Chapter 5 Vol 4

 Tactics To Reduce Your Cholesterol Level

You can significantly lower your cholesterol by making simple lifestyle changes. This not only helps you in your overall health, but also keeps you away from toxic medications and leaves you in a worse shape. As always, prevention is better than cure. So what kind of lifestyle changes are we looking at? Here’s are 5 top tactics to get you started right away:

1. Make Better Food Choices

The reason you’re in your current health state is not a coincidence, but what you put into your system in a continuous basis. If you’re physically unfit, it’s obvious that you’ve poor food choices and have been practicing bad eating habits for years!

Thankfully, you have the power to change! Here are some quick tips to radically plummet your cholesterol level and improve your cardiovascular health.

Healthy Fats vs Bad Fats

Not all fats are bad! So don’t fall into the false truth that all fats are evil. In fact, your body needs fat to carry out all bodily functions especially your hormonal system.

Worry about getting fat? Truth is, you can consume healthy fats to burn fats! So what are unhealthy fats?

Unhealthy fats are also known as saturated fats. It’s the kind of fats that spikes up your total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) to unhealthy level.

Examples of saturated fats are cheese, pizza, dairy desserts, sausage, bacon, burgers, reduced fat milk, pasta, butter, fried white potatoes and the list goes on. Surprised that more than half of the listed food are your favorite? You’re not alone. A staple American diet today consists of 60% saturated fats! No wonder obesity is rising at an alarming rate.

We’ve covered the unhealthy fats, so let’s learn more about the healthy fats – The good fats, also known as unsaturated fats.

These fats are heart healthy and help improve cholesterol levels. To eat healthily, it is important to replace some food that are high in saturated fat with food rich in unsaturated fats. Some of the examples are all kinds of nuts, avocado, vegetable, see and nut oil such as rapeseed, olive, sunflower, corn oil and oily fish such as salmon, pilchards, mackerel and trout.

As a rule, you should get less than 7 percent of your daily calories from saturated fat. Choose healthier fats for healthier options.

In short, it is highly recommended to replace food with high saturated fat with healthier substitutes to improve your overall lipid levels.

2. Exercise More

I believe many want to avoid this topic as much as they possibly can. But the truth remains the same; you have to exercise to maintain your overall health, especially when it comes to normalizing your cholesterol level.

Studies show that those who exercise more often actually have higher HDL cholesterol compared to those who didn’t, and have better overall health condition. So what kind of exercise works?

The best plan for reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease is a combination of aerobic (aka cardio) and resistance training.

Expert recommends to spend at least 40 minutes of moderate to high intensity aerobic exercises 3 to 4 times a week to improve cholesterol levels as well as lowers your blood pressure and risk for stroke and heart attack.

So how do you make sure you commit to your exercise regime? The best way to stay on a program till the end is to stay accountable to someone. So find a gym buddy, or join a fitness community! This will make your journey a lot more fun and less lonely. Also, don’t fret too much on whether you’re doing it right. Any exercise is good enough! Whether it’s just a walk in the park, climbing up the stairs, cycling in your neighborhood or doing a couple of jumping jacks in your room.

Still stuck? Well, I’ve some examples of exercise listed down to help you out.

Examples of moderate-intensity activities:

  • Ballroom dancing
  • Playing tennis
  • General gardening
  • Bicycling

Examples of high-intensity activities:

  • Hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack
  • Swimming laps
  • Jogging, race walking or running
  • Dancing
  • Cycling
  • Hiking uphill

3. Lose Weight

If you’ve already implemented the first two strategies (right diet and exercise), numbers on the scale may already be dropping.

Did you know that you could actually lower your cholesterol levels by simply losing weight? It’s proven to be true. Losing 10% of your body weight can radically normalize your cholesterol level. Not overweight? Put effort into maintaining a healthy weight.

For long-term success with weight loss, the Mayo Clinic suggests making small, sustainable changes. Slowly incorporate physical activity into your daily routine in simple ways such as brisk walking or doing simple house chores. Bring a healthy lunch from home instead of eating out. It all adds up. All these can help you lose a lot of weight, which in turn, reduce your cholesterol level.

4. Avoid Alcohol (Most of the Time)

Here’s a well-kept secret among the doctors: Alcohol actually promotes better cholesterol level and heart health.

Plus, research shows that alcohol also lowers inflammation and increases one’s lifespan.

But this secret is kept for a good reason: MAJORITY of the people will take this truth for granted and drink towers of alcohol!

Moderation is beneficial, but alcohol overdose can lead to liver failure, high blood pressure, alcohol-induced heart attack, stroke, alcohol intoxication and death.

5. Quit Smoking

The most well-documented impact that smoking has on cholesterol is how it lowers levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Smoking kills! A healthy person can actually succumb to numerous diseases from this habit. Besides damaging your respiratory system, smoking is known to clog your circulatory, causing inflammation and cause heart attack!

So if you smoke, stop right now! Do it not only for yourself, but also for your family and people around you. Being a second hand smoker is equally detrimental. Quitting might improve your HDL cholesterol level. Studies have shown that HDL levels often go up soon after a person quits smoking.

So what if your lifestyle changes didn’t make any difference?

When your health is at a point where healthy lifestyle changes aren’t enough to lower your cholesterol level, you have to consult your doctor for proper medication. However, statistics show that lifestyle changes do significantly help in reducing the dose of medication a person takes in order to control their cholesterol level. So, don’t give up! Stay consistent to your habit and new lifestyle changes and soon you will reap the benefits.

Treatment For High Cholesterol

You can work with your doctor to determine your risk and find the most appropriate treatment for you. In all cases, lifestyle changes are important to reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke.


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