Practicing as a Dietitian in the field of managing lifestyle diseases, on an average I come across at least 8-10 so called ‘Healthy Individuals’ daily, all above 25 years of age and leading a sedentary lifestyle. Amongst them, almost 1-2 % of individuals are detected with high cholesterol levels.
The commonest cause of high cholesterol in early age is busy, hectic and unhealthy lifestyle. Exposure to tobacco or smoking in an early age is also one of the rising cause observed.
High cholesterol is one of the increasing modifiable risk factor for developing heart diseases. As your cholesterol levels go high, your risk of hearts diseases, heart attacks also increases. If there is other associated conditions like high blood pressure, Diabetes present your risk gets even stronger.
As mentioned before, High cholesterol levels can be lowered with proper lifestyle change. Monitoring on your diet, weight and exercise, and avoid exposure to tobacco smoke helps you to lower your high cholesterol levels.
Here are few tips to manage High Cholesterol:
- Involve yourself in 30min of any physical activity at least 5 times a week or 150mins in a week. It helps to increase your HDL (good) cholesterol and decreases LDL (bad) cholesterol.
- You can make your exercise regime a combination of aerobic, weight training and stretching exercises to avoid boredom. Get involved in activities like jogging, swimming or any sport of your choice and many more.
- Include whole grains, fresh fruits and salads in your daily diet.
- Including heart friendly foods like Oats, raw garlic, flaxseeds, raw salads, lean meat and fish (at least twice a week), almonds, walnuts, all des foods show wonders on high cholesterol.
- Go on a low-fat diet.
- Avoid junk, bakery products, high fatty foods which increase your LDL (bad) cholesterol.
- If you smoke, your high cholesterol is one of the good reasons to quit it.
- Be away from secondhand smoke / passive smoking.
- If on medications for high cholesterol, DO NOT STOP your medications without your doctor’s advice. If you haven’t understood anything ask and clear your doubts.
Do not neglect your high cholesterol. It’s about your Health. It’s about your Heart!
All the Best!