“Oh dear, my cholesterol levels have shot up!”
Growing up, you might have heard this line from your parents or older relatives. After all, high cholesterol usually affects individuals over the age of 45 by increasing the likelihood of acquiring it. As children, you might have associated it with a problem that leads to bland meals and an overly cautious lifestyle. But that’s not quite the whole picture.
According to surveys conducted by healthcare professionals in India, most people who suffered from high cholesterol also had heart issues. Those with normal cholesterol levels had significantly lower chances of getting heart diseases. Once you’re affected by high cholesterol, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Furthermore, in 2020, a survey revealed that 29% of their respondents with cholesterol were over 60 years old.
When you risk neglecting your health, your cholesterol only needs 6-8 weeks to build up significantly to pose threats to your well-being. With a strict diet and a few lifestyle changes, you could remedy this problem in 3 months.
Consequences of Neglecting High Cholesterol
Once you’ve been diagnosed or experience symptoms, you should immediately seek medical help and make the necessary changes to your lifestyle.
● Heart Attack: Once plaque accumulates inside a coronary artery and blocks the blood flow, the affected muscle will die and cause a heart attack
● Gallstones: High cholesterol can form hard stones inside your gallbladder, which can be incredibly painful and cause abdominal discomfort
● LDL Cholesterol: Low-density lipoprotein buildup can cause your arteries to harden and stiffen up
● Brain Blockage: Excess cholesterol block your arteries, increasing your chances of getting a stroke
● Mental Impairment: High cholesterol is one of the causes of cognitive disorders like dementia
And, that’s not all – there are many more negative effects of cholesterol on your body. Post diagnosis, you must begin treatment for this condition and analyse your current lifestyle. Many factors might have contributed to your poor health and high cholesterol.
5 Smart Ways to Lower Cholesterol
While undergoing treatment for high cholesterol, your doctor may prescribe some medications. However, to boost the effects of the treatment, make the following lifestyle changes.
1. Lose Weight
One of the most common reasons for high cholesterol is being overweight or obese. Including more physical activity in your lifestyle could help you lose the extra kilos! You could start with simple steps like taking the stairs at work, switching sugary juices with water, or eating low-calorie snacks.
2. Balance Your Diet
Start pre-planning meals made with healthy ingredients, including those rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds. Avoid foods with ingredients containing trans fats, or hydrogenated vegetable oil, commonly found in cookies, cakes and crackers.
Additionally, if you primarily consume meat and poultry, be wary while consuming red meat. It contains saturated fats that could raise your total cholesterol and increase LDL cholesterol levels.
3. Exercise Regularly
Exercising daily increases good cholesterol levels or high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Furthermore, it can lower LDL cholesterol and improve your overall physical health. Regular exercise is a good practice that can deter other health conditions and elevate your mood.
4. Quit Smoking
Smoking is easily one of the most harmful habits you could have. It increases the risk of heart diseases, making your body incapable of handling cholesterol. However, this damage is due to the tar present in cigarettes, not nicotine. The moment you quit smoking, your body begins to recover.
Within three months of quitting, blood circulation and lung functions improve significantly. And, post one year, your chances of heart disease are far lesser than before.
5. Consume Less Alcohol
Moderate to high usage of alcohol can lead to increased levels of LDL cholesterol. Doctors recommend consuming alcohol less frequently to reap any benefits. Though, drinking lesser alcohol can also prove beneficial in reducing your chances of high blood pressure and heart diseases.
By upgrading your lifestyle with these helpful changes, you can protect the lives of those around you! Spread this information amongst friends and families to reduce their chances of health conditions triggered by high cholesterol.