If you’re looking to start a healthier lifestyle, you’ve probably heard that one of the things you should tackle is your cholesterol. But what exactly is it? Cholesterol is a substance in your body that is found in fats. There are two types of cholesterol: LDL and HDL. LDL cholesterol is the ‘bad’ type of cholesterol. This is because it collects inside of your arteries which carry blood from the heart. This can result in heart problems and stroke. HDL is the ‘good’ type of cholesterol. It actually helps to ‘clean’ LDL out of the blood. This clears those arteries out, improving heart health.
Happily, there are three simple steps you can take to lower your LDL and increase your HDL to become healthier:
- Exercise more – You probably don’t want to hear it, but it’s the truth. Exercise is one of the best ways of eliminating the bad cholesterol which clogs up the arteries. How much exercise is best is debatable. Generally, it is recommended that at least 30 to 40 minutes of exercise 4 to 5 times a week or more is a great way improve. What’s more, regular exercise has been shown to increase energy levels, improve your body shape and decrease stress. Walking, jogging, biking or gardening can all help, although according to a 2002 study, experts found that more intense exercise is more effective in lowering LDL then gentle exercise is. Still, pace yourself at a comfortable level before exercising too intensely. Find out more by clicking here.
- Change your diet – Cutting out high-LDL foods and replacing them with high-HDL foods is the best way to combat cholesterol with food. Simply, this means cutting out things like red meat and dairy products (milk, cheese, and butter), and replacing them with foods such as fish, eggplants, beans and soy/almond milk. Find a complete list by clicking here.
- Take supplements – Supplements can help reduce cholesterol, but it is worth remembering what the word ‘supplement’ actually means: ‘A thing added to something else in order to complete or enhance it‘, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. This means that supplements should be taken as well as exercise and dietary improvements, not instead of them. Some supplements that will help reduce LDL include green tea extract, omega-3 fish oil, artichoke extract, and barley. It’s best to see your doctor before you take supplements, just to make sure they give the ‘OK’, first. See a complete list and possible side-effects by clicking here.
Remember, talk to your doctor if you are worried about your health.
Featured Image: Depositphotos/© lofiloloPosted on May 5, 2023