Cells in your body contain a waxy, fat-like substance called cholesterol, which facilitates making vitamin D, hormones, and juices that aid in food digestion. While Rockville cholesterol has multiple benefits, too much of it may lead to severe complications such as coronary artery disease. This is because extra cholesterol in the blood can combine with other substances, resulting in plaque accumulation in the arteries. Cholesterol can be found in animal products such as meat, cheese, and egg yolks. High cholesterol levels present no symptoms and can only be detected through a blood test.
How can I prevent or lower high cholesterol levels?
Observing a healthy lifestyle is one of the effective measures in preventing high cholesterol for those who do not have and manage the levels for patients with high cholesterol. However, lifestyle changes alone may not be effective for those with high cholesterol. If your cholesterol levels are already high, your doctor may recommend that you combine lifestyle changes with medication for better results. The following are examples of lifestyle changes which your specialist may recommend:
Make diet changes
Since cholesterol can be found in foods, regulating certain foods such as red meat can help prevent high cholesterol levels. Red meat and dairy products like milk and cheese contain saturated fats, which increase cholesterol levels in your body. Reducing your intake of these foods lowers the bad cholesterol in your body – low-density lipoprotein. Dietary changes may be challenging to adjust to. Gradually replacing red meats with soluble fiber such as oatmeal and Brussels sprouts may help you form a habit of eating healthy. When shopping for food products, watch out for items with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, as they contribute to high cholesterol levels.
Engaging in frequent physical exercise can help raise high-density lipoprotein, which is good cholesterol. However, you should only proceed with exercise after your doctor gives you the go-ahead. The recommended exercise time for low-impact activities is at least half an hour for five days a week. If you engage in vigorous activities, you can do this 20 minutes every day at least three times a week. Besides lowering your risk for high cholesterol, physical exercise is a healthy way to lose excess pounds and keep your body in the right shape. Exercises may include walking down a lane, jogging in the morning before work, and playing your favorite sport during the weekend.
Lose extra weight
People with excess body weight are at risk for high cholesterol levels in their bodies. Losing extra weight and maintaining a healthy body mass index significantly lowers the risk for elevated cholesterol levels. Sweetened beverages like sodas and fatty snacks, including crisps and popcorns, contain high calories. Instead of taking soda during a hot afternoon, drink a glass of water. If you are craving something sweet, you can opt for jelly beans or candies with low fat. To lose excess weight, engage in more activities like walking, cleaning your house, and using the stairs instead of a lift or elevator.
Since high cholesterol levels present no symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor at Quality Primary Care to test your cholesterol levels.