Safe and Effective Ways to Lower Cholesterol, Anything? | Good Doctor
There are various ways to lower cholesterol that you can do. Anything?
High cholesterol levels can cause dangerous diseases. A common disease caused by high cholesterol levels is heart disease.
To lower high cholesterol levels you can do the method below.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is found in all cells in the body. The body needs cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help digest food. The body makes cholesterol the way it needs it.
Not only can it be found in the body, cholesterol can also be found in food. Usually food of animal origin, such as eggs, egg yolks, meat and cheese.
Cholesterol is needed by the body, but if the body has high cholesterol levels it will be dangerous and can cause disease.
If you have high levels of cholesterol in your blood, this can cause cholesterol to combine with other substances in your blood to form plaque.
The plaque that forms can stick to the artery walls. This plaque buildup is also known as atherosclerosis. This condition can lead to coronary artery disease, in which the coronary arteries become narrow or can even become blocked.
Also read: Understand the Types of Cholesterol, the Benefits and Risks
What are the dangers of having high cholesterol?
There are several dangers that can be caused if you have high cholesterol levels in the body. Here are the dangers of high cholesterol that were launched Mayo Clinic.
- Chest pain: If the arteries that supply blood to your heart (coronary arteries) are affected, you can experience chest pain (angina) and some of the other symptoms of coronary artery disease.
- Heart attack: If the plaque tears or ruptures, a blood clot can form in the area of the ruptured plaque which can block blood flow or can free it and occlude an artery downstream. If blood flow to the heart stops, you can have a heart attack
- Strokes: Just like a heart attack, a stroke can result if a blood clot blocks blood flow to a part of the brain
What causes high cholesterol levels?
Eating a lot of foods that contain high levels of cholesterol, saturated fat, and trans fat can increase the risk of developing high cholesterol.
Some wrong lifestyles can also cause this to happen. For example, such as lack of exercise and smoking habits.
Genetic factors are also not spared to be the cause of high cholesterol levels. Genes are passed from parents to their children. If parents have high cholesterol, children have a higher risk of developing it too.
In rare cases, high cholesterol is caused by familial hypercholesterolemiaie lowered cholesterol. This genetic disorder prevents the body from eliminating LDL (bad cholesterol).
According to the National Human Genome Research Institute, most adults with this condition have cholesterol levels above 300 mg/dL and LDL levels above 200 mg/dL.
Having high cholesterol can indeed be caused by several things. High cholesterol levels can also harm the body, because it can increase the risk of heart disease.
However, you don’t need to worry, there are several ways to lower cholesterol that you can do. Let’s see below!
How to lower cholesterol with food
The first way to lower cholesterol is with food. Food is one of the triggers for high cholesterol in the body. Therefore, you must always pay attention to the food you consume so that cholesterol levels in the body are not high.
Here’s how to lower cholesterol with foods that are summarized from Healthline.
1. Focus on monounsaturated fats
The first way to lower cholesterol is to focus on monounsaturated fats.
Unlike saturated fats, unsaturated fats have at least one double chemical bond that changes how they are used in the body.
A diet high in monounsaturated fat can reduce LDL which can be harmful to the body, but also protect HDL levels (good cholesterol) higher health.
Monounsaturated fats can also reduce lipoprotein oxidation which contributes to clogged arteries.
Here are some good sources of monounsaturated fat for the body. Some of them are also good sources of polyunsaturated fats.
- Olives and olive oil
- Canola oil
- Nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and cashews)
2. Use polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3
Polyunsaturated fats have many double bonds which make them behave differently in the body when compared to monounsaturated fats.
Research shows that polyunsaturated fats can reduce ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of heart-healthy polyunsaturated fat. They can be found in seafood supplements and fish oil.
Omega-3 fats can be found in high amounts in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and sea tuna. At a lower amount of omega-3 fats can be found in shrimp.
3. Avoid consuming trans fats
Trans fats are unsaturated fats that have been modified by a process called hydrogenation.
Unfortunately, partially hydrogenated trans fats are handled differently in the body than other fats.
This causes trans fats to increase total and LDL cholesterol, but lower the beneficial HDL by as much as 20 percent.
To avoid trans fats, you should first read the nutrition label on the product. If a product contains oil “partially hydrogenated”it contains trans fat which should be avoided.
4. Consumption of soluble fiber
Soluble fiber is a group of different compounds in plants that dissolve in water and that humans cannot digest.
Despite this, the beneficial bacteria that live in the intestines can digest soluble fiber. They also need it for their own nutrition.
Soluble fiber has the benefit of reducing the risk of developing certain diseases. Some foods as good soluble sources are:
How to lower cholesterol with a healthy lifestyle
Another way to lower cholesterol is to change your lifestyle. Apart from food, you can also reduce high cholesterol levels in the body by changing your lifestyle to be healthier, including:
Exercise is an activity that can be done to improve heart health. Not only to improve fitness and fight obesity, exercise can also reduce LDL in the body and increase HDL.
To lower cholesterol levels, you should do exercise at short intervals every few days, such as:
- Take a brisk walk every day during lunch hour
- Riding a bicycle to work
- Do your favorite sport
To keep you motivated, do sports with friends. You can also join a sports group to get excited about exercising.
2. Stay away from smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke
How to lower cholesterol can also be done by not smoking. Smoking is one of the factors that can cause heart disease.
Quitting smoking can increase HDL cholesterol levels which are good for the body.
The benefits of not smoking come quickly, for example:
- Within 20 minutes of quitting smoking, blood pressure and heart rate improved and recovered from the cigarette-induced spike
- Within 3 months, blood circulation and lung function began to improve
- Within a year, the risk of developing heart disease decreases by about half compared to an active smoker
3. Lose weight
High body weight can contribute to high cholesterol levels.
To lose weight you can change your diet. For example, avoid sugary drinks and switch to mineral water.
If you’re craving a sweet treat try candies with little or no fat, like jelly beans.
You can also add your physical activity, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and taking a walk while at work. Also try to increase standing activities like cooking or doing housework.
How to lower cholesterol with medication
Not only can it be lowered by changing diet and lifestyle, how to lower cholesterol can also be done using drugs, for example by taking multivitamin supplements and other drugs.
However, the thing to remember is Do not be careless in taking supplements and drugs to lower cholesterol.
Pay attention to the ingredients in it and follow the dosage according to the recommendations of the doctor, pharmacist, or even the recommendations for use listed on the package label.
1. Taking supplements
Taking multivitamin supplements is a way to lower cholesterol that you can do.
There is strong evidence that fish oil and soluble fiber can increase good cholesterol and improve heart function.
Fish oil is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA).
One study in 42 adults found that consuming 4 grams of fish oil daily reduced the total amount of fat carried in the blood.
Psyllium is a form of soluble fiber that is available as a supplement.
Another 4-week study in 33 adults found that a biscuit enriched with 8 grams of psyllium reduced total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol by 10 percent.
Coenzyme Q10 is a food chemical that can help cells produce energy. It is almost similar to vitamins.
Several other studies involving 409 participants found that Coenzyme Q10 supplements can reduce total cholesterol. In this study HDL and LDL levels did not change.
2. Cholesterol drugs
Taking cholesterol-lowering drugs is also usually used to reduce LDL levels in the body.
Statins are the most common cholesterol medication that doctors prescribe. Some of the drugs that belong to the statin class include:
Studies show that statins can reduce the chances of developing problems with the cardiovascular system, such as heart attacks.
Come on, try to reduce cholesterol levels in the body by lowering cholesterol above so that the risk of heart disease can be reduced. If your cholesterol level is still high, don’t hesitate to consult a doctor, OK?
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