Keep Check on cholesterol to avoid heart attack--- By VieFit Sutra


To avoid a heart attack, research has found that a key strategy is getting LDL (bad) cholesterol way down. Striving for LDL levels of 100 and below is good, but dropping to 80 and lower may be even better.

The Signs Of High Cholesterol - In most of the people, there are no signs and symptoms making it even more dangerous for health. The best way to know is to get a regular health check-up and to ask your doctor for blood tests that check cholesterol levels.

Causes of High Cholesterol- Most of the times, high cholesterol levels are related to unhealthy lifestyle. Some of the most common causes include: smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, genetic factors, unhealthy eating habits and family history.

High Cholesterol impact on your health- When you have more than your body needs, cholesterol can cause plaque to build up in your blood vessels. This thick, hard plaque can clog your arteries like a blocked pipe. Reduced blood flow can lead to stroke and heart attack.

Tips to lower the Cholesterol Level -

1. Know Good and Bad Cholesterol

Our body needs a small amount of cholesterol. But many people have too much, especially the “bad” kind, or LDL cholesterol. That can happen if you eat too much saturated fat, found mainly in foods from animals. If your LDL level is too high, plaque can build up in your heart's arteries and lead to heart disease. The “good” cholesterol, HDL, helps clear LDL from your blood. Saturated fats are the biggest dietary cause of high LDL levels, reports MedlinePlus. Sources of saturated fats include animal products -- whole milk, butter, cream, ice cream, cheese and fatty meats -- and vegetable oils, such as palm and coconut. Recommended limits of saturated fat intake are 10 percent of your total calories.

Replacing saturated fats with monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil and canola oil, and polyunsaturated fats, such as safflower, corn, fish, soybean oil and sunflower oil, may lower blood cholesterol levels.

2. Read the ingredients for packaged products.

Read food labels carefully and avoid foods high in saturated fats to achieve your goal for reducing LDL and increasing HDL.

3. Think Delicious and Nutritious

Choose a healthy oil like olive oil or rice bran oil and make sure to use it in moderation & cut down on deep fried, processed foods as well as sweets and packaged foods.

Load your plate with fruits and vegetables -- aim for five to nine servings each day -- to bring down your LDL level. Antioxidants in these foods may provide the benefit, along with fiber. And you may eat less fatty food if you fill up on produce. Bonus: You'll also help lower blood pressure and keep your weight in check.

4. Eat more Whole Grains

A bowl of oatmeal fills you up, making it easier not to overeat at lunch. The fiber also curbs LDL cholesterol. There are plenty of other options in whole grains brown or wild rice, popcorn, and barley.

5. Boost Your Omega-3s

Fish is a great source of protein and omega-3s, which are a type of fat your body needs. Omega-3s help lower levels of triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood. Omega-3s also cut down on cholesterol, slowing the growth of plaque in arteries.

Choose fatty fishes or cold water fishes like salmon, tuna and sardines-Grill, roast or broil fish but avoid fried fishes twice a week.

6. Nuts are healthy snacks

Avoid sugar, honey, chocolate and lots of salt coated nuts. Instead go for a handful of almonds, pistachios, walnuts, or other nuts. They are high in monounsaturated fat, which lowers LDL "bad" cholesterol but leaves HDL "good" cholesterol alone.

7. Carbs- go for the best option

Beans and whole grains such as brown rice and whole wheat have more fiber and don’t spike your blood sugar. They will lower cholesterol and make you feel full longer. Other carbs, like those found in white bread, white potatoes, white rice, and pastries, boost blood sugar levels more quickly so you feel hungry sooner, which can lead you to overeat.

8. Stay active

Just half an hour of physical activity 5 days a week can lower your bad and raise your good cholesterol levels. Being active also helps you reach and keep a healthy weight, which cuts your chance of developing clogged arteries. Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the most important step to lower and maintain cholesterol levels. Stay active. Take up walking, running, swimming, or cycling to help in keeping the cholesterol in check. If you have a sedentary job, make sure to move around and go for short walks atleast every 2 hours.

9. Watch when Eating Out

Restaurant food can be loaded with saturated fat, calories, and sodium. Even “healthy” choices may come in supersize portions.

10. Check the Label

If it says "whole grain," read the ingredients. Whole wheat or whole grain should be the first one.

Note the saturated fat, sodium, calories, and cholesterol. Are they OK for your daily plan? If not, what will you choose to change?

11. De-Stress

Out-of-control stress raises your blood pressure, and for some people, it might mean higher cholesterol levels. Make it a priority to relax. You can also meditate, pray, socialize with people you enjoy, and exercise or take some slow, deep breaths.

12. Watch Your Weight

Extra Kilos make you more likely to get high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. These all affect the lining of your arteries, making them more likely to collect plaque from cholesterol. Losing weight, especially belly fat, raises your good and lowers your bad cholesterol.

13. Quit smoking & Keep Tabs

Quit smoking. See your doctor regularly to keep tabs. Celebrate your progress!

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