If your doctor has told you to watch your cholesterol, they were probably talking about the amount of fats or triglycerides in your blood. This means your level of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) also known as bad cholesterol, is too high. As a result, this fat can lead to blockages in your arteries and contribute to various heart conditions. You can reduce the cholesterol in your blood by increasing your levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) or good cholesterol which helps remove the fatty deposits from your cardiovascular system. With some adjustments to your diet, a few lifestyle changes, and a little medication, you can reduce your risk of coronary events like heart attack or stroke.
Foods that Lower Cholesterol
Replacing foods high in saturated fat with foods high in unsaturated fats can help reduce the cholesterol in your blood. Start by cooking with vegetable oils, like sunflower, corn, or olive oil to reduce your reliance on grease and butter. Avocado, nuts, and seeds are tasty food options high in unsaturated fats. Eat less red meat and stick to leaner cuts to minimize your saturated fat intake. Instead, eat more fish like salmon, sardines, trout, herring and mackerel that are high in omega-3 unsaturated fats.
Foods that contain soluble fiber limit the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream, thus reducing LDL cholesterol. These foods include legumes like beans and lentil, and fruits like apples, grapes, anything citrus, and strawberries. Vegetables like okra, eggplants and carrots also contain antioxidants to help maintain a healthy weight. Dark leafy greens like kale or spinach contain carotenoids which help reduce the cholesterol in your blood. Replacing bread with foods rich in whole grains have also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Whole grains have an abundance of vitamins and minerals.
Top Lifestyle Changes to Improve your Cholesterol
Eating healthy is only the first step of how to reduce cholesterol in the blood. Maintaining an active lifestyle with regular exercise daily is essential to help raise your good HDL cholesterol levels. If you are having trouble finding the time to get active, consider taking brisk walks during lunch or riding your bike to work. Staying motivated to exercise can be a struggle. Picking an activity that you enjoy, like a sport, can help you stay active, especially with a group of friends. You can start slow, because the main goal is to get any activity which is better for your health than no exercise at all.
Studies have shown that quitting smoking can help raise HDL cholesterol. More importantly, quitting will reduce the cholesterol in your blood that smoking causes. There are immediate health benefits to quitting such as improved blood pressure. After a few month of quitting, lung function and blood circulation increase to better prevent artery blockage and breathing capacity. As a result, your risk of heart disease compared to a smoker is cut in half.
Medication for Reducing Cholesterol
All this diet and exercise should result in significant weight loss which will also contribute to your overall cardiovascular health. To keep the weight off, avoid sugary drinks and stick to water. Avoid needless snacking between meals and try low fat options when available. Drink alcohol in light moderation, one or two drinks a day maximum because too much alcohol can lead to high blood pressure and other heart conditions. Reducing a large waistline will help you achieve your cholesterol level goals by making it easier to stay and remain active. However, despite changes to their diet and lifestyle, some people might need extra help in the form of medication to reduce the cholesterol in your blood.
How Tricor can Help Reduce High Cholesterol
Based on risk factors such as poor diet, lack or exercise, obesity, and other, your doctor will determine if you require medications to help reduce the cholesterol in your blood. They may prescribe statins to help increase good HDL cholesterol in your system. These medications can be taken in conjunction with other prescription drugs like Tricor or Lipitor which can help lower bad LDL cholesterol. Unfortunately, these drugs are not a complete solution and require diet and exercise to be the most effective. Talk to your doctor before using Tricor as it is not recommended for people with a history of liver disease, gallbladder issues, or kidney disease.
Stop taking Tricor and seek medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction or any serious side effects such as body pain, shortness of breath, jaundice, or digestive issues.
To learn more about how to reduce cholesterol in the blood, visit our blog to discover helpful health advice and treatment suggestions.