High cholesterol is a common health issue in today’s world. However, it doesn’t usually present with any noticeable symptoms, which means that many people are unaware they have the condition unless they take a blood test. Screening is therefore very important, because if left unchecked, high cholesterol can lead to serious complications. However, if you have found out that your cholesterol is too high, don’t worry – it is a completely manageable condition. Read on to find out more.
Causes of high cholesterol
Cholesterol is a type of fatty substance that’s produced in the liver and carried in your blood. Too much of it can block your blood vessels, which in turn increases your likelihood of suffering from heart attacks or strokes. The main causes of high cholesterol levels are obesity, lack of exercise, smoking, and having an unhealthy diet. So, all you need to do is stop smoking and cut your calorie intake, and the problem’s solved, right? Not quite. You should definitely quit smoking, but although cutting calories can certainly be part of your diet strategy, it’s not enough on its own.
The type of calories you eat matters
As the old adage goes ‘you are what you eat’. That’s why, when it comes to lowering your cholesterol levels, you want to think about more than just the number of calories you’re consuming. The type of food that you’re eating is also crucial. After all, you could lose a lot of weight by only eating 500 calories of cake a day – but you’ll become dangerously unhealthy as a result. A much better approach is to work with professionals such as those in Dario’s weight loss counseling regime, and ensure that the calories you choose are ones which are good for you.
In terms of high cholesterol, the main dietary culprit is fatty food. Aim to cut down on saturated fats and trans fats for example, as found in processed meat, dairy products, and certain sweet snacks. Instead, you want to include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet, as well as whole grains, nuts and seeds, and oily fish like salmon. The best part is that you’ll find you feel better at the same time as lowering your cholesterol!
Exercise matters too
If you’re hoping to tackle high cholesterol by losing weight, it is important to include exercise as part of your strategy. This is especially vital if you work in a sedentary job, because sitting down all day has been linked to a number of health concerns in addition to obesity. Try to incorporate some physical activity into your daily life in a way that fits your preferences and schedule. For example, you could go for a walk on your lunch break, squeeze in a run before work, or head to a fitness class in the evening. Whether it’s yoga, dance, martial arts or Pilates, pick something that you genuinely enjoy and look forward to – this will make it much easier to motivate yourself to go! Don’t worry if there are no suitable classes in your area, because these days there are lots of online videos you can follow along with at home. Taken in tandem with a change in your diet, you’re sure to see your levels of unhealthy cholesterol drop.