Cholesterol is a wax-like fatty substance necessary to make hormones in the body. There are two primary types of cholesterol in the body, namely, LDL and HDL. LDL is bad cholesterol, and high amounts of LDL can lead to the buildup of plaque in the arteries. HDL is the good cholesterol as it helps the liver get rid of the excess fat in the body.
1. A Healthy Diet
Diet is directly associated with one’s cholesterol levels, and it is important to maintain a balanced intake of food and beverages. It is necessary to reduce the number of saturated fats present in red meat and full dairy products as the fats raise the overall cholesterol levels. One must also eliminate trans fats, which are mostly present in hydrogenated vegetable oils from their diet. Increasing the intake of foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids can help manage blood pressure along with managing high cholesterol. Soluble fibers also reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the bloodstream to reduce the chances of fat buildup in the system. One can also incorporate whey protein into their diet, which helps lower the LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in the system.
2. Alcohol and smoking
Heavy consumption of alcohol and regular smoking increase the risk of suffering from the symptoms of high cholesterol. Doctors recommend no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women, as too much alcohol in the bloodstream can increase the risk of a stroke, heart failure, and problems with blood pressure. Smoking spikes one’s blood pressure to cause an imbalance in the natural cholesterol levels. Quit smoking to additionally improve the heart rhythm and blood circulation.
3. Weight management
Obesity or generally being overweight can lead to multiple health complications. High cholesterol is one of the major worries that arise due to increased body weight. Note that weight gain is not necessarily the result of overeating or unhealthy food habits as there are certain diseases and disorders that can also result in obesity, including changes in genetics and hormonal imbalance. One must consult a dietician to plan and manage diets.
Just a healthy diet will not be enough unless it is supported by the necessary exercise and physical routine. The body can digest a limited amount of calories, and the excess calories lead to fat buildup, thus resulting in weight gain. Even moderate physical activity done on a regular basis can help one manage the varied complications associated with high cholesterol.
5. Supplements for lowering cholesterol levels
For short-term relief from the symptoms of high cholesterol, garlic can help lower the blood levels to manage the condition. However, one must consult a medical professional before taking garlic supplements.
Fiber aids in digestion and is a necessary component that must be included in one’s daily diet. Fiber supplements can further lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels to prevent gas formation. Excess gas may result in cramping among the other known discomforts due to high cholesterol levels.