 24 hours, your risk of heart attack will plummet, within 20 minutes your blood pressure will lower, and not long after, your cholesterol levels will also be measurably reduced. Fifteen years from now, it will be as though you’ve always been a non-smoker when it comes to your heart health.