September is National Cholesterol Education Month, which is the perfect time for you to get checked if you haven’t recently! Most people know we have both good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol. You want your good to be high and your bad to be low and the exciting thing is YOU HAVE CONTROL to make that happen!
It is not hard to find ways to lower high cholesterol, but it does take making simple changes and being consistent with those changes. Don’t expect to see a lower cholesterol with one day of eating salads, it will take a little more effort!
Here are few tips to lower cholesterol, especially your bad (LDL) and raise your good (HDL) cholesterol:
Lose Weight: Yes, shedding a few pounds can lower your cholesterol! Don’t aim to drop 10lbs in one week. Losing weight slowly and steadily, approximately 1-2 pounds per week, will produce better long term results and will be something you can manage and maintain! A good place to start can be to reduce caloric intake and we can help you do that in a smart way at Blue Sky MD! So call us today to schedule your appointment!
Drop the Smokes: Smoking is so old school! One of the best ways to lower cholesterol is to get rid of the cigarettes because they can increase your bad cholesterol. This is the opposite of what we want to happen to help manage cholesterol! Will it be easy? Probably not but you have the power to do it!
Cut Out Trans Fats and Processed Foods: That’s right. Trans fats can lower the good and raise the bad cholesterol. The #1 way to try and avoid most trans fats is to shop around the perimeter of the grocery store. You know, where the vegetables, fruit, meat and eggs live. Eating an overall cleaner diet can help you to avoid these risky fats that are oftentimes found in baked goods, pre-packaged foods and definitely fried foods. To manage cholesterol, start reading your labels and paying attention to the breakdown of fat content!
Exercise: Not only will exercise help you lose weight but it has positive effects on your cholesterol and it’s something so easy to do! Even if it’s starting off just walking 10min per day, you are making a change from not doing anything. A good way to stay motivated is to get a workout partner and start scheduling it as a necessary part of your day! We promise you will see results!
Increase Fiber: Increasing your soluble fiber intake keeps your body from absorbing cholesterol! Some high fiber sources to start incorporating into your diet include oatmeal, apples, prunes, and beans. Not only will these foods help with cholesterol, they will also help to regulate your digestive system!
Healthy Fats are Good: Fat is not always a bad thing as long as we are eating the right kind. Fish is a great way to increase your omega-3’s which is great for the heart! Aim for fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines. Switching oils can also aid in heart health and overall cholesterol. Try using an extra-virgin olive oil which is less processed and contains good antioxidants. One more way to get in some good fats is through nuts! These yummy snacks contain sterols which can keep the body from absorbing cholesterol. Just watch your portion sizes because they are very caloric!
As you can see, there are several ways to lower cholesterol. However, if you still need help getting started give us a call today and we can guide you in the right direction!