Raised cholesterol levels can be alarming for the proper functioning of the heart. The cholesterol is of two types, the LDL or the bad type of cholesterol, and the HDL which is good type of cholesterol. The raised levels of LDL or bad cholesterol could harden or clog the arteries that take blood away from the heart towards other organs, and thus exerting more pressure on the heart and making it work faster. This causes symptoms like high blood pressure, and on a more serious level can lead to heart stroke. This vital organ has to work in a healthy way in order to ensure a healthy body. Keeping the cholesterol level at normal levels is an ongoing process. This can be maintained with good diet and physical activity.
Some methods to manage and cut the cholesterol levels have been listed here.
1. Cut on saturated fats
Saturated fats are the source of LDL or bad type of cholesterol. Avoiding saturated fats like butter and oils while cooking can help control the saturated fats. Instead use olive oil or canola oil which are good for the heart and help in raising the levels of HDL.
2. More fibers in the diet
Whole grains and vegetables are a rich source of fibers. These along with fresh fruits are very beneficial for the heart. Beans, oats and barley also contain good amount of fibers. The fibers act as agents which absorb the bad cholesterol and thus lower their levels in the blood. Thus fiber rich foods should be increased considerably in the diet.
3. Fish as an essential part of diet
Fish is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids. These help in reducing the triglycerides which result in high level of bad cholesterol. These play a vital role in lowering the cholesterol levels in the blood. Fish varieties like Salmon and Tuna are among the ones which have highest levels of Omega-3 fatty acids.
4. Nuts in small portions
Eating small amounts of nuts like almonds and walnuts have also shown slight reduction in bad cholesterol levels. However, owing to high calories, their intake should be limited to handful. In smaller amounts these have shown considerable results.
5. Abstain from smoking
Smoking exerts pressure on the heart and lowers HDL levels which is considered as good cholesterol. So it should be stopped completely. Smoking also results in hardening of the arteries which may strain the heart.
6. Moderation in alcohol
It has been proved that small amounts of alcohol has actually been found beneficial in the lowering of bad cholesterol levels. Moderation is the key word here and should be strictly followed.
7. Green beverages
Green tea has been found to be beneficial in lowering cholesterol levels. It lowers LDL or bad cholesterol. This has been researched and found to be effective. This should be preferred over carbonated drinks and coffee.
8. Live stress free
Meditation and yoga help in reducing stress which in turn helps in keeping a healthy heart. It plays a significant role in lowering of cholesterol levels and strengthening the arteries.
9. Watch your weight
Lesser body weight means less load on the heart to supply blood. This relaxes the heart and helps increase the HDL or good cholesterol as excess fat is not there. The heart has to work less and remains healthy.
10. Proper medication
Advice of a specialist and prescriptions for medication should be followed meticulously after the diagnosis. This goes a long way in managing cholesterol levels. The medicines should be taken religiously as advised by the expert. These combined with other dietary modifications should greatly help.
11. Physical activity
Regular physical activity can be quite beneficial for the heart as it lowers the LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol. Activities like brisk walking on a daily basis can do wonders towards lowering cholesterol and in turn making a healthy heart. Exercising in moderation can also provide the benefits. Physical activity brings more oxygen to the heart and it works efficiently and this in turn makes the arteries strong. They become clear of cholesterol deposits. Regular physical activity with fixed schedule can do wonders in lowering cholesterol and making the heart healthy.
So, it can be summed up to say that balanced cholesterol levels can ensure that one keeps a healthy heart and leads a healthy life.