When you have a cholesterol level that’s at least 200 mg/dL, you’re putting yourself at risk for heart disease or stroke. The rising numbers of those that have high cholesterol are both staggering and alarming, with around 95 million adults and even seven percent of children under the age of 20. We need to start working on our cholesterol levels before it’s too late, as you don’t want to become another statistic. To help lower your cholesterol, follow these five easy steps and you’ll be on the road to a longer and healthier life.
5. Followed to a Tea
Tea is one of the best drinks for your health thanks to a bevy of specific benefits that it brings. Among them is the ability to help lower cholesterol thanks to the high amount of antioxidants, especially when it comes to green tea. One major study showed that those drinking green tea on a consistent basis were able to lower their LDL levels by nearly 2.2 mg/dL. In non-human studies, the LDL rates dropped by up to 30 percent.
4. Drop the Weight
One of the main reasons why the amount of people with high cholesterol levels is on the rise is because of the rise in obesity levels. Carrying a lot of extra weight goes hand in hand with increased cholesterol, though you don’t have to shed every single excess pound to help lengthen your life. Studies have shown that people who lose just 10 pounds saw a significant improvement in their cholesterol levels. Those that shed 5 percent or more of their body weight were the biggest beneficiaries, all while increasing their good cholesterol and lowering their triglycerides.
3. Put Down the Cigarettes
When we think of smoking and its negative effects on health, we tend to first think about what it can do to your lungs, throat, mouth and your blood pressure. Not many people stop to consider what it does to your cholesterol levels. Those that smoke are at risk for heart disease, and cholesterol plays a big part in that. Researchers have found that smokers (which make up around 13 percent of the US population) have higher LDL levels and lower HDL levels, though the specific link is still being studied.
2. Eat the Right Foods
Naturally, you will want to change the way you’re eating to help improve your cholesterol levels. It seems like a no-brainer, but there are specific foods that you should be aiming for when lowering your LDL. Some of the best foods that you can eat include whole grains, beans, nuts, apples, strawberries and fish, just to name a few. Sticking to a diet that’s heavy in vegetables is also good, and you’ll be improving your overall health.
1. Get Moving
The last piece of the puzzle in lowering your cholesterol is to get regular exercise, and it doesn’t take much either. Simply getting a brisk 30 minute walk in your schedule five times per week will improve cholesterol. Once you get started in a walking program you can increase the intensity of your cardio that will only help even more. Jogging, yoga, swimming and cycling are some of the favorites that cardiologists suggest.