There are several lifestyle changes that you can make to improve your cholesterol. You can eat healthy foods, reach and maintain a healthy weight and be physically active. Some people also need to take medicine to lower their cholesterol because changing their lifestyle and diet isn’t enough. Getting Screened will help you set up a plan for improving your cholesterol — and keeping yourself healthy.
Most heart and blood vessel disease is caused by a build-up of cholesterol, plaque and other fatty deposits in artery walls. The arteries that feed the heart can become so clogged that the blood flow is reduced, causing chest pain. If a blood clot forms and blocks the artery, a heart attack can occur. Similarly, if a blood clot blocks an artery leading to or in the brain, a stroke results.
High cholesterol can increase your chance of heart attack and stroke. Stress can do that as well. Some research shows a possible link between stress and cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in some foods and also produced by your body. The cholesterol content of food is not as noteworthy as the trans fats and saturated fats in our diets. These fats are what can cause the body to make more cholesterol.
What is high cholesterol?
High cholesterol is a bigger problem, and if your level is too high it is important to reduce it. Cholesterol is a white fatty substance made mainly in the liver by animals, including humans. We get high levels mainly through our diet, by eating saturated fats especially from animal foods (therefore it is a rare problem in vegetarians) and trans-fats found mainly in processed products.
There are 2 main types—HDL ‘good’ cholesterol and LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol. We aim to raise HDL and lower LDL. Most people can lower the level through changing their diet. Occasionally the level is so high in some people that, in addition to the diet, special medicine is necessary to reduce it to the right level. The prescribed drugs are very effective.
Heart disease is the number one killer. It is mainly caused by clogging up of the arteries by a fatty substance known as atheroma, which comes from having too much ‘fat’ in the blood. This serious process is called atherosclerosis—the condition that can lead to heart attack or stroke. There are two types of fat that cause damage if their levels are too high—cholesterol and triglyceride. A special blood test taken after fasting for at least 12 hours can tell if one or both of these fats are too high.
How to manage cholesterol after 50?
Focus on eating foods low in saturated and trans fats, such as:-
- A variety of fruits and vegetables.
- A variety of whole grain foods like whole grain bread, cereal, pasta and brown rice. At least half of the servings should be whole grains.
- Fat-free, 1 percent and low-fat milk products.
- Poultry without skin and lean meats. When you choose to eat red meat and pork, select options labeled “loin” and “round.” These cuts usually have the least amount of fat.
- Fatty fish such as salmon, trout, albacore tuna and sardines. (Enjoy at least two servings baked or grilled each week.)
- Unsalted nuts, seeds, and legumes (dried beans or peas).
- Nontropical vegetable oils like canola, corn, olive, or safflower oils.
You should limit or avoid eating foods, such as:-
- Foods with a lot of sodium (salt)
- Sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages
- Red meats and fatty meats that aren’t trimmed
- Meats that have been processed with a lot of sodium
- Full-fat dairy products such as whole milk, cream, ice cream, butter, and cheese
- Baked goods made with saturated and trans fats like donuts, cakes cookies
- Foods that list the words “hydrogenated oils” in the ingredients panel
- Saturated oils like coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil
- Solid fats like shortening, stick margarine and lard
- Fried foods
By following some cooking tips, such as:-
- Add a variety of fruits and vegetables to your meals.
- Use a rack to drain off fat when you broil, roast or bake poultry and meats.
- Look for leaner cuts if you choose to eat meat.
- Don’t baste with drippings; use wine, fruit juice or marinade.
- Broil or grill instead of pan-frying.
- Cut off all visible fat from meat before cooking, and take all the skin off poultry pieces.
- Use a vegetable oil spray to brown or sauté foods.
- Serve smaller portions of higher-calorie dishes.
- Use low-fat, low-sodium options instead of regular cheese.
Golden rules to manage cholesterol after 50:-
- Keep to your ideal weight.
- Take a high-fiber diet.
- Eat fish at least twice a week.
- Beware of ‘fast’ foods: limit to once a week.
- Avoid deep-fried foods.
- Take regular exercise.
- Always trim the fat off meat.
- Avoid biscuits between meals.
- Drink more water.
- Do not smoke.
- Limit alcohol intake.
- Limit cheese and ice-cream to twice a week.
- Keep LDL/HDL ratio less than 4.
Cholesterol is a kind of fats found in the bloodstream. Your body needs a few cholesterols to work efficaciously. Cholesterol has many good uses but is a trouble when there’s an excessive amount of it inside the blood. High cholesterol can clog the blood vessels that supply the heart and different parts of the body. The goal is to eat a diet that promotes low levels of bad cholesterol and high levels of good cholesterol.
Fat intake affects this balance because fatty acids bind to liver cells and regulate the production of cholesterol. There are several lifestyle changes that you can make to improve your cholesterol. You can eat healthy foods, reach and maintain a healthy weight and be physically active. Some people also need to take medicine to lower their cholesterol because changing their lifestyle and diet isn’t enough. Your healthcare providers will help you set up a plan for improving your cholesterol — and keeping yourself healthy!