Do you know how good your levels of cholesterol are? It’s something that many of us don’t typically think of all the time, except when we need to go to the doctor’s office. It’s essential to have and maintain good levels of cholesterol; heightened levels over time can put you at risk of getting heart disease, which is elevated even more if you have high blood pressure, are a smoker, are overweight, are physically inactive, have a family history of the disease, and/or have diabetes.
Maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol is imperative in lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to do! Find out the 5 ways you can help obtain and keep a healthy level of cholesterol below!
Get More Physically Active – Grab your shoes and get ready to do some brisk, aerobic exercise! You can do anything from walking, running, biking, swimming, playing a sport, doing yard work – pretty much anything! Try to get 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity 5 days of the week to establish good cholesterol levels. Within 2 months of starting, this can increase your good cholesterol by 5%!
Drop a Few Pounds – If you’re overweight, even just losing a few pounds can greatly improve your HDL levels. In fact, for every 6 pounds that you lose, your HDL can increase by 1 mg/dL. Focusing on being more physically active and eating better will help in this process!
Eat the Right Fats – Not all fats are created equally, and fat is definitely not the enemy! A healthy diet includes some fat, but there’s a limit. Between 25% and 35% of your total daily calories can come from fat; however, saturated fat should account for less than 7% of your total daily calories. Try to avoid foods that contain saturated and trans fat and reach for foods that have healthy fats instead! Good examples of healthy fat include avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fish oil.
Refuse to Smoke – If you’re a non-smoker, then good job! You’re on your way to keeping healthy levels of cholesterol. If you do smoke, do all that you can to quit today. While it certainly isn’t easy, quitting smoking can increase your HDL cholesterol by 10%, along with other health benefits. Talk to your doctor about your options for quitting.
Drink Only in Moderation – Studies have linked moderate alcohol use with higher levels of good cholesterol. If you do choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. That means one drink per day for women and two per day for men. If you don’t drink alcohol, don’t pick it up simply to increase your HDL levels. There are plenty of other ways you can do that without alcohol!
Want to get your cholesterol levels tested but don’t want to wait for a doctor’s notice? Visit the trusted professionals here at Labtest Diagnostics! Visit our website at www.dlabtest.com or call us at (314) 522-8378 to find out more!