How Can I Lower My Cholesterol?
High cholesterol can result in a variety of health complications, the most serious of which is heart attack and heart failure. Managing your cholesterol is an important part of staying healthy. There is “good” cholesterol (HDL) and “bad” cholesterol (LDL). When we talk about lowering cholesterol, we are talking about lowering your LDL or improving your ratio of HDL to LDL. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can lower your “bad” cholesterol.
Lower Your Cholesterol with Dietary Changes
The simplest and often one of the most effective ways to lower your cholesterol is by making simple dietary changes. There are three areas where you can make a significant impact on your cholesterol: reduce or eliminate the amount of saturated fat you consume, increase the amount of whole grains you consume, and increase the amount of leafy green vegetables you consume. As you increase your consumption of whole grains, replace any simple carbs you’re eating. For example, switch to a multigrain bread and stop eating white bread. Adding more fish to your diet, like salmon, can also help. While eating fish won’t lower your cholesterol, it will impact the ratio of “good” cholesterol to “bad” cholesterol.
Lower Your Cholesterol with Exercise
Regular aerobic exercise three times a week can also improve your cholesterol levels and help you naturally lower your LDL. In some studies, people have been able to use exercise to lower their cholesterol by as much as 10 percent. You don’t have to join a gym or a spin class; it can be as simple as going for a walk each night after dinner.
Do I Need to Take Statins?
For some people, prescription medication to help lower LDL cholesterol is necessary. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking statins. If you are at risk of a heart attack, medication may be the most effective option for rapidly lowering your cholesterol and protecting your heart. If you are concerned that your high cholesterol is causing problems with your heart, or if you have symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, irregular heartbeat, or chest pain during activity, please contact Park Avenue Medical Professionals to set up an appointment.