If you have high cholesterol, you’re at risk of developing a number of severe health problems if you aren’t able to get your levels back down to a normal level. Although improving your cholesterol levels might sound intimidating, it’s surprisingly easy to reduce them without medication.
According to Thomas Nguyen, MD and the entire team at Nguyen Medical Group in Boynton Beach, Florida, you can often effectively reduce your cholesterol without medication. Discover the simple lifestyle changes you can make that improve your cholesterol levels.
Why improve my cholesterol levels?
A healthy adult has HDL, or “good cholesterol” levels at 60 mg/dl or above and LDL, or “bad cholesterol” levels at 100 mg/dl or less. If your cholesterol levels are outside of that range, you’re considered to have high cholesterol.
High cholesterol can cause blockages in your bloodstream, which makes it more difficult for important oxygen and blood to get where they need to travel. Over time, this can cause serious complications, including coronary heart disease, strokes, blood clots, type 2 diabetes, and liver disease.
Ways to improve cholesterol with your lifestyle
The best way to change your cholesterol levels for the better is by making permanent changes to your lifestyle. If you have high cholesterol, some of the biggest lifestyle changes you can make include:
The top way to improve your cholesterol levels is to eat a diet low in saturated and trans fats. You can eliminate these unhealthy fats from your diet by greatly lowering your intake of red meat, full fat dairy products, and fried foods.
Instead, focus on eating a heart healthy diet high in healthy fats, omega-3 fatty acids, soluble fiber, and whey protein. Work to consume a balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, nuts, and oils that use healthy fats.
Getting a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week helps improve your cholesterol levels and comes with many other health benefits. Activities like brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, and playing sports are all excellent forms of physical activity.
3. Weight loss
Extra weight contributes to your body accumulating excess HDL cholesterol and reduced LDL cholesterol. If you’re overweight, making the same healthy lifestyle changes that improve your cholesterol will also help you lose weight.
4. Reducing alcohol
Excessive drinking can cause you to have elevated levels of HDL cholesterol. If you drink alcohol, keep your consumption down to moderate levels, which usually means up to two daily drinks for men and one daily drink for women.
5. Quitting smoking
Smoking and vaping not only can increase HDL cholesterol, it can further raise your odds of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes than if you had elevated cholesterol and didn’t also smoke. Quitting smoking quickly improves your cholesterol levels and makes your arteries healthier.
By making and keeping these lifestyle changes, you can expect to improve your cholesterol levels quickly and effectively. Our team can help you develop a healthy cholesterol lifestyle plan if you’re having difficulty getting started. Contact us today for support in managing your cholesterol.