About lowering high cholesterol levels by eating a healthier diet
Most of us associate cholesterol with foods that are high in fat. However, most of the cholesterol in your body is produced naturally by your liver and is essential for proper cell function. The problem arises when people consume too much dietary cholesterol. According to WebMD, over 100 million people in the United States have cholesterol levels that are at dangerously high levels and, in the majority of cases, high cholesterol is caused by the modern diet.
Today, fast food and processed foods are available everywhere you turn. Grabbing a quick bite to eat at a fast food restaurant or purchasing an unhealthy vending machine snack is simply easier than preparing a home-prepared meal or snack. That is until you begin to experience health problems related to high cholesterol. Fast food and processed food is often loaded with saturated fat, trans-fatty acids and dietary cholesterol, all of which lead to elevated “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.
Being overweight is another culprit of high cholesterol. Overweight individuals are more susceptible to increased triglycerides and lower levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, while, at the same time, at higher risk for increased LDL cholesterol levels.
Couch potatoes are also more susceptible to elevated cholesterol levels. Lack of physical activity often leads to poor heart health and a number of additional health problems.
The state of your overall health can also make a significant difference your cholesterol levels. For example, people with hypothyroidism or diabetes are at higher risk for elevated cholesterol.
If you have high cholesterol and smoke, it may a good time to kick your smoking habit. Smoking is known to lower beneficial HDL cholesterol, which tends to increase the amount of harmful LDL cholesterol that builds up in your arteries.
To maintain healthy cholesterol levels or to reduce elevated cholesterol levels, it is important to take a comprehensive approach that includes healthy diet choices, exercise, proper treatment of any existing health conditions, and putting an end to any unhealthy habits such as smoking.
If you have questions about lowering cholesterol levels by eating a healthier diet, contact your local doctor who will arrange for you to see a dietitian and nutritionist.