A recent study by the American Heart Association revealed that elevated LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) levels are more strongly associated with cardiovascular disease than any other lipid measure, including HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein). However, these findings don’t mean you should only focus on LDL cholesterol when you eat or treat cardiovascular disease, but it does highlight just how important LDL management is when it comes to protecting your heart health in the long term. Here are seven ways to manage elevated LDL cholesterol to protect your heart health as much as possible.
Eggs are a cholesterol-rich food, and eating too many can lead to elevated LDL cholesterol levels. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up eggs entirely. Just limit your intake to no more than seven per week.
Here are some other tips for managing your LDL cholesterol – Exercise: Exercise is good for so many things. It’s also good for your heart and it helps to lower your LDL cholesterol level. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week or 40 minutes three days a week if you’re just starting out. Find an activity you enjoy doing because it will be easier to stick with it this way! If you find exercising difficult, talk with your doctor about ways to make exercise easier on yourself.
– Quit smoking: Smoking has all sorts of negative health effects, including raising the risk of heart disease and having a detrimental effect on blood flow in the body which leads to high LDL cholesterol levels. Quitting smoking could save your life and help you manage your high LDL cholesterol levels.
– Consider medication: Sometimes medications like statins can help people lower their LDL cholesterol by blocking the production of certain types of cholesterol. Talk to your doctor about what type of medication might work best for you depending on what condition you are dealing with and how severe it is. Statins might not be right for everyone and there are lots of different options available. Be sure to discuss the potential side effects before making any decisions about using medication, as well as the possibility that taking them may not be enough to control your cholesterol levels. There are always lifestyle changes you can make alongside medication to lower your LDL cholesterol, such as increasing your physical activity and getting plenty of rest. Speak with your doctor about what would work best for you based on your specific situation.
– Get enough sleep: Sleep deprivation increases stress hormones and inflammation, both of which raise LDL cholesterol levels. Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night if possible.
– Cut back on saturated fats: Saturated fats are typically found in animal products like beef, bacon, cheese, butter and chicken skin. If these foods don’t fit into your diet now then consider cutting back a little bit until they do! One easy way to cut back is through portion size; try splitting meals into two servings instead of one large serving or sharing one dish with someone else instead of consuming the whole thing by yourself. – Take care of your mental health: It sounds counterintuitive but there’s research showing that untreated depression raises LDL cholesterol levels in the body. Take care of your mental health by talking to a counselor or therapist who specializes in treating mood disorders, seeing a psychiatrist for medication if necessary, and setting healthy boundaries with friends and family members who could be making you feel worse.
– Stay away from fast food: Fast food has tons of trans fat and sodium which have been shown to increase LDL cholesterol levels in lab studies. Try switching over to healthier choices when possible like fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats and beans when cooking at home or ordering from restaurants. Remember that the occasional indulgence is fine, as long as you return to a healthier diet after.
– Think about what kind of eggs you eat: Avoid buying egg yolks that are deep yellow or orange in color. These are usually from hens raised on soy or corn feed, which have higher levels of omega-6 fatty acids and lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Buy organic eggs that come from hens fed flaxseed or fish meal, which have higher levels of omega-3s and lower levels of omega-6s. The color should be pale yellow to light brown and should never be orange or deep yellow.
– Limit alcohol consumption: Alcohol can also affect your LDL cholesterol levels by reducing HDL cholesterol and raising triglycerides.
One simple way to help manage your LDL cholesterol is to avoid cooking with oil. Instead of using oil, you can cook with water or broth. This will help reduce the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet. Additionally, it’s important to choose leaner cuts of meat and trim any visible fat before cooking. When eating out, be sure to ask about how dishes are prepared and request that your food be cooked without additional oil. And finally, limit high-cholesterol foods like eggs, dairy products and seafood while increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. These changes should make a significant difference for those at risk for cardiovascular disease. In addition to improving their diets, people who have been diagnosed with elevated low-density lipoprotein levels may also need treatment with medications such as statins. It’s important not to delay treatment because it can prevent future heart attacks and stroke from occurring. Statins work by blocking the production of cholesterol in the liver. If these drugs are taken correctly and consistently, they can significantly lower blood cholesterol levels within two weeks. Most doctors recommend a person take these drugs every day for life because they’re considered to be an essential component of treatment. Side effects can include nausea, muscle pain and fatigue but there’s good news: Recent studies show that most side effects only last a few days after starting therapy. For some patients, however, statin use might lead to type 2 diabetes or increase their risk of developing dementia. People with these conditions may want to consult with their doctor about which medication is best for them. Type 2 diabetes affects over 300 million people worldwide and is closely linked to obesity. Type 2 diabetes can lead to other health problems including blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage and increased risk of infection. To manage this condition, doctors often prescribe insulin or other oral medicines. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 40% of adults over 60 years old suffer from dementia worldwide. There are many different types of dementia and the symptoms vary depending on the patient’s age when symptoms begin; all forms share one common trait–a progressive decline in memory and thinking skills over time leading to disability. Currently there is no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease but current treatments focus on slowing down cognitive decline . This can include medicines and daily exercises. This is an effective strategy for mild to moderate stages of the disease. Researchers continue to look for new ways to diagnose and treat the debilitating brain disorder.
1. If you’re carrying around extra weight, losing even a few pounds can help lower your LDL cholesterol levels.
2. Cutting back on saturated and trans fats can also help reduce LDL cholesterol. These are the bad fats that are found in fried foods, processed meats, and full-fat dairy products.
3. Eat more soluble fiber, which can be found in oats, barley, beans, lentils, apples, and citrus fruits. This type of fiber helps remove LDL cholesterol from your blood.
4. Get moving! Exercise can help raise your HDL (good) cholesterol levels and also help you lose weight. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week can make a difference. Remember to warm up before starting any physical activity by stretching for five minutes and gradually building up the intensity of your workout.
5. Talk with your doctor about taking medicine: Statins are among the best medicines for lowering LDL cholesterol because they work in many different ways. But there are other drugs available too, such as niacin or fibrates, that might work better for some people. All medicines have side effects so it’s important to talk with your doctor about what’s right for you. 1. There is no one diet plan that will work for everyone. You need to find out what works best for you, whether it’s low-carb, low-fat, vegetarian, vegan–whatever works best for your lifestyle. It may take time but experimenting will help you figure out how much fat is healthy and not harmful to your heart health. 2. No matter what dietary changes you make, remember to get plenty of sleep–seven hours each night–and keep alcohol consumption under control while trying to lower LDL cholesterol levels through diet and exercise changes alone. It takes an average of four months to see results, so don’t give up if you don’t see immediate changes. You’ll know when things are working when you notice improvements in your energy level and mood. Finally, don’t forget to have regular checkups with your physician. Studies show that people who manage their elevated LDL cholesterol levels experience fewer strokes, less heart disease, and a healthier life overall. And getting started is easy–start by incorporating small lifestyle changes into your day-to-day routine. You’ll feel better inside and out in no time! 1. Start by adding 15 minutes of walking per day to your schedule–just three days per week is enough.
2. Limit high-calorie drinks like sweetened beverages, beer, wine, and cocktails. Opt instead for water or calorie-free drinks like seltzer water with lemon juice and sparkling water mixed with fruit juice or sparkling water mixed after a meal. Your waistline will thank you later!
3. Take the stairs instead of the elevator at work or at home during breaks–it counts as daily exercise without you even realizing it! Taking advantage of every opportunity to add movement into your life will make all the difference in managing cholesterol levels without sacrificing too much time out of your busy schedule.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in your blood. LDL cholesterol is often called bad cholesterol because it can build up in your arteries and form plaque. Plaque is a sticky substance that can narrow your arteries and make it hard for blood to flow through. This can lead to heart disease, stroke, and other problems. To manage elevated LDL cholesterol, follow these 7 steps:
1. Stop eating foods high in saturated fat or trans fat: Trans fats are unhealthy fats that are often found in baked goods like cookies and crackers or fried food like french fries. They’re also present in some margarines and shortening used for baking. These fatty acids may be used to improve the texture of food products but they raise low-density lipoprotein levels by about 15% and reduce high-density lipoprotein levels by about 10%. The best way to avoid trans fats is to read labels and watch out for words like hydrogenated oils, partially hydrogenated oils, or anything ending with oils. Foods with less than 0.5 grams per serving of artificial trans fats will say 0 grams per serving. Some people need to go as far as cutting all animal sources of fat from their diet – which means no meat, eggs, dairy or fish – if they want lower cholesterol readings!
2. Reduce how much alcohol you drink: Alcohol consumption increases both good and bad cholesterol in your body. While moderate amounts of wine (one glass per day) might actually have a positive effect on your heart health, more than two drinks per day can cause high triglycerides and increased LDL cholesterol. Avoiding alcoholic beverages altogether is probably the safest route when trying to manage elevated LDL cholesterol.
3. Consider taking medications prescribed by your doctor: Statins are among the most common drugs prescribed for patients who need help managing their LDL cholesterol levels and reducing cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension and diabetes mellitus type II. These drugs work by inhibiting enzymes responsible for making cholesterol. They reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol made in the liver and thus lowering levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol circulating in the bloodstream. The main side effects include muscle pain, inflammation of the pancreas, increase appetite leading to weight gain, memory loss and decreased sex drive. Statin treatment reduces cardiovascular events by 30% after 5 years of therapy but has shown no reduction in mortality rates over this time period. It’s important to note that while statins are effective at decreasing serum lipid levels they’re not necessarily recommended for prevention or treatment of milder forms of hypercholesterolemia since there’s little evidence that supports this practice; though lifestyle modifications should always be attempted first before medication is introduced
If you have elevated LDL cholesterol, your doctor may prescribe a statin drug. Statins work by blocking a liver enzyme that helps make cholesterol. This can reduce your LDL cholesterol by up to 60%. Statins also have other benefits, such as reducing inflammation and helping to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Some people should not take statins, including pregnant women and those with certain kidney or liver diseases. Your doctor will advise you if this applies to you.
– Lose weight: Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, cancer and heart disease. The best way to lose weight is by following a healthy diet and being more active. A good diet includes plenty of vegetables, fruit, pulses, nuts and seeds; wholegrains; fish; dairy products like milk, yoghurt and cheese; some meat like chicken or beef; little sugar, salt or fat. You need to eat fewer foods containing saturated fats from animals like meat pies, sausages and fatty cuts of meat. You also need less red meat (beef/lamb/pork).
Eating five portions of fruit and vegetables every day is one way to be more active without even thinking about it! It’s important for your health so think about how you could include more in your diet – for example soups often contain vegetables too! Remember to drink lots of water as well, both when you’re thirsty and between meals. And try doing 30 minutes exercise at least three times a week. Or why not walk briskly for half an hour each day? Walking for just 10 minutes twice a day can help lower your cholesterol level, but stick to at least 30 minutes of brisk walking daily. Exercise helps burn off bad lipids from our bodies that cause increased levels of cholesterol.
– Get more plant sterols and stanols: Plant sterols and stanols are natural substances found in plants that have been shown to help lower LDL levels when taken as part of a diet low in saturated fat.
– Eat less food containing trans fats: Trans fats are made artificially by heating liquid vegetable oils in the presence of hydrogen gas which turns them into solids which are used as shortening or margarine. They increase LDL levels which puts you at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Read labels carefully to avoid any foods containing ‘partially hydrogenated’ oil. This means they have been partly turned into trans fats. Foods high in trans fats include biscuits, cakes, pastries, donuts and most processed snack foods. However, these days many companies are removing these artificial ingredients from their products. This is because we now know that trans fats increase the risk of coronary heart disease. Research has shown that trans fats are as dangerous to your health as smoking and asbestos. As a result, all major food manufacturers have pledged to stop using them in their products.
– Increase your intake of soluble fibre: Increasing your intake of soluble fibre from foods like oats, barley, peas and beans can significantly reduce LDL cholesterol levels. One study found that eating four servings of oatmeal per day was enough to raise LDL cholesterol by 5%. – Reduce your intake of animal fats: Animal fats, such as lard and butter, are solid at room temperature and tend to raise LDL cholesterol levels more than plant oils. That’s because animal fats are higher in saturated fat.
Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is an essential nutrient found in many foods. It’s important for cell metabolism and helps keep your nervous system and skin healthy. Niacin can also help lower LDL cholesterol levels. Adding niacin to your diet is a simple way to help manage your cholesterol levels and protect your heart health. Consider adding the following to your diet:
Shrimp, 1/2 cup serving – 380 mg of niacin; Turkey breast, 3 ounces – 138 mg of niacin; Salmon fillet, 3 ounces – 104 mg of niacin; Avocado, 1 whole avocado – 80 mg of niacin.
Nuts are another good source of this nutrient: almonds have about 60mg per ounce and peanuts have about 45mg per ounce. And legumes like beans and lentils are great sources too! One cup of cooked kidney beans has 86mg while black beans contain 72mg per cup cooked. Add these protein-rich superfoods into your meals throughout the day to get all the benefits they offer! Heavy whipping cream, 1 tablespoon – 27 mg of niacin; Spinach, raw or boiled, one cup – 28 mg of niacin; Lentils, one cup cooked – 54 mg of niacin.
Keep in mind that soybeans also provide a good amount with 34mg per half-cup serving!
Salmon fillet is one easy food that you can incorporate into your diet for an extra dose. The other thing you need to know about it? Try roasting it with olive oil or cooking it with butter because both fat options will add significant amounts of HDL cholesterol (that’s the good kind!). Just don’t forget to brush off any charred bits before eating!
Additionally, if you’re not already taking supplements, make sure to talk with your doctor about getting a daily multivitamin. Supplements typically come in tablets and capsules. You may want to try Gentle Niacin which comes in liquid form. It tastes like orange juice but it won’t give you the same flush so if you’re sensitive just be careful when taking this type of supplement. Regardless, it should still work well to help regulate cholesterol levels.
Additionally, if you’re not already taking supplements, make sure to talk with your doctor about getting a daily multivitamin. Supplements typically come in tablets and capsules. You may want to try Gentle Niacin which comes in liquid form. When taken correctly as directed on the label or bottle, this type of niacin can be helpful for managing elevated low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL). Talk to your physician before starting any new medication or treatment. Always discuss risks, side effects, and current medications with your physician before starting anything new.
As always, check with your physician prior to starting anything new especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
Trans fat intake should be as low as possible because it can increase your LDL cholesterol levels. You can reduce your trans fat intake by avoiding processed foods, choosing leaner cuts of meat, and cooking with healthier oils. Additionally, make sure to read food labels carefully so you know how much trans fat you’re consuming. By reducing your trans fat intake, you can help improve your cardiovascular health. – Exercise: Exercise helps the body produce more good HDL cholesterol. – Reduce saturated fat intake: Saturated fats are known to increase LDL cholesterol levels in the blood stream. Reducing saturated fats from your diet will help lower LDL cholesterol levels and have a positive impact on your heart health.
– Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight puts more strain on the heart and elevates triglycerides, which also leads to higher LDL cholesterol. In order to maintain a healthy weight or lose excess pounds, you should start an exercise routine that incorporates aerobic activity, strength training, and stretching exercises into each workout session for best results. There are plenty of resources available to find workouts online or at local gyms. The Centers for Disease Control recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity. When starting an exercise program, consult your doctor first to determine what level is right for you. If you need guidance, talk to a trainer who has experience working with people living with cardiovascular disease. They can create a personalized plan just for you. And don’t forget about eating well! Eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds everyday will not only provide your body with the nutrients it needs but also help control your blood sugar levels and manage weight better. Aim to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily; two servings of legumes; three servings of whole grains; two servings of nuts or seeds; one serving of fish high in omega-3s like salmon or trout; two tablespoons of ground flaxseed daily; four tablespoons of olive oil daily; plus drink eight glasses water. Furthermore, monitor your calories and include fruit and vegetables as part of every meal. For those who suffer from hypertension, cut back on salt and get a potassium supplement if needed. Talk to your physician before taking any supplements though since they may interact with medications you’re already taking. Follow these guidelines in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and promote optimal cardiovascular health. It’s never too late to start making changes.