5 Straightforward Ways to Reduce High Cholesterol

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High cholesterol is a common condition linked to several serious illnesses, such as heart disease, atherosclerosis, and strokes. There’s no time to waste: if your doctor has told you that you have this problem, now is the time to start working on it. These five simple methods to help you lower your cholesterol are a great place to start.

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1. Improve Your Diet

One of the first things that many medical professionals will recommend to people with elevated cholesterol is a better diet. Eating too many animal products like meat and dairy will raise your cholesterol levels, so you want to avoid those when possible. The same goes for any foods with high amounts of sugar, saturated fats, or trans fats. Instead of these unhealthy options, choose foods that are high in soluble fiber (such as beans, apples, and whole grains) and unsaturated fats (such as fish, nuts, and olives). Opt for dishes and snacks with high amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables when you can, and season them liberally with spices (especially garlic and ginger, which have been proven to lower cholesterol levels over time).

2. Use Medication

Some doctors choose to prescribe medication to control cholesterol levels alongside more conservative remedies. Keep in mind that medication is rarely a cure-all; your doctor will probably point out some additional steps they would like you to take to help solve your problem, and you should comply with those suggestions. Doing so should work in concert with your prescriptions and amplify the effects of the drug, making it much easier for you to keep your cholesterol levels in check. You should also make sure you know what side effects you might be facing and which ones are serious enough to merit telling your doctor about. Not every medication is right for every patient, and you may need to try a few different ones before you discover one that will work best for you.

3. Quit Smoking and Drink Less

Cutting down on your cigarettes or alcohol habits as much as possible is a good idea to help you reach your cholesterol goals. Smoking is bad for almost every aspect of your health, so the sooner you can give it up, the better – you’ll get much more than just lower cholesterol for doing so. As for drinking, studies suggest that there may be

slight cholesterol-related benefits associated with moderate alcohol consumption, so you don’t have to cut yourself off from it completely. To be clear, though, that means having no more than a handful of drinks each week. If you’re regularly surpassing that amount, you need to cut back.

4. Exercise More

Like most chronic health issues, elevated cholesterol can be improved with regular exercise. The World Health Organization recommends that adults 18 to 64 get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every week. If you’re not already working out regularly, you’ll have to start slowly and work your way up to more vigorous sessions. Try simple activities like brisk walking, swimming, gardening, and cycling to get more minutes in. Even if you find yourself falling short of that mark, whatever exercise you can manage will help out, so don’t get discouraged!

5. Reduce Stress

While research has not yet discovered the exact link between stress and higher cholesterol levels, there is no denying that a correlation exists. People with less stress in their lives have lower cholesterol overall. To get your stress under control, keep yourself organized, make sure you’re getting enough sleep each night, and make time for relaxation. You won’t be able to eliminate all sources of tension in your life, but whatever you can manage should help get your cholesterol to fall.

You know that living with high cholesterol for too long can have disastrous consequences; it’s your responsibility to lower yours as soon as you possibly can. These five courses of action are a great start toward making that happen. Start putting them into practice now and you may just be able to get your score low enough to impress your doctor during your next check-up visit.

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5 Straightforward Ways to Reduce High Cholesterol
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High cholesterol is a common condition linked to several serious illnesses, such as heart disease, atherosclerosis, and strokes.
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