September is National Cholesterol Education Month. With the month coming to an end soon, do you know the importance of being educated about this condition? High levels of cholesterol affect millions of Americans, and the negative consequences of this dangerous health condition are wide spanning. Cholesterol is a necessary substance for our bodies, but too much of it can lead to issues like heart disease, blood clots, and strokes. If you’re already ingesting a bevy of cholesterol-lowering foods, you’re on your way, but there are a multitude of ways you can further improve.
Track Your Levels
How can you know if your cholesterol levels fall in healthy ranges if you don’t check up on them? Unhealthy cholesterol levels don’t show symptoms, so it’s essential that you remain in the know. It’s important to stay up to date on checkups for a variety of health conditions, and cholesterol should hover at the top of your list.
Create a spreadsheet, or simply keep a pad of paper with your necessary cholesterol numbers. Record your total cholesterol number; if it’s over 200, you need to make some lifestyle changes immediately. You’ll also need to record your LDL cholesterol, as this refers to bad cholesterols. This should be under 100 to indicate proper levels. Also keep tabs on your HDL cholesterol, which refers to the good cholesterol in your system. This should always come in above 60. Get a cholesterol at-home test kit to make tracking your varying levels easy, without the stress of heading into a doctor or clinic. Tracking your cholesterol health is especially important for older men and women. Women over the age of 50 generally have higher levels of cholesterol than men, so for us ladies it’s extremely important that we pay attention.
For some people, tackling cholesterol issues may take a lot more than just a few lifestyle changes. If you’ve already attempted to lower your levels to no avail, more drastic measures may be appropriate. Speak with your doctor to find out if medication is necessary, and join forces with your physician to discover the tactics that will best keep you in healthy cholesterol ranges for years to come.
Smoking tobacco products if awful for your heart, and almost every other body system. If you are a smoker, quit as soon as possible. Smoking is a main cause of preventable deaths in the U.S., so there’s never been a more valid argument to inspire you to quit. These days, with the electronic cigarette available, quitting might be easier than you think. Order e liquids online in different flavors and you won’t even miss real cigarettes.
Being in an appropriate weight range has a huge effect on your cholesterol levels, and maintaining good heart health can boost your good cholesterol tenfold. Exercise stimulates the production of enzymes that remove bad cholesterol from your blood to your liver. They can then be expelled from the body. Exercise also makes protein particles larger, lessening the chance that they will become stuck into body linings that could cause larger health issues down the road. Vigorous exercise for at least 30 minutes a day can drastically reduce your LDL cholesterol, putting you on the road to a healthy body and longer life. Buying a useful mechanism like a Fitbit to track your activity levels can help you keep up your new regimen, and make exercise a bit more fun.
Eating a healthy diet can also help reduce bad cholesterol levels, and increase your HDL cholesterol. Make sure you incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables into your diet. However, not all fruits and veggies are equal when it comes to maintaining cholesterol health. Carrots, garlic, spinach, and cabbage are all excellent options for your vegetable needs. For your daily fruit intake, check out some fresh blueberries, delicious avocado, or tart grapefruit. Don’t forget the fish factor for your cholesterol problems. Increasing your intake of cold water ocean fish to at least twice a week can provide you with the essential omega-3 fatty acids that bolster good cholesterol levels. Plan to grill some salmon during the week, or if fish is just not your thing, take an omega-3 supplement regularly. Make healthy choices with nutrition, and select foods lower in bad fats to ensure your cholesterol levels remain in a proper range.
Maintaining your cholesterol health should be a priority; if it’s not already, make a change. Exhibiting dangerous levels of bad and good cholesterol levels alike can affect a multitude of body systems and functioning, and keeping a close eye on these levels can make a huge difference for your overall health. By eating better, exercising, quitting bad habits, and working together with your doctor, you can improve your health and potentially expand your lifespan.