If you have a familial high cholesterol, where it is caused by your genetic makeup, you will probably have to take drugs to lower it. However, while you might be taking drugs you should improve your lifestyle. Lowering your cholesterol levels might reduce your risk of stroke and heart disease. Cholesterol, a waxy fat, is used by your body to produce hormones, aid in digestion and manufacture cell membranes. But too much cholesterol may lead to a narrowing of your blood vessels. As the fats harden they turn into plaque and cling to the interior of your arteries, raising your blood pressure and forcing your heart to work harder to circulate blood through smaller blood vessels. If a small clot forms it may lead to total blockage of an artery, cutting off the blood supply to your brain and causing a stroke.
Exercise regularly. In three months, moderate aerobic exercise can lower triglyceride levels and raise HDL, or good, cholesterol levels between 5 and 10 percent. For the best results, work out at least 30 minutes daily.
Eat a diet low in saturated fat, trans fat and dietary cholesterol. Don't eat more than 300 mg of cholesterol daily. A 100g portion of most lean meats contains 70 mg of cholesterol. All fats have nine calories per gram, and a tablespoon of oil has about 120 calories. Limit saturated fats and trans to no more than 10 percent of your total calorie consumption. Trans fats are found in manufactured products eg. Biscuits, cakes, pastries.
Replace saturated fats with heart-healthy monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats. Use olive oil instead of butter and eat fish instead of beef or pork. Monounsaturated fats lower your total cholesterol and LDL levels and normalize blood clotting. Avocados, nuts and nut butters and seeds are especially good sources of monounsaturated fats.
Add fibre to your diet. Soluble fibre helps slow the absorption of cholesterol in your body. Try to eat at least 5 g of soluble fibre daily. Apples, pears, legumes, oat bran and oatmeal are all good sources of soluble fiber. A 1.5-cup serving of oatmeal has 6 g of soluble fiber.
Eliminate other risk factors such as smoking and obesity, which can contribute to high cholesterol levels. Other risk factors, such as genetics or age you may have little control over.
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