Reducing cholesterol is an important part of overall health when your numbers come in too high. The Mayo Clinic reports that reducing your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) numbers reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke. Once the doctor gives you the go-ahead, dietary, cooking and other changes can be fun and healthy.
Lose weight. Extra weight–even if it is only 5 or 10 lbs. can make a difference in your LDL numbers, say the experts at the Mayo Clinic. Choose a diet that works for you and dovetails with your lifestyle. Eliminate most refined sugars and carbohydrates from your daily food intake. Increase the intake of omega-3 fatty acids that can be found in fish. Salmon is a low-fat, high omega-3 food that can be prepared in a variety of ways.
Eat foods that are considered heart-healthy. This includes fruits and vegetables, lean meats and using healthy fats, such as canola or olive oil, when preparing your meals. Learn new ways to cook your favorite foods without using trans fats. Fried foods can be converted to baked in most cases, and applesauce can replace oil in many baking recipes.
Exercise every day. It does not matter if you have excess weight to lose or not, exercise is an important step to reducing your elevated cholesterol. Make it fun. If you do not want to do regular exercise, take up a physical hobby, such as tennis or biking, to get your heart rate pumping. Incorporate exercise several times a day, even if it is just taking a brisk walk around your office building on breaks.
Concentrate on adding cholesterol busting foods to your life. Oatmeal, beans and whole grain cereals have all been proven to get those LDL numbers down when eaten daily. You can eat oatmeal in a bowl or you can hide it in meat loaf, whole grain bread and other dishes. Beans provide fiber and protein and have an almost limitless number of recipes they can be prepared in.
Stop smoking, and reduce your alcohol intake. If you have difficulty quitting on your own, speak to your doctor about a smoking-cessation prescription medication.
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