Do you know your cholesterol levels? Did you know that high cholesterol levels could be from the foods you eat or passed down to you? A seemingly health and fit person can also have high cholesterol. If you do not know what your cholesterol level is, now is the time to visit your doctor to find out. Cholesterol screenings are quick and painless and can save your life.
If you already know that you have high levels, there are some things you can do to help lower your numbers. While it is true that you may not have control over the genes that were passed down to you, there are some things that are within your control. You can change your diet, exercise habits, control your weight and take medications to help get your cholesterol levels in control.
Diet: Besides heredity, what you eat can be the number one contributing factor in high cholesterol levels. What you eat can make you have unhealthy levels. You can control what you eat. You have the power to change your diet today. If your LDL cholesterol levels are high, your doctor will probably recommend a low cholesterol diet for six months to monitor the changes in your cholesterol levels. The primary perpetrator is saturated fat. Now it is wise to begin to decrease the amount of saturated fat in your diet. It is time to cut out the fried food, fast food, red meat and highly processed foods. You want to choose foods that are high in unsaturated fats such as fruits, whole grains, and vegetables. Not only do these foods taste good, they are low in sugar and high in fiber. Whole grains such as oatmeal and wheat products are also excellent for controlling your high cholesterol levels. When you increase these foods, you can also help shed unwanted pounds, which of course is an added bonus.
Physical Activity and Exercise: When you exercise regularly, you lower your LDL cholesterol levels and keep your weight down. This will also increase your HDL levels and then you will see a decrease in your triglycerides. When you add a daily and moderate exercise program, you will see a decrease in your cholesterol level. Most doctors recommend starting out slow, such as moderate walking for 30 minutes a day and then working your way up to more strenuous routines. The best change you can make that is quick and produces results is to get up and start walking. When you start exercising your body triggers a biochemical change that begins to lower your LDL and increase your HDL cholesterol levels.
Control Weight: When you are overweight and have high cholesterol, you are increasing your risks of heart disease. As you being to lose weight, the LDL cholesterol levels will decrease and your HDL cholesterol levels will increase. This quickly decreased your risk of a heart attack. In addition, your triglyceride levels will also lower by decreasing your weight. Losing weight is a very important aspect in decreasing your cholesterol levels. If you are seeing a doctor on a regular basis for cholesterol monitoring, he or she will probably talk to you about losing extra weight. While it is true that not all overweight people have high cholesterol and high cholesterol only affects those who are overweight, this is something that you should be aware of. If you have high cholesterol and are not overweight, you are experience this because of heredity. It is still important to remember to maintain a healthy weight.
Medications: When you have changed your diet, added daily exercise and lost weight and still have high levels, your doctor will probably recommend medication. There are different types of medications that your doctor may prescribe to aid in lowering your LDL cholesterol levels. Lipid altering medicines are prescribed to lower the blood levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. These medications also work to increase the HDL cholesterol levels. Some medications can even decrease the intestinal absorption rate of cholesterol. Medications can be combined if one does not seem to produce the desired results such as a medication that is useful in lowering LDL may be combined with other medications to make them more aggressive so the desired result will occur. If you are taking daily medication to help control your high cholesterol, it will be very important to see your health care professional on a regular basis.