High cholesterol raises your chance of heart disease and having a heart attack. You can lower your cholesterol with prescriptions, but if you’d prefer to establish healthy lifestyle changes first, consider these five suggestions. If you already use pills to decrease cholesterol, these improvements may help them work better.
You can lower cholesterol without drugs by following some basic steps that will not only change your cholesterol readings but also improve your health today and in the future. So often we use a prescription drug and hope it will magically cure whatever ails us. The truth is prescription drugs for lowering cholesterol do work. The problem is both the short-term and long-term side effects.
Even more dangerous than the side effects of prescription drugs to lower cholesterol is not getting cholesterol under control. Over time, high cholesterol can lead to numerous conditions of the heart and arteries, not the least of which are atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), stroke, or heart attack.
Here are 5 steps you can take today to lower your cholesterol without prescription drugs.
Eat right. It May sound simple, but diet has such a significant impact on lowering cholesterol that it should be the number one factor you look at in determining if your high cholesterol is hereditary or a matter of dietary choices. Low fat and low-cholesterol diet is the first step toward lowering cholesterol.
Exercise. Improving cardiovascular health is a step toward reversing the effects of high cholesterol. Exercise itself doesn’t directly lower cholesterol but will strengthen the heart and entire circulatory system.
Quit smoking. If you smoke, the plaque build-up in the arteries due to high cholesterol is accelerated. When plaque blocks the flow of blood to the heart, the muscle has to work harder to get oxygen. This can lead to a heart attack. If the arteries get completely blocked with plaque from high cholesterol then a stroke can occur.
Relax. Chronic stress can affect cholesterol levels. If you are constantly stressed and eating a low cholesterol diet, you may not see any improvement in cholesterol readings until you learn to relieve stress.
Lose weight. Carrying even a few extra pounds raises cholesterol levels. Cholesterol levels can be improved by losing just 5 to 10% of your body weight. Begin by taking note of your eating habits and daily routine. Consider your weight-loss obstacles and how to overcome them.
It does not take long to see significant improvements in your cholesterol. Lower cholesterol can be yours in just a matter of weeks.
When it comes to lowering cholesterol levels, healthy lifestyle improvements aren’t always enough. Make sure the adjustments you make are ones you can maintain, and don’t be discouraged if you don’t notice quick results.