Your liver makes cholesterol, a waxy substance, to help make cell tissues, protect nerves, and make certain hormones. Cholesterol comes not only naturally from your body but also from the food you eat. However, if you consume the wrong kind of cholesterol or more cholesterol than your body needs, your health may suffer.
Elevated cholesterol is a boundless condition, influencing in excess of 70 million Americans. Sadly, high cholesterol often goes unnoticed, which is probably one reason why only a third of Americans with high cholesterol control their levels. High cholesterol can raise your risk of heart disease and stroke even if you don’t show any symptoms.
Good versus bad cholesterol
High-density lipoprotein (HDL), or good cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol, are two types of cholesterol that you’ve probably heard of. High HDL levels are beneficial because HDL aids in the elimination of LDL, the bad kind of cholesterol.
The only way to determine your cholesterol level is through routine tests at your doctor’s office. Your combined level should be less than 200 mg/dL. If your cholesterol levels are too high, we can test them and help you manage your health at Danvers Family Doctors.
How to maintain a healthy cholesterol level
Some cholesterol risk factors, like age and family history, cannot be changed. Fortunately, however, you can lower your cholesterol levels if they are already too high or prevent high cholesterol from developing. We at Danvers Family Doctors have compiled this list of five suggestions to assist you in controlling your cholesterol.
Not only does exercise raise your good cholesterol levels, but it can also assist you in achieving other objectives, such as losing weight, which in turn helps maintain a healthy cholesterol level. Regardless of whether you’re not overweight, getting your pulse going can assist with bringing down your cholesterol, your circulatory strain, and the number on your scale.
The Surgeon General recommends exercising moderately for at least 2.5 hours each week. Keep your cholesterol in check by working out most days of the week.
Reduce your cholesterol level by losing weight, even if only a little. Small adjustments add up. Fruit should replace cookies and desserts, and water should replace sugary beverages. If you combine this tip with the next one, which is to watch what you eat, you will lose weight faster and reach a healthy cholesterol level faster.
Watch what you eat
Watching what you eat so you can get to or keep a sound weight will work on your general wellbeing. However, lowering your cholesterol levels by eating certain foods and avoiding others is especially beneficial.
Saturated fats, which are typically found in red meat and full-fat dairy products, should be eliminated or reduced as a starting point. The next step is to consume more omega-3-rich foods like salmon, nuts, and vegetable oils.
Trans-fat-laden foods like margarine, processed store-bought muffins and cakes, egg yolks, and bacon should be avoided. Food varieties to load up on include:
Oatmeal beans, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and quitting smoking should be your first priority if you are one of the 34 million Americans who smoke. Smoking increases your risk of certain cancers, diabetes, and lung diseases, in addition to raising your cholesterol levels and heart disease risk. Your health can improve within hours of quitting.
If you need to, take medication. Some people can’t change their lifestyle, so medications like statins help control their cholesterol. If you need to take medication, ask your doctor.
Call Danvers Family Doctors in Danvers, Massachusetts, right away to learn more about controlling your cholesterol levels.