Cholesterol is one of the main types of fat found in the body and is needed by the body to make hormones, vitamin D and substances that help digest food.
When the cholesterol level is kept within a certain range, it does not cause any complications. However, when this substance builds up in the blood, it can cause health complications. In addition, high cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease and heart attack, says the Mayo Clinic Research Institute.
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in the United States, if cholesterol starts to cause health complications, it is usually due to unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as a high-fat diet or processed products, genes in combination with hereditary parents.
Medications can help improve blood cholesterol levels, but one of the best ways is to work on a change in habits, such as with medications, If they are needed, this will help to rectify the situation quickly.
Changes in the food consumed are decisive and therefore saturated fats, which are mainly found in red meat and full-fat dairy products, should be eliminated. “Reducing saturated fat intake can help lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the ‘bad’ cholesterol,” says the Mayo Clinic.
Similarly, avoid trans fats used in margarine, cookies, and cakes.Because they raise normal cholesterol levels.
In turn, you should increase your consumption of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, although they don’t directly affect cholesterol but have other heart health benefits, including lowering blood pressure. Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, mackerel, herring, walnuts and flaxseed.
The Healthline portal indicates that both flaxseed and the oil from these seeds contain high levels of alpha-linolenic acid. It is an omega-3 fatty acid that may help reduce the risk of heart disease. He assures that some studies suggest that preparations from this seed can lower cholesterol, especially in people with high levels of this substance and in women in the menopause.
It is also important to increase the consumption of soluble fiber, which can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. Soluble fiber is found in foods such as oatmeal, beans, Brussels sprouts, apples and pears. Likewise, it is beneficial to include whey protein in dairy products.
Other Important Habits
In addition to dietary changes, exercise is important and can help improve cholesterol levels. Moderate physical activity can increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, also known as “good” cholesterol. The ideal is to exercise at least 30 minutes a day five times a week.
Another habit that needs to be changed is smoking. Ideally, if people smoke, they should quit, as the effects will begin to show quickly, according to experts at the Mayo Clinic. For example, within 20 minutes of quitting smoking, blood pressure and heart rate recover from a cigarette-induced spike; Within three months of quitting, blood circulation and lung function begin to improve, and a year later, the risk of heart disease drops to half that of a smoker.
Maintaining a healthy weight is also important. Having a few extra pounds, even if they are few, contributes to high cholesterol, so it’s ideal for avoiding fat, minimizing sugary drinks, and not overeating in addition to exercising. All added up, it helps to lose weight or stay within the norm.