High cholesterol levels in the body leads to an accumulation or cholesterol in the arteries. These deposits, known as plaque, are extremely dangerous, since they cause the arteries to become narrower, allowing less blood to flow through the arteries, which eventually leads to all sorts of heart problems, even death.
However, by making simple changes to your diet and lifestyle, you will lower the cholesterol in your body and lead a healthier, happier life. However, in some cases, people are required to take medication to help manage the levels of cholesterol.
Changes to make to your diet
Cut down on fatty foods and rather include foods like brown rice, oats, dark chocolate, brown pasta and bread, fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts, soy products, as well as oily fish, such as salmon and mackerel.
Steer clear of the following foods, as they will cause your cholesterol levels to increase significantly:
- Hard cheese such as cheddar
- Ghee, lard, and butter
- Fatty meat, sausages, and meat pies
- Any foods that contain palm or coconut oil
By making the following lifestyle changes, you will be able to lead a healthier life with lower cholesterol levels:
Exercise – aim for at least 2.5 hours per week of exercise per week, as recommended by the NHS. If you’re just starting out with exercising, then try swimming, cycling, or taking brisk walks around your neighborhood, or see what it’s like to work out at your local gym. Once you find one that you enjoy, there is more likelihood that you will keep on doing it.
Consume less alcohol
Try to not drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week and make a couple of days a week completely drink-free. Don’t binge drink – drink a lot of alcohol in a short time. If you find it hard to cut down, then ask your doctor for help.
If you are a smoker, then make a conscious effort to cut down drastically, or even better, quit smoking altogether. Apart from being extremely damaging to your lungs, smoking is also associated with high cholesterol that could lead to serious health problems such as strokes, heart attacks, and even cancer.
If you do decide to quit, then you can ask your doctor for help and support, or a stop smoking service in your area, who will be able to give you plenty of useful advice and tips on ways to stop those terrible cravings.
Medications for lowering cholesterol
In the event that your cholesterol levels still remain high after changing your lifestyle and eating habits, you might have to take medication to control it. Your doctor will advise you as to which medications you will need, which could include:
Statins – this medication reduces the amount of cholesterol your body produces. It is the most common form of medication for this condition, and involves taking one tablet a day, usually for the rest of your life
There are other medications you might have to take, such as:
- Different tablets known as resins, like fibrates, bile acid sequestrants and ezetimibe
- Injections such as evolocumab and alirocumab.
There is little doubt that high cholesterol dangerous and could lead to several health issues, some of them so dangerous, that they often lead to death, The bad thing about this health issue, is that there are no symptoms, so you won’t be aware that you have it.
Should you suspect that you might have dangerous cholesterol levels because of your eating habits or lifestyle, then see your doctor as soon as possible. He/she will tell you exactly what to do or give you the medication you need to reverse the condition so that you can lead a long and happy, healthy life.