How to lower high cholesterol: a cardiologist named effective methods
Cholesterol is called a "silent killer". Without giving any signals, it causes significant damage to the cardiovascular system. Normally, it is necessary for the proper functioning of the body at the cellular level, but elevated cholesterol levels can lead to the development of coronary heart disease, peripheral artery disease, and even provoke a heart attack or stroke.
That's why Eric Stahl, a cardiologist at the US University of Staten Island Hospital, insists that cholesterol levels should be monitored. As he explained to Eat This Not That, excessive cholesterol has the ability to accumulate on the walls of the arteries - this process is called atherosclerosis. "As atherosclerotic plaques form, the arteries become stiff and narrow, which prevents blood from reaching where it needs to go," says the doctor.
However, he also reassures us that even if cholesterol levels are elevated, there are several ways to bring them back to normal. Here are six very effective ones.
Get more physical activity
According to Dr Stahl, exercise can increase the level of so-called "good cholesterol" and lower the level of "bad cholesterol". It doesn't take much - just 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. That is, 20 minutes of morning exercise every day should be enough to make a positive difference.
Smoking can upset the balance of "good" and "bad" cholesterol in a way we don't need. What's more, tobacco consumption contributes to the development of atherosclerosis in other ways as well. All these risks can be eliminated in one fell swoop by giving up cigarettes.
Moderate alcohol consumption
Excessive alcohol consumption can increase blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This, of course, is not good for blood vessels. That's why Dr Stahl recommends limiting your alcohol intake to one serving per day. In the United States, a serving is approximately 14 g of pure alcohol, which translates to 0.3 litres of beer, 140 ml of wine, or 42 ml of 40-degree spirits.
Being overweight is a risk factor for many diseases, not just cardiovascular disease. But, according to Dr Stahl, even a small amount of weight loss is enough to have a positive impact on cholesterol levels. Even 2-4 kilos lost will bring noticeable benefits.
Eating heart-healthy foods
"Limit the consumption of saturated fats, especially red meat, fried foods and dairy products, while increasing the amount of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, poultry, fish and nuts. The Mediterranean diet is a good example to follow," says Dr Stahl.
Take your medication on time
If lifestyle changes are not enough and the results of cholesterol tests are not encouraging, medications such as statins can help. They are very effective in the fight against high cholesterol and are good at preventing heart attacks, coronary heart disease, strokes, and peripheral artery disease. You should consult your doctor to choose a drug.
As OBOZREVATEL previously reported, doctors have named 8 foods that will benefit the heart and blood vessels if added to your regular diet. Precisely because they help lower cholesterol levels.