If you’ve had a cholesterol test and your LDL values are out of range, you should lower your bad Cholesterol.
The good news is that lifestyle changes coupled with a healthy eating plan and physical activity can bring your harmful cholesterol levels back to normal in months.
This article describes what affects bad Cholesterol and what to do, with a list of recommended foods and nutrition tips to lower your blood LDL levels.
What affects your harmful cholesterol levels?
Several factors can cause unhealthy lousy cholesterol levels. Some factors cannot be changed, but most can be modified. The factors are:
Those you can’t change.
- Genetics. The amount of LDL cholesterol your body makes and how quickly it is removed from your body is determined in part by genes. High blood cholesterol can be inherited. However, few people have high Cholesterol through heredity alone – and everyone can take steps to lower bad Cholesterol. Also, even if high Cholesterol doesn’t run in your family, you can still develop it.
- Age and sex: Blood cholesterol rises around age 20 and increases until about age 60 or 65. Before 50, the total cholesterol levels of men tend to be higher than those of women of the same age: after 50, the opposite is true. That’s because, with menopause, women’s LDL levels often rise.
The ones under your control
- Diet. Three nutrients in your diet increase LDL levels: Saturated fat, a type of fat found primarily in foods that come from animals; Trans fats, found mainly in foods made with hydrogenated oils; Cholesterol, which comes only from animal products. These nutrients will be discussed later, but it is essential to know that saturated animal fats increase your LDL cholesterol level more than anything else in your diet.
- Overweight. Being overweight tends to increase your LDL level. Also, it usually increases triglycerides, a fatty substance in the blood, and lowers HDL. Losing a few extra pounds can help lower your LDL and triglycerides while raising your HDL.
- Physical inactivity. Being physically inactive contributes to being overweight and can raise LDL and lower HDL—regular physical. Activity can increase HDL and lower triglycerides, thereby helping to lower your LDL.
- Stress – several studies ensure a connection between stress levels and bad Cholesterol. (5,6) In particular, it has been seen that the higher the level of cortisol (the stress hormone), the higher the LDL levels.
- Bad habits – For example, smoking and drinking alcohol promote the deposition process of bad Cholesterol and cause waxy plaque to accumulate in the arteries.
- Diabetes – Diabetes and high Cholesterol often occur together. The American Heart Association (AHA) states that diabetes usually lowers HDL (good) cholesterol levels and increases triglyceride and LDL (harmful) cholesterol levels. Both increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. (8)
A person could have high harmful cholesterol levels due to various causes (stress, improper diet, etc.), and understanding what their contribution is and reducing most of the factors is key to solving the problem from the root.
How to lower bad Cholesterol – LDL?
The main goal of treating high Cholesterol is to lower the LDL level. Studies have shown that lowering bad Cholesterol can prevent heart disease attacks and reduce deaths from heart disease in both men and women.
Here’s what a step-by-step guide to lowering bad Cholesterol would look like:
- Initiate lifestyle changes
After your first visit to the doctor is when you should start lifestyle changes:
- Reduce saturated fat, trans fat, and Cholesterol.
- Moderately increase physical activity.
- If you are overweight, cut calories: Increase fiber-rich foods to help reduce calorie intake.
- – Follow these habits for six weeks—
- check LDL and add exercise and more benefits to your diet
Second visit to the doctor: recheck your LDL values and, if necessary:
- Reinforce the reduction of saturated fat, trans fat, and Cholesterol.
- Add plant stanols / sterols.
- Increase soluble fiber.
- Reinforce weight control and physical activity.
– Follow these habits for 6 more weeks –
- Check LDL, and if necessary, add medications
Third visit to the doctor: recheck the LDL and, if necessary, add drug therapy, do not give up your habits; these are the most important thing to achieve long-term healthy values.
- Continue with your new healthy habits and monitoring every six months
- Initiate LDL-lowering drug therapy, if needed.
- Focus on treating metabolic syndrome
On nutrition to lower bad Cholesterol
From nutrition to lowering bad Cholesterol, the first important step is to reduce the consumption of poor quality fats: trans fats and saturated fats. Transitioning to vegetable oils, olive, avocado, nuts over animal fats, and fried is essential.
The second thing to do is increase your intake of foods with fiber. Pseudo-cereals and whole grains like amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa are excellent food choices to keep you energized and satiated, which in turn will help you control your weight.
In addition, it is advisable to include foods with Omega-3: salmon, tuna, mackerel, salmon, and chia seeds at least three times a week. As well as Combining this type of diet with physical exercise will help ensure healthy lousy cholesterol levels. Nutrition to lower bad Cholesterol with its effect:
|Saturated fat||Reduce calories to less than 8-10% approx 10 grams per day||8 – 10%|
|Diet cholesterol||Reduce to less than 200 mg / day||3 – 5%|
|Weight||Lose 5 Kg of overweight||5 – 8%|
|Fibra soluble||Add 5 – 10 g per day||3 – 5%|
|Sterol / stanol supplements||Add 2 g per day||5 – 15%|
|Exercise||30 minutes every day||7 – 17%|
|Total||30 – 50%|
Table data: See Reference (1)
Does Omega-3 work?
One of the benefits of Omega-3 is to regulate the metabolism of fats in the body. In particular, the fatty acids n -3 PUFA participate in the metabolism of bad Cholesterol.
These molecules are found in fish fat and be able to regulate the transport of LDL cholesterol and promote its elimination. (7) put, including foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids or taking Omega-3 capsules lowers LDL.
- How does the ketogenic diet affect Cholesterol?
- Vegetarian diets are good for Cholesterol
- Is Lecithin Good For Cholesterol?
High blood LDL cholesterol can affect anyone. It is a severe condition that increases the risk of heart disease, one of the leading causes of death in the world. The higher your level of bad Cholesterol in your blood, the greater your risk.
Fortunately, you can take steps to lower LDL and protect your health. A proper diet, physical activity, and weight control are sufficient in most cases. Although sometimes, drug treatment is also necessary.