Have too much cholesterol in our blood, it can combine with other substances in the blood to form plaque. Plaque sticks to the walls of our arteries. This buildup of plaque is known as atherosclerosis. It can lead to coronary artery disease, where our coronary arteries become narrow or even blocked.
The most common cause of high cholesterol is an unhealthy lifestyle. This can include :
- Smoking - Which lowers HDL cholesterol, especially in women. It also raises our LDL cholesterol.
- Lack Of Physical Activity - With lots of sitting and little of exercise. This lowers of HDL (good) cholesterol.
- Unhealthy Eating Habits - Such as eating lots of bad fats. One type, saturated fat, is found in some meats, dairy products, baked goods, chocolate and deep-fried and also processed foods. Eating these fats can raise our LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Genetics may also cause people to have high cholesterol. For example, familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is an inherited form of high cholesterol. Other medical conditions and certain medicines may also cause high cholesterol.
How Do We Know If Have High Cholesterol ?
There are usually no signs or symptoms we have high cholesterol. There is a blood test to measure our cholesterol level. When and how often we should get this test depends on our age, risk factors, and family history. The general recommendations are :
For People Who Are Age 20 Or Older :
- Younger adults should have the test every 5 years
- Men ages 45 to 65 and women ages 55 to 65 should have it every 1 to 2 years.
For People Who Age 19 Or Younger :
- The first test should be between ages 9 to 11
- Children should have the test again every 5 years
- Some children may have this test starting at age 2 if there is a family history of high blood cholesterol, heart attack, or stroke.
5 Simple Ways To Reduce Cholesterol !
We can reduce cholesterol levels and decrease our heart disease risk with some simple steps. Learn how to follow a heart-healthy lifestyle.
# STEP 1 - Start Exercising For Better Cholesterol Levels
Exercise has a greater effect on raising HDL cholesterol, which can protects from heart disease, than on lowering the LDL cholesterol that puts at risk. It's good to know that even if we don't see the numbers changing right away, regular exercise strengthens heart and protects from heart disease. If not a big fan of exercise and not in great shape to begin with, remember that all we need to do to start reaping the heart-healthy benefits of exercise is 30 minutes of walking at a moderate pace every day. If have a heart condition, talk with doctor first about how much exertion is right for when begin, and then work a way up to fitness goals for heart health.
# STEP 2 - Stop Smoking To Improve Your Cholesterol Levels
Smoking is the main cause of preventable deaths in the world. Some studies suggest that quitting smoking can lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.
"Smoking probably has an indirect effect on cholesterol levels that's not always reflected in numbers. It's so bad for heart that quitting always helps."
# STEP 3 - Less Stress Can Help Lower Cholesterol Levels
Too much stress increase bad cholesterol levels, is bad for our blood pressure and finally contributes to coronary artery disease.
Start by identifying the sources of bad stress and then learn ways to deal with it. Swimming, jogging, deep breathing, meditation, yoga, massage and other forms of exercise are all tried-and-true, heart-healthy stress reducers.
# STEP 4 - Increase Heart - Healthy Fruits, Vegetables And Beans
Once we control protein and starch portions, we can fill the rest of plate with heart-healthy fruits and vegetables. Aim for four to five servings of vegetables and four to five servings of fruits every day. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals and are great sources of fiber, which helps fill up, weight control and also will improve cholesterol levels.
"Make sure don't forget about beans - the soluble fiber in beans is better fiber for lowering bad cholesterol than the solid fiber in fruits and vegetables."
# STEP 5 - Talk With Doctor About Cholesterol
Once we know our cholesterol levels, it's time don't forget to discuss a plan with our doctor. Although changing lifestyle to include a heart-healthy diet and plenty of exercise is usually the first step to lower cholesterol, some types of cholesterol problems like familial hypercholesterolemia may require medication right away. Work with doctor to come up with the best cholesterol goals and the best ways to get there.
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