Studies have shown that the number of people who are obese or overweight has gone up through the years. This is attributed to the type of food being served in schools and fast food joints as well as the typical American Lifestyle, which includes the lack of nutritious food and exercise.
The problem goes farther because this means that many more Americans will suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes in the future. The good news is that this can be prevented before it is too late. Limiting the body’s cholesterol levels is not only for appearance’s purposes but also for health reasons. Cholesterol levels in the body, when at a certain level, can cause a host of body complications and disease that can even eventually cause death.
This is especially true with people who are already old and in their middle ages because of the slowing down of the bodily processes particularly the digestive system and the body’s ability to convert fats to energy. This is perhaps why most older people, especially those that have weight issues, are being asked by their doctors to lessen their cholesterol intake.
What is cholesterol?
People have been talking about cholesterol but do they what it is and how it affects the body. Because of news about rising cases heart problems in the country, cholesterol has become an overnight antagonist. Everybody thinks that cholesterol is bad.
Actually, not all cholesterol is bad for the body. In fact, our bodies need cholesterol to make bile salts. It is also a major ingredients in maintaining hormonal balance as well as in the production of Vitamin D. Things become troubled when the levels become too high that the cholesterol already clog the arteries, making it hard for the blood to flow and the heart to pump.
There are two kinds of cholesterol, the good and the bad. The LDL, which is the bad kind, adhere to the arterial walls, forming plaques that eventually clog the passageway. Saturated fats and the trans fatty kind are sources of this kind of cholesterol. This is frequently found in pre-packed foods like potato snacks and canned goods.
The HDL, on the other hand, can lower the levels of LDL cholesterol. This is because the good HDL helps transport the LDL cholesterol from the arterial walls back to the liver where it is excreted out. These are found in nuts and in seafood particularly fishes.
Factors that affect cholesterol levels
Contrary to popular opinion, it is not just the diet that should be taken into consideration when dealing with high cholesterol levels. There are actually a lot of factors that affect the condition. One of these is the age and the gender. Older people are more affected by increased levels of cholesterol because of their bodies’ slowing processes. Another factor is the level of physical activity. Exercise can actually help in lowering down of LDL cholesterol. Also, it can help in strengthening the body and in toning the muscles.
Lowering cholesterol levels
The natural way to lower the cholesterol will be by making some lifestyle changes and exercising regularly. This will help the individual lose weight, which is directly related to the cholesterol levels in the human body.
When people think of dieting, many think this means saying goodbye to some of life’s more juicer foods but it is not. The person will just have to limit the consumption and add new things that are healthier.
More often, this will require eating foods that are high in fiber and low in saturated fats. A few examples of these are artichokes, corn, fish, garlic, legumes, mushrooms, nut, olive oil, soy milk and whole grains.
The individual should not forget to have some fruits and vegetables as well since these are rich in sterols that are known to keep the cholesterol levels down. All of these products are affordable and can easily be purchased in the supermarket.
Aside from eating properly, the person must also take the necessary precautions when consuming liquids. This means drinking a glass of red wine moderately, reducing the consumption of beer, drinking fresh juices, non-fat milk and water.
Apple juice for example has been known to reduce cholesterol levels by up to 50% when taken regularly. Other fruits can also do the same so cutting this and putting it into a blender can do the trick or getting this in bottled form.
The next step to lowering the cholestesterol levels naturally is through exercise. This can be achieved in many ways such as brisk walking, jogging or running around the neighborhood. Learning a new sport and doing it regularly is another option.
Those who want to be looked after by a personal trainer can check out the gym since there are professionals that can create a program to achieve the person’s desired results. This will be a combination of cardio-vascular exercises as well as weight lifting to burn the calories and lower the cholesterol levels.
There is another way to reduce the cholesterol levels but is only used as a last resort if these two do not work. The individual will be required to use medicine to make it happen. There are a lot of products out there and studies have shown this can drop the cholesterol levels by as much as 15% to 30%.
The person should be aware though that these drugs have certain side effects so it is best to consult a doctor first to make sure it is safe to use.
Cholesterol is something that is produced in the body and is also taken when food is eaten. The only way to make sure the levels in the blood doesn’t exceed the limit is to have a checkup regularly and watch the food that is being cooked or served in the restaurant.
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