Reduce Your Cholesterol Levels

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 The Keys to Reducing Cholesterol

 Perhaps you just got the call from your doctor telling you your cholesterol levels are too high. Maybe you have known for some time that you need to do something about your cholesterol levels, but you are just not sure what. It is a fact that high cholesterol levels can lead to many potentially dangerous health issues like heart attacks, stroke and cardiovascular disease. If your numbers are too high, you need to learn about reducing cholesterol so that you can begin to make healthy lifestyle choices for your heart.

 What is Cholesterol?

 Cholesterol is actually a substance that is produced by our livers for the purpose of aiding in many important physiological functions. However, when we consume foods that accelerate the production of cholesterol in our bodies, it does not all effectively get passed through our bloodstreams and out of our bodies as it should. Instead, it sticks to the walls of our arteries, causing the development of plaque. This plaque restricts the flow of blood, causing our hearts to pump harder to get the blood to go where it needs to. This extra work creates a strain on our hearts, and leads to the increased risk of a variety of conditions, which is why reducing cholesterol is essential to good health.

 Keeping it Down 

So reducing cholesterol is important, but how do you do it? There are many lifestyle modifications that you can make to bring those numbers down, including quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption. Daily cardiovascular exercise is also an important part of keeping our hearts healthy and strong and reducing cholesterol levels. There are plenty of other health benefits to regular exercise as well, so get out there and get moving! Take a walk or a bike ride through your neighborhood, or join a local fitness center. Take up a new hobby like swimming or hiking. Your heart will thank you.

 Diet is another important element in reducing cholesterol levels. Avoid foods that are high in saturated fats, and fill your plate instead with fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Keep your meats and dairy choices low-fat, and avoid refined sugars and flour as much as possible. A healthy diet will not only help you in reducing cholesterol, it will also lessen the likelihood of other conditions like diabetes and some cancers.

 If your diet changes and exercise program are not successful in reducing cholesterol, there are also medications that can help lower the number. Many of these medicines fall into the category of statins, and require a doctor’s prescription. Statins are not right for everyone, so talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of medication before you begin taking one. With the large number of choices in reducing cholesterol, you can rest assured that you will be on the road to better health in no time.