When we hear cholesterol, we automatically think it’s bad. However, there are both a good and bad cholesterol. According to the American Heart Association, cholesterol is a waxy substance that is produced naturally in your body and received from animal foods you eat. Cholesterol is responsible for building cells, but it can also be bad and oddly enough, the good cholesterol can help keep the bad in check. Bad cholesterol can create plaque build up in your arteries and if it gets too high it can even start to block blood flow. When blood is blocked, it creates the perfect setting for heart attacks. There are ways you can reduce cholesterol and you can do them every day.
Plain and simple, lower the number of saturated fats that you eat. The American Heart Association says we should avoid meats and dairy with whole milk. There is no need to give up your favorite burger or throw the shake out, just moderate the amount you take in. When it comes to meats, go for lean meats and fish and avoid fried foods. If you absolutely need those fries, use vegetable oil. Or, better yet, make them yourself in an air fryer.
It seems like something that doesn’t need to be said but as a reminder, don’t gain excess weight. Obesity directly affects cholesterol levels in the body. Choose a diet routine and workout regimen that work for you. If you find yourself struggling and thinking it’s too hard to stay fit, imagine how hard it’s going to be to feel sick when your bad cholesterol reaches its all-time high.
You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again, exercise is good for your body. Not only will you feel better every single day, recent studies done by the American Heart Association show that just a small amount of exercise will lower cholesterol levels. A short thirty-minute walk, 3-4 times per week will make a big difference. After a while of making that walking part of your routine, you’ll start to feel better and won’t want to stop.
Smoking is bad for you in more than just one way but it also affects your cholesterol. Smoking will decrease your good cholesterol, increase blood pressure, and add major risks for heart disease and other long-term damage to your organs. If you’re smoking right now, it won’t be easy to quit, but nothing worth doing is easy. Find a way to quit and do it today if you want to reduce cholesterol.
All-natural supplements can’t replace prescription medication but they also won’t hurt. The Mayo Clinic recommends a few supplements that are found to be effective against lowering bad cholesterol. Artichoke extract, flaxseed, barley, fish oil, green tea extract, oat bran and whey protein are all great options.