Taking into account recent epidemiologic data which are indicating that half of the citizens of western industrialized countries including the United States have high cholesterol levels, the issue of cholesterol and its health risks should become a health concern worth giving serious consideration.
People do not develop high cholesterol levels overnight. High levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol in the bloodstream builds up over time due to two major factors which are an individual’s genetic makeup and his or her lifestyle choices; or a mix of both.
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Considering that diet and genetic factors are the two main reasons for high cholesterol levels, it would seem logical to make certain diet and lifestyle modifications as the first line of defense against high cholesterol levels. Cholesterol medication only becomes necessary when diet and lifestyle modifications do not bring cholesterol level into a healthy range.
1. Exercising Regularly
Engaging in regular physical exercise helps to lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. Incorporating high intensity aerobic exercises into your exercise routines can help in achieving quicker weight loss results.
Actually, engaging in an aerobic exercise program could increase HDL “good” cholesterol level by as much as 5% in the first two months. Activities such as walking, swimming, gardening, dancing, taking the stairs instead of the elevator can all play significant roles especially for those who may not like always going to the gym.
2. Quitting Smoking
Apart from the fact that smoking raises the risk of having cardiovascular disease, it also lowers the level of HDL “good” cholesterol by as much as 15 percent. Also, smoking is known to damage the walls of blood vessel thus making them more susceptible to the accumulation of fatty deposits. However it is important to consult with your doctor about what combination of several smoking cessation strategies to make use of.
3. Making Better Dietary Fat Choices
Given the fact that not all fats are bad, opting for the healthy fats with a degree of moderation and balance in their consumption is the key to achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight that helps to lower high cholesterol levels.