How To Lower Your Cholesterol
One of the first pieces of advice your doctor may give you when you’re facing heart health issues is to lower your cholesterol. If you’re imagining a stark diet, lacking in flavor and excitement and a strict exercise routine, don’t despair. There are simple changes you can make to improve your levels and increase your heart health.
Types of Cholesterol
You may have heard the terms “good” cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol. The truth is, not all cholesterol is created equal. The numbers your doctor will be most concerned with are your “low-density lipoprotein cholesterol” or LDL-C for short. High levels of LDL-C in the bloodstream are associated with higher risk for heart disease.
High density lipoprotein cholesterol, or HDL-C, binds to LDL-C in the blood stream and helps carry it out of the body, which is why it’s referred to as “good” cholesterol.
Diet and Exercise
The most important thing you can do to lower your cholesterol and improve your LDL and HDL numbers is to begin. Start with one change. Switch one meal a week from red meat to low-fat seafood, pork, or chicken. Shellfish like mussels or oysters, and lean fish like trout are excellent choices. Try to limit your meat intake to 2-4 ounces per day. Swap a processed, high-fat side dish with steamed vegetables, and experiment with high-fiber foods like beans and legumes. Changing habits will take time, but with effort it can be done.
Exercise is another important component to lower your cholesterol levels. Excess weight is a factor that affects overall health. Dropping just 10 pounds can reduce LDL levels by as much as 8%. While diet and exercise are important to improving overall fitness, there’s no need to sign up for a marathon or iron man contest. A sustainable program of diet and exercise that allows you to lose 1-2 pounds per week is a safe bet for improving your health in the long term.
Dr. Ciuffo and the Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery Program
Dr. Ciuffo is dedicated to ensuring your heart is healthy. If you are in need of heart surgery and have any questions or how you should prepare for it, feel free to contact us at (330) 588-4676 or visit our contact page online.