There’s a growing consciousness towards managing cholesterol and eating cholesterol-free foods. This is mainly due to the significant rise in non-communicable disease-related deaths that have raised a high concern among adults. If you begin to experience sudden health complications that you believe are diet-related, then you should book an appointment with an experienced doctor such as Dr. Lindsay, a wellness physician whose specialty lies in Family Medicine in Lutz, FL.
Contrary to popular belief, not all cholesterol is bad for you. You actually require cholesterol in your body to create cell membranes, bile acid and produce particular hormones. There are two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as bad cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is also known as good cholesterol.
HDL is essential for normal body functions. It prevents plaque from building up and also protects your arteries hence prevent cardiovascular diseases. Since HDL is good cholesterol, it’s best to have higher levels to reduce the risk of stroke as well as heart disease.
The most common ways of increasing your good cholesterol are through diet and lifestyle changes. This includes quitting smoking, adopting a healthy diet, and performing regular exercises.
LDL is bad cholesterol and the optimal levels should be less than 100 milligrams. There are several ways through which you can lower your LDL levels to reduce your risk of stroke and heart disease.
Take Medication to Increase Your Good Cholesterol
Statin is the main medication prescribed for patients with high levels of bad cholesterol. This medicine can lower LDL from anywhere between 10 and 55 percent. Studies show that some people experience serious side effects from Statin so if this happens its best to consult with your doctor for a change of medication. Note that the amount of LDL lowered by Stain is not enough to make a difference. This means that you must be willing to make lifestyle changes.
Additionally, your doctor may prescribe a cholesterol absorption inhibitor especially for those that experience side effects from Statin. The most popular one being Zetia. However, just like Statin, this drug is not enough to make a huge difference in your HDL levels.
Bile acid sequestrates can also be prescribed to lower your LDL levels. These drugs work best when they are combined with Statin. They have also proven to lower sugar levels hence good for diabetics.
Try Taking Dietary Supplements
Nicotinic acid is a great vitamin B supplement that can lower LDL by 20 percent. However, due to side effects such as flushing of the skin, half of those taking it have chosen to stop it.
Limit your Alcohol Consumption Levels
One of the reasons for high levels of bad cholesterol is too much alcohol. This is because alcohol adds more calories that lead to weight gain. It can also raise your blood pressure levels which increases your risk of heart disease. Studies indicate that men should only take two drinks and women only one a day to maintain low LDL.
Avoid Trans Fats
Diet is perhaps the most efficient way to lower your bad cholesterol. Tran’s fats are unsaturated fats that are modified to make them more stable and last longer. They are mostly used in pastries and spreads such as margarine.
Unfortunately, our body handles these Trans fats differently by decreasing the levels of good HDL by up to 20%.
Other ways of improving your HDL cholesterol levels include eating foods rich in soluble fiber and unsaturated fat, staying physically active, avoid smoking, and maintain the proper body weight.
It’s important to adopt a healthy lifestyle to maintain optimal cholesterol levels. You may also want to visit an experienced doctor who will prescribe the right medication for you. Dr. Lindsay of family first wellness works with all her patients and supports them in their efforts to stay healthy through preventive measures.