Lower Your LDL Cholesterol with These Simple Tips
LDL cholesterol, also known as the bad type, can cause a variety of heart problems when it is too high. When LDL collects in the blood vessel walls, it can cause blockages that may lead to a heart attack. Lowering the level of LDL is crucial for a healthy heart. Making small lifestyle changes can have a big effect on the levels of LDL in the blood, reducing the risk of heart problems.
Being Physically Active
Not only do physical activities lower LDL levels, they can increase the levels of HDL, which is also known as the good type of cholesterol. Aerobic exercises, which include walking, jogging and swimming, all have been found to decrease levels of LDL when done regularly.
Developing Healthy Eating Habits
A diet low in saturated fat will help to reduce levels. Saturated fats are found most often in red meats and dairy products. Choosing leaner cuts of meat and low-fat dairy products is a simple way to reduce saturated fat intake. Additionally, trans fats should be completely eliminated from the diet.
Foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids do not raise cholesterol levels and have other proven heart benefits, such as raising the levels of HDL in the blood. Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring, all have high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Increasing the intake of soluble fiber from whole grain bread, oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, beans and lentils can also lower high levels of LDL.
Controlling Blood Glucose Levels
Patients who are diabetic need to keep their glucose in control. Uncontrolled diabetes can result in thicker blood vessels, which can make it easier for LDL to build up. Exercising, eating less refined foods and monitoring carbohydrates will all help to keep blood glucose levels in control. Medicine and insulin may be prescribed by a doctor as well. These should be taken as directed.
If lifestyle changes aren’t enough, there are a variety of medicines available that will lower the levels of LDL. These include:
- Bile acid sequestrants
These medications should be taken under the directions of a doctor and used along with the lifestyle changes previously mentioned.
It can be difficult to make changes but doing so will result in a healthier heart and body. Patients should talk with their doctors to learn their goal levels of LDL, along with the possibility of medication, to get levels under control and live better lives.