Cholesterol is often dubbed the silent killer because it doesn’t manifest itself through symptoms or a person’s physical appearance.
It only get’s talked about when you hear about a co worker who keeled over on the treadmill at the gym or on his driveway cleaning his car.
Which may get you to thinking ‘how do I avoid the same fate?’
Here’s the low down on cholesterol and what steps you can take to keep it at a good level.
Firstly it’s prudent that you know what it is. Cholesterol is a fatty substance known as a lipid and is vital for the normal functioning of the body. Cholesterol is carried in your blood by lipoproteins.
HDL (High density Lipoproteins) which some people refer to as “good cholesterol”, and higher levels are better.
LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins) which people refer to as “bad cholesterol”.
Having an excessively high level of lipids in your blood can have an effect on your health. High cholesterol itself doesn’t usually cause any symptoms, but it increases your risk of serious health conditions.
Causes of high cholesterol include: Eating high levels of saturated fats (think cheese and fatty meats), smoking, having diabetes or high blood pressure (hypertension).
So how do you go about being in a position where you don’t need to worry about needing a stent or shuffling off this mortal coil a bit previous. Well, being in a healthy range of body fat (not a specific weight) will put you in good stead.
Eating foods with omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, mackerel, herring, walnuts and flaxseeds. Increase soluble fibre. Soluble fibre can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. Soluble fibre is found in such foods as oatmeal, kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, apples and pears.
Exercise, this should include resistance or strength training which has the most health benefits of all exercise modalities.
Cut down on your alcohol intake. Yes weekends of debauchery are amusing but what about the occasional alcohol free beer or mocktail?
It’s easier said than done to say stop smoking. However, have you ever considered vaping? Which is a step in the right direction. Then from there it could be patches a bit of hypnosis (if required) and before you know it you are off the cancer sticks and an ‘ex smoker’.