Lifestyle changes can dramatically improve your cholesterol as well as decrease your risk of heart attacks. Try making these lifestyle changes to improve your cholesterol levels — and your overall health.
- Lose excess pounds
Being overweight or carrying a little extra weight, contributes to high cholesterol. So losing as little as 5 to 10 pounds can help reduce cholesterol levels. Start by taking an honest look at your eating habits and daily routine. Consider your weight loss goals, and ways to achieve them.
- Eat heart-healthy foods
Making even a few changes in your diet can improve your cholesterol and your heart health.
- Eliminate trans fats. Tran’s fat can be found in fried foods and many commercial baked products, such as cookies, crackers and snack cakes. Don’t rely on packages that are labeled “trans fat-free.” In the United States, if a food contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving, it can be labeled “trans fat-free.” Even though those amounts seem small, it can add up quickly.
- Limit your cholesterol intake. Aim for no more than 300 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol a day — less than 200 mg if you have heart disease. The most concentrated sources of cholesterol include organ meats, egg yolks and whole milk products. Use lean cuts of meat, egg substitutes and skim milk instead.
- Select whole grains. Various nutrients found in whole grains promote heart health. Choose whole-grain breads, whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat flour and brown rice.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are rich in dietary fiber, which can help lower cholesterol. Snack on seasonal fruits. Experiment with veggie-based casseroles, soups and stir-fries.
- Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can help lower your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Some types of fish — such as salmon, mackerel and herring — are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Other good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, almonds and ground flaxseeds.
- Exercise everyday
Exercise can reduce cholesterol. Any form of exercise, 30 to 60 minutes a day can greatly affect your cholesterol level. Take a brisk walk or ride your bike every day. To maintain your motivation, find an exercise you enjoy. And remember, any activity is helpful.
- Quit smoking
If you smoke, stop. Quitting can improve your HDL cholesterol level. Believe it or not, 20 minutes after quitting your blood pressure decreases. Within 24 hours, your risk of a heart attack decreases. Within one year, your risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker. Within 15 years, your risk of heart disease is similar to someone who never smoked.
- Limit your alcohol consumption
If you to choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. This means no more than one drink a day for women, and one to two drinks a day for men. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to serious health problems, including high blood pressure, heart failure and stroke.
Making these lifestyle changes can improve your cholesterol levels and your overall health. If you are looking for a natural way to help maintain safe cholesterol levels, you may also want to consider Healthy Choice Naturals Cholesterol Care. Our #1 selling product has helped thousands of people manage their cholesterol safely, and effectively, without drugs.