All are familiar with the term ‘cholesterol’. Cholesterol is a fat like substance found in all the cells of the body. It is used to produce hormones and cell membranes. It is also essential for the manufacture of bile acids, steroid hormones and vitamin D. Unfortunately, high levels of cholesterol damages the arteries and is linked with certain heart diseases. Cholesterol levels can be measured with blood tests.
Those of you who have undergone thesetests will be familiar with the term ‘lipid profile’. The lipid profile includes total cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglycerides. HDL refers to the high density lipoproteins circulating in the blood. It is otherwise known as the good cholesterol. LDL refers to the low density lipoprotiens, it is otherwise called the ‘Bad Cholesterol’ because LDL promotes health problems and heart diseases. Triglyceride is the main constituent of vegetable oil and animal fats. High levels of triglycerides is linked to hardening of arteries, heart diseases and stroke.
In general your risk for heart disease including heart attacks increases if your HDL is less than 40mg/dL. Good cholesterol constitutes 20-30% of your total cholesterol. Good cholesterol reduces the risk of heart diseases. Good cholesterol helps protect against the accumulation of fatty acids in the arteries. Genetics and diet play an important role in managing the cholesterol levels. Exercise, improvements in diet, changes in lifestyle will help to improve your good cholesterol levels. But those who are genetically prone to lower levels of good cholesterol may find it difficult to increase their good cholesterol with these measures alone and may require medications.
What Not To DO
Do not eat processed food and cereals, cookies, fast foods.
Do not smoke.
Stop being inactive.
Do not be obese.
Tips To Improve Good Cholesterol
Lose excess body fat.
Exercise regularly. 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise can do wonders to improve your HDL.
Switch to unsaturated fats like olive oil, flaxseed oil etc. Avoid trans fats and hydrogenated oils.
Add fiber to your diet. Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts.
Eat salmon, mackerel, sardines several times a week. They contain omega-3 fatty acids, which is good for your health. Do not fry them, this will add unwanted fat to your diet. Cook them by baking, grilling or poaching.
Increase your levels of vitamin B3 with peanuts, salmon, mackarel, chicken etc.
Include anti oxidant food stuff in your diet like carrots, mangoes, berries, nuts, apples etc. Drink lots of orange juice.
Quit smoking and use alcohol in moderation.
Good cholesterol is vital to your heart and your health in general. By paying close attention to what you eat and what you do you can prevent yourself from getting, blocked arteries that cause heart diseases. If the process has already begun, the safety measures can slow down the steps, even stop or reverse them. Following the above measures will definitely help you to improve your good cholesterol levels; they also play some role in protecting you from several other diseases like diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure to a certain extent. Make the necessary changes in your life from today. Eat well, exercise and stay fit for a healthy heart and a happy life.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.