Written by Lisa Allen, MD
Lowering cholesterol has become a major issue for many Americans of all ages including children. Not all of the lifestyle changes really affect children; however, the first few can be used to lower high cholesterol in all ages.
Many people wish to try other methods to lower their cholesterol before taking prescription medications, so they look for alternatives. The best alternatives to medicine in cases that are not severe include lifestyle changes. Even if you are taking prescription medications, these few lifestyle changes can also aid in lowering high cholesterol and make you feel overall healthier.
If you are overweight, lose weight
Even if a person is only 5 to 10 pounds over weight, it can contribute to high cholesterol. The best way to lose weight is to look at the way you eat. Do you eat when you are bored or stressed? If this is when you begin snacking, stop, get up and go outside for a walk. If you run to a fast food joint for lunch, start packing your lunch, and bringing it with you. If you eat while watching television, have healthy snacks around the house such as fresh vegetables and fruits.
Exercise even if you are not overweight
Exercise is not just for those that need to lose weight. A little bit of exercise, every day can actually raise the good cholesterol, which will aid in ridding your body of high bad cholesterol. You only need to take a brisk walk for about 30 minutes to 60 minutes per day in order to help your cholesterol level. If you cannot find the time to work out, then just take a walk during your lunch break, use the stairs instead of the elevator, and do a bit of exercise while watching television such as running in place.
Eat the Proper Foods
Eat heart healthy foods and stay away from saturated fats that are found in red meats and dairy products. Instead of using oils to cook with that are loaded with saturated fats change to such oils as canola, peanut, or olive oil. Eliminate Trans fats from your diet. Trans fats are found in such products as commercially baked products like cookies and crackers. Limit the amount of cholesterol you consume daily. The best route is to stay under 300 milligrams per day.
You can improve the bad cholesterol levels in your blood by stopping smoking. Not only will you help lower your cholesterol but also after only 20 minutes, your blood pressure will lower and in just one short day, you decrease the risk of a heart attack. After 15 years of being a non-smoker, you have the same risk of having a heart attack as a non-smoker.
Alcohol in Moderation
Research has shown that alcohol in moderation does lower cholesterol. Drinking just one alcohol drink per day for women and two per day for men may improve the cholesterol levels. However, more than this amount can cause severe health problems.