Approximately a third of American adults have high cholesterol. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with this common condition, you may understandably be concerned about your future health. Thankfully, many people can lower their cholesterol levels significantly with diet and exercise. To lower your cholesterol and improve your heart health, consider adhering to the following 5 diet and exercise tips.
5 Ways To Lower Cholesterol
Being overweight negatively impacts your cholesterol. By losing “as little as 5 to 10 percent of your body weight,” you may be able to drastically lower your cholesterol. If you struggle to eat healthy foods, think about keeping a food journal for a month. Every day, write down all of the foods and drinks you consume. At the end of the month, study the food and drink choices you made. This activity might alert you about particular days and times when you eat the unhealthiest. In addition to keeping a food journal, consider visiting with a nutritionist in order to create a personal healthy eating plan. If you need to lose weight, you should complement a healthier eating plan with regular exercise.
Hit the Gym
Visiting the gym regularly is a great way to help you reach your weight goals. It is also a proven method to help you lower your cholesterol. Many medical experts recommend getting at least 30 minutes of heart pumping exercise on most days of the week. To lower your cholesterol by exercising, utilize cardiovascular machines at the gym such as the treadmill, elliptical trainer, arc trainer, stair master, stationary bike, tread climber, adaptive motion trainer, and the rowing machine.
In addition to spending time at the gym, look for other creative ways to add exercise to your daily routine. For instance, always park at the farthest end of the parking lot. Walking farther to your destination can increase your heart rate and burn off unwanted calories. Play a game of volleyball, kickball, or softball in the backyard with your family. Even vacuuming your floors is a good form of exercise.
Eat More Fiber
An easy way to lower your cholesterol is to eat more fiber. Medical experts believe that soluble fiber plays an especially important role in lowering cholesterol. Good sources of soluble fiber include:
Consume Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Besides eating more fiber, you should also consume omega-3 fatty acids in order to lower your cholesterol. In addition to lowering cholesterol levels, these fatty acids are believed to help lower dangerous inflammation in the body. Inflammation is thought to be a factor in the development of heart disease. Salmon is one of the best dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids available. However, if you don’t like salmon, you have other options including:
Decrease Saturated Fat Intake
If you want to lower your cholesterol through healthy eating, you need to first decrease your saturated fat intake. Saturated fat in one of the main dietary substances that raises your cholesterol. Saturated fat is prevalent in prepackaged processed foods such as:
- Potato chips
- Candy bars
- Ice cream
- French fries
Consider swapping out your favorite prepackaged processed snacks with fruit, vegetables, or nuts. For instance, think about substituting your midafternoon snack of a bag of cookies with a handful of nuts and raisins.
Receiving a diagnosis of high cholesterol can be a frightening experience. Fortunately, by being proactive about their health, many people are able to naturally lower their cholesterol levels. By following the aforementioned 5 diet and exercise tips, you might be astonished at the results of your next cholesterol screening.