Thursday, September 22, 2016

Five tips for lowering cholesterol

If you have high cholesterol, you are at a higher risk of developing heart disease. Take steps to reduce that risk - lower your cholesterol and make healthy changes to your lifestyle. Your heart and your family will thank you for it.

Man with his grandbaby

You might still need cholesterol medicine - there are genetic factors that also impact your cholesterol levels - but following these tips might make it so you need a lower dose of that medicine and can reduce some of its side effects.

Five tips to lower your cholesterol

Reduce saturated fats in your diet

All heart-healthy diets are low in saturated fat. Saturated fat is found in full-fat dairy products (whole milk, cream, butter, cheese, ice cream), red meats, lard, fried foods, coconut palm, and palm kernel oils. Replace these foods with healthier fats and whole grain carbohydrates.

Trans fats should be eliminated as much as possible - and many food manufacturers are removing them - so pay attention to food labels. If you see "partially hydrogenated oil" it's telling you there are trans fats in that food.

You shouldn't completely eliminate fat from your diet, just focus on healthier fats such as canola oil, olive oil, nuts, avocados, olives, and fatty fish. Fatty fish, such as mackerel, trout, albacore tuna, and salmon, are especially good choices because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are good for your heart and may also help prevent other chronic conditions.

Bright colorful veggies benefit your health

Focus on fiber

Foods naturally high in fiber are good at lowering cholesterol. Foods such as oats, apples and beans are high in soluble fiber and help prevent your body from absorbing cholesterol. Eating more fiber also makes you feel more full so you won't be eating as much, which helps you with our next tip...

Lose extra weight

Losing weight benefits your health in many ways, including by reducing your likelihood of having diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes and gout. Often losing as little as 5-10 pounds can make a difference. Following the diet tips above is one good way to lose weight. Reducing your overall food intake and increasing your activity level are more good ways to shed extra pounds.

The American Heart Association recommends being physically active for 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. If you are not physically active already, you can start with 10 minutes of moderate activity like walking, swimming, or yoga, and gradually increase your activity. Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program.

Limit alcohol intake

Alcohol may contribute to high cholesterol levels. Consider drinking alcohol in moderation. Moderate alcohol consumption is 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men.

Stop smoking

Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease and has been shown to increase LDL (bad) cholesterol. Even secondhand smoke can raise cholesterol. Smoking also puts you at risk for so many other diseases and health problems. Need help quitting? Logansport Memorial Hospital offers smoking cessation classes by appointment only. Call (574) 753-1466 to learn more.

Learn more about what your cholesterol numbers mean in our recent article.

Raise breast cancer awareness at this year's River Bluff Run

Join us for a 5K Run & Fun Walk on the beautiful River Bluff Trail - all funds raised support breast cancer screenings for uninsured Cass County women ages 40 and older.
  • Date: Saturday, October 8
  • Day of registration starts at 7:30 a.m. - race starts at 9 a.m.

Register today!

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