According to the CDC, high cholesterol affects the lives of more than 38 percent of American adults and 7 percent of children and adolescents between the ages of 6 and 19. Several dangerous health disorders, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke, have been related to elevated levels of cholesterol in the blood. Screening for excessive cholesterol should begin at age 7, according to Leslie Cho, MD, Section Head for Preventive Cardiology and Cardiac Rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic. According to Dr. Cho, “We do not want to start youngsters on cholesterol medication at that age. Instead, we want to begin them thinking about the benefits of having a balanced diet and regularly exercising,” We tend to think of heart disease as an issue that mostly affects elderly people, but in reality, prevention should begin in childhood.
There are varying degrees of cholesterol in the body. “In general, cholesterol serves a necessary function for our bodies. We put cholesterol to work in several different ways “Dr. Kate Kirley, who works as the director of chronic disease prevention for the American Medical Association, made this statement. “Whether or not we consume it, our systems will produce cholesterol, and some bodily processes need that we have adequate amounts of this substance. However, certain forms of cholesterol have been shown to have beneficial and protective properties. Because it removes cholesterol from the bloodstream and transports it to the liver, HDL cholesterol, also known as high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, is typically considered to be somewhat protective for our hearts and blood vessels. Because it accumulates in the walls of your blood vessels, LDL cholesterol, also known as low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, is the type of cholesterol that most people think of when they hear the term “bad cholesterol.” This is because LDL cholesterol has a higher risk of causing heart disease than other types of cholesterol. [Triglycerides] are a form of fat or lipid that are most affected by the food that we eat, and they are closely related to cholesterol. Triglycerides can also be thought of as fatty acids. The levels of triglycerides in our blood fluctuate throughout the day, and these fluctuations are known to be a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes.”
What’s the upbeat report? The risk of developing high cholesterol can be reduced or eliminated. According to Dr. Cho, “heart disease is 90 percent treatable; anyone, everywhere in the world, may prevent heart disease, especially by eating meals that are low in sodium and cholesterol, exercising regularly, and not smoking.” Even though there is a history of heart disease in a person’s family, because of the great discoveries that have been made in medicine, it is now possible to both prevent and treat heart disease. According to medical professionals, the following are five natural methods that can help you lower your cholesterol levels. Continue reading, and make sure you don’t miss any of these sure signs that you’ve already had COVID to protect not only your health but also the health of others.
Exercising regularly can help reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol. According to the Cleveland Clinic, some workouts that are good in decreasing cholesterol and boosting general health include going for brisk walks or jogging, cycling, swimming, and practicing yoga. According to Dr. Cho, the recommended amount of physical activity per week is roughly two hundred and fifty minutes. This indicates that even a short walk or hike of thirty minutes can have significant positive effects on one’s health.
Patients with high cholesterol levels should be encouraged to participate in regular physical activity, according to the American Heart Association’s recommendation. According to Bethany Barone Gibbs, Ph.D., the initial therapeutic plan that should be implemented for many of these people should be modifications to a healthy lifestyle beginning with increasing the amount of physical exercise. “In our world, where physical activity is increasingly being engineered out of our lives and where sitting is the overwhelming default, and even more so now as the nation and the world are practicing quarantine and isolation to reduce the spread of coronavirus, the message that we must be relentless in our pursuit to “sit less and move more” throughout the day is more important than it has ever been.” “In our world, where physical activity is increasingly being engineered out of our lives and where the overwhelming default is to sit,”
There is a correlation between chronic stress and an increased likelihood of developing high cholesterol. Unmanaged stress causes an increase in cortisol, and an increase in cortisol is associated with an increased risk of developing high cholesterol. According to Stephen Kopecky, MD, a preventive cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, stress can cause an increase in one’s cholesterol levels. “Stress will make your cholesterol go up.” “Without a shadow of a doubt, that has received insufficient recognition.” Many individuals are completely unaware of the connection between stress and elevated levels of cholesterol. Catherine Stoney, program director in the division of cardiovascular sciences at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, says that “We don’t always have an optimal awareness of the stressors we experience and the magnitude of those stressors.”
“If you are aware of the things that set you off, you should avoid them. But there are stresses that we have no choice but to accept, and as a result, we have to alter our responses to them “According to Dr. Ann Webster, a health psychologist working at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, which is affiliated with Harvard University. To relax, Dr. Webster recommends activities such as meditation and yoga, as well as cognitive behavioral therapy and the establishment of goals. When people make objectives for themselves, it gives them a positive sense of commitment, gives them the impression that they are in control, and gives them optimism.
Numerous medical professionals and researchers now endorse the Mediterranean diet as the one that provides the greatest benefits to one’s cardiovascular system. “No matter what stage of life we are in, we can all benefit from adopting a heart-healthy eating pattern, and it is entirely possible to craft such a pattern so that it is in line with an individual’s preferences, lifestyle, and the norms of their cultural background. It doesn’t need to be difficult, time-consuming, expensive, or unappealing in any way “This is what senior scientist and director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Team at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, Alice H. Lichtenstein, D.Sc., FAHA, says.
According to Dr. Joshua Septimus, associate professor of clinical medicine and medical director of Houston Methodist Primary Care Group Same Day Clinics, “the standard American diet is full of refined and processed foods, and these types of foods significantly contribute to high cholesterol levels.” “The standard American diet” refers to the diet that is followed by the majority of Americans. “These are the foods you find in the inside aisles of grocery stores, such as packaged goods, frozen meals (although frozen fruit and vegetables are fine!), and commercially baked snacks, as well as things like bacon and cured meats,” says Dr. Septimus, who recommends a diet focused on whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, and unprocessed meats. “These are the foods you find in the inside aisles of grocery stores, such as packaged goods, and frozen meals (although frozen fruit and vegetables are fine!)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that smoking causes around 480,000 deaths each year, not including fatalities attributable to passive smoking. Smoking contributes to an increase in LDL cholesterol and makes it stickier, which makes it more harmful. This is in addition to the fact that smoking is horrible for your overall health. When compared with people who don’t smoke, people who do suffer a stroke are two to four times more likely to be smokers. The majority of people who smoke are aware that the habit is harmful to their lungs; nonetheless, doctors are concerned that a significant number of smokers are unaware of the relationship between smoking and coronary heart disease.
According to Dr. Mayank Sardana, a cardiac electrophysiology fellow at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, “We know that smoking is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and that cessation leads to decreases in cardiovascular disease and the risk of death.” “We know that smoking is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and that cessation leads to decreases in cardiovascular disease and the risk of death.” However, only a small percentage of smokers receive counseling and assistance from cardiology clinics in their efforts to quit smoking.
According to Dr. Nancy Rigotti, a professor of medicine and internist at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, “My experience has been that for cardiologists, the smoke has sort of been the forgotten risk factor.”
Being obese or overweight has several health problems, one of the most significant of which is an increased likelihood of having high levels of LDL cholesterol. “The accumulation of excessive body fat can have devastating effects on one’s health. It is linked to high levels of the “bad” cholesterol known as LDL as well as triglycerides, as well as low levels of the “good” cholesterol known as HDL “according to Harvard Health. “It does this by decreasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin, which leads to an increase in both blood sugar and insulin levels. Excess body fat is a contributor to significant causes of death and disability, such as heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, osteoarthritis, fatty liver disease, and depression. These are only some of the conditions.”
The counsel that Joseph S. Alpert, MD, delivers to his patients is that they should avoid “bouncing their weight up and down,” since this may potentially put them at a greater risk for heart disease. “Walking every day, or participating in another form of consistent exercise, is an excellent tool for assisting with weight loss. Make an effort to reduce the size of your portions, the number of simple carbs you consume (such as sugar and items made with white flour), and the amount of saturated fat you consume in your diet… It is essential to note that even a slight reduction in weight in an obese patient who already possesses atherosclerosis risk factors might lead to a dramatic improvement in these risk factors. It is a well-known fact that even a slight reduction in weight (less than ten percent of total body mass) can result in a significant improvement in health conditions such as hypertension, abnormal serum cholesterol levels, and glucose intolerance.”