Your Diet and Cholesterol Levels
Changing your diet to a low-fat regimen, can be an important step in significantly reducing your risk of developing high cholesterol levels. If you are following a diet containing mainly saturated fats and cholesterol, your blood cholesterol levels may significantly increase, leading the way to an elevated risk of developing heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for both men and women, today.
High cholesterol, with readings of 240 and above, not only is a risk factor for developing heart disease, but diabetes, as well. The good cholesterol level, HDL, should have readings between 40 and 60. The bad cholesterol, LDL, should be at ideal reading of below 100.
Here are some ways that can help you lower your cholesterol.
A low-fat, diet, however, can help combat the negative factors of high cholesterol levels. To begin with, a low-fat diet should include healthy, well-balanced meals, consisting of lean meats, fish, a limited use of red meat, and incorporating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables daily into your diet, as well. It’s best to refrain from eating fried foods which are high in saturated fat, which can raise your cholesterol levels.
Exercise, even moderate activity, around 30 minutes a day, can help lower high cholesterol levels, by actually increasing the good cholesterol, HDL, levels in your blood, and lowering the LDL, or bad cholesterol levels. Exercise will also improve circulation, and condition the heart to be more efficient to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.
A person’s weight also plays an important part factor, which can impact your cholesterol levels. Excess body weight for an individual can help raise your total cholesterol levels, increasing the risk for heart disease and diabetes. Losing excess body fat, however, can help lower the bad cholesterol, LDL, levels in the blood, as well as, increasing the good cholesterol, HDL, levels in the blood.
It’s best to check with your doctor to be sure of the normal desirable weight range for your height and age, and before you begin any weight loss program that could be affected by any medications you may have been prescribed.
Although heredity is another factor impacting cholesterol levels, unfortunately nothing can be done to change that, except focusing on reducing the other risk factors, such as an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, being overweight, or smoking, that can contribute to high cholesterol levels.
Smoking can negatively affect your cholesterol levels. Smoking raises the LDL, bad cholesterol levels in the blood, and it is thought it may contribute to lowering the good, HDL, and even slightly raises the triglycerides, affecting all three levels of cholesterol readings. This can be a serious health risk by contributing to heart disease, more specifically, atherosclerosis, which is coronary artery disease.
Although moderate drinking of alcohol should not raise cholesterol levels, an excessive amount of alcohol consumption may actually increase the triglycerides in the blood, as well as, increase the risk for other health related illnesses.
A healthy lifestyle, which should include a low-fat diet, exercise, and average weight, should help keep cholesterol levels within the normal range to maintain a fit and healthy body.