Understanding The Treatment Options For High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is one of the most essential elements in your body. It’s also one of the important risk factors for developing heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular problems. Therefore, as soon as you find out that you have higher levels of cholesterol, you should take steps to lower your cholesterol levels.
Before you begin your cholesterol-lowering program, find out the root cause that has affected your cholesterol levels. Get together with your doctor to know if it’s a medical condition, medication or genetics that has inflated cholesterol levels in your blood. Once you know the cause of high cholesterol, you can begin with your treatment, which involves making changes in your lifestyle, cholesterol-lowering medications and diet, exercise and other available options for lowering cholesterol.
Switch to a Cholesterol-lowering Diet
The types of food you eat have a great impact on your body. So, you need to make healthy choices when it comes to eating. Avoid junk food such as cheeseburgers or fries; instead, opt for a diet plan that includes lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, lean cuts of meat and fish.
When switching over to a cholesterol-lowering diet, you must continue taking healthy fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated). These healthier fats can be found in fish, nuts, seeds and vegetables. Olive, peanut, sesame and canola oils are rich in monounsaturated fats; soybean, corn, cottonseed, safflower, sunflower and fish oils are high in polyunsaturated fats.
Avoid consuming saturated and trans-fats that raise cholesterol levels. These types of fats are found mainly in animal products such as meat, milk and eggs and also a few vegetable oils, such as palm oil, coconut oil and cocoa butter. Processed foods such as cakes, biscuits, stock cubes and various other products are known to have trans-fats in them.
Here’s an overview of the food you should eat and things you should avoid:
Physical Activity / Exercise
There’s a wide range of health benefits to physical activity. It helps control your weight; improve blood pressure, lipid profile and blood circulation; increase life span; and protect against a number of chronic health problems and cardiovascular diseases.
A moderate-intensity physical workout of 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity activity is ideal for most individuals. If you want, you can create your own mix of vigorous and moderate physical activity in your weekly routine. For heart health, exercise should be slow, steady and frequent.
Some of the various activities you can participate in to burn calories are:
- Playing tennis
- Washing windows or floors
- Water aerobics
- Raking leaves
- Shooting baskets
Although exercising is great for health, some people such as those with congestive heart failure, serious arrhythmia, unstable angina, uncontrolled high blood pressure, significant aortic valve disease, aortic aneurysm or uncontrolled epilepsy shouldn’t exercise or should do so only under close supervision. If you have heart disease or other significant problems, consult your physician for an appropriate exercise program.