As you go through life, getting caught up in unhealthy habits and routines that slowly chip away at your well-being is easy. While high cholesterol, in particular, has few symptoms, it can still impact your long-term health and quality of life.
The good news is there are lifestyle changes you can make to support healthy cholesterol levels and support overall wellness. From heart-healthy alternatives to physical activities, this article will bring comprehensive steps that can go a long way toward redefining your wellness.
1. Replace Unhealthy Fats With Healthy Fats
Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats can significantly lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels in your blood. According to studies, replacing just 5% of these can reduce the risk of heart disease by 10% or more.
Unsaturated fats include omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for your health. Excellent sources of these good fats also include:
• Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines
• Nuts such as walnuts and almonds
• Seeds such as chia, flax, and hemp
• Plant-based oils like canola, soybean, and sunflower oil
2. Add Supplements to Your Diet
Supplements can help support healthy cholesterol levels by providing essential nutrients. Fish oil, for instance, provides the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are great for heart health. Most experts recommend daily 1,000 to 4,000 mg of fish oil daily to lower high triglycerides.
However, if you’re still looking for other products, supplements from Bioglan Medlab may benefit your cholesterol health. You can ask your doctor to determine optimal doses and long-term effects.
3. Increase Your Fiber Intake
Fiber, found in plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, helps block cholesterol absorption in your gut and removes it from your body. According to the National Lipid Association, most adults need at least 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Excellent sources of fiber include oatmeal, black beans, broccoli, and raspberries.
However, if making major changes to your diet is challenging, consider taking a fiber supplement. Several types are available, including psyllium husk, wheat dextrin, and methylcellulose. Aim for 5 to 10 grams of supplemental fiber daily, and drink plenty of water to help the fiber expand in your stomach.
4. Drink Alcohol Moderately
Moderate alcohol consumption can raise your “good” HDL cholesterol by up to 9.9% while having little effect on “bad” LDL cholesterol. HDL helps remove LDL cholesterol from your arteries, so higher levels benefit.
Drinking in moderation—defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men—can have some health benefits when consumed responsibly. For the best results:
• Choose red wine, which contains heart-healthy antioxidants like resveratrol. Limit white wine, beer, and spirits, which lack these compounds.
• Measure and track the amounts you drink to stay within guidelines. A standard drink is 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.
• Stay hydrated and eat before or while drinking to slow alcohol absorption.
• Avoid sugary mixers, which add extra calories and spike blood sugar.
• Take regular breaks from alcohol (one to two days a week) to allow your liver to recover.
5. Do Regular Exercise
Studies show that exercising for at least 30 minutes daily, five days a week can raise “good” HDL cholesterol levels.
Aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, biking, and swimming greatly benefit your heart and cholesterol. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week. Aerobic exercise improves circulation, helps you lose excess pounds, and can reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
In addition, strength or resistance training twice a week can help build muscle and bone strength. Use weights, resistance bands, or your body weight to do exercises like pushups, squats, lunges, and rows. Strength training has been shown to boost HDL cholesterol and lower triglycerides.
Adopt Healthy Habits, Maintain Healthy Cholesterol Levels
Now that you understand the lifestyle factors contributing to high cholesterol and how to improve them, it’s time to take action. Commit yourself to making one small change each week that will positively impact your health and wellness over the long run.
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