As Americans eat unhealthier food and have a more sedentary lifestyle, one of the side effects of this is high or bad cholesterol. Every year, more and more Americans are being diagnosed by their doctors as having high cholesterol and needing to do something quickly to lower it. Lowering high cholesterol sounds like a chore but it’s actually not that difficult. A few simple life changes can help you lower bad cholesterol. In fact, if you’re not sure how to lower your cholesterol, don’t worry. Just follow these quick tips and you’ll soon find your high cholesterol is low again.
Drink Red Wine – Even though so many Americans seem afraid of drinking wine (I’ve never understood why, as I’m European and we drink it all the time!), it’s actually one of the best things you can do to lower your high cholesterol. A few years ago, my mother was given medication by her doctor to lower her high cholesterol, which apparently was very bad. After doing some research though, she decided to not take the medication and started to drink two glasses of red wine with dinner every night. In six weeks, she had her bad cholesterol tested again and,surprise (or not!) it was back to completely normal. A few years later, she’s kept to this practice drinking red wine almost every night with dinner, and she’s never had a problem with high cholesterol again.
Get Some Exercise – So many Americans nowadays get little or no exercise that bad cholesterol is just one side effect of it. If you haven’t exercised in a while and have high cholesterol then one of the fastest ways to lower your bad cholesterol is to move. Exercising, even moderate exercise, can lower your triglycerides and your cholesterol. It also boosts your good cholesterol. Just a 30 minute walk three or four times a week can have a huge difference on your cholesterol and you’ll feel better too. Just remember, for it to do any good, it must be aerobic exercise, which means getting your heart rate higher. So a slow stroll down the street won’t help you much.
Lose Some Weight – Along with drinking red wine and getting some exercise, another tip on how to lower your bad cholesterol is to lose some weight. Sure, that probably sounds easier than it is, but even a few pounds can have a big difference on bad cholesterol. Cut down on portions of food, and eat healthier choices and you’ll be surprised how quickly your weight falls. Just a 2 lb weight loss every week will impact bad cholesterol in just a matter of weeks and it’s really not that hard if you put your mind to it.
Eat Healthier Food – How to control your high cholesterol can be as easy as eating healthier food. Pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs and ice cream are going to make sure your cholesterol shoots through the roof. Reversely, eating ‘good for you foods’ like fruits and vegetables, fish (especially tuna and salmon), lean chicken, lean pork, oatmeal, and nuts, can lower your cholesterol in a matter of weeks. Plus, not only will eating healthier foods help your cholesterol levels, it will help your overall health too.
Get Rid of Stress – Several studies have shown that being stressed can cause you to eat more unhealthy foods, thus giving you higher levels of bad cholesterol and lower levels of good cholesterol. So get rid of stress as much as possible. Relax after work, take a meditation class, do some yoga, have a warm bath, or eliminate from your life harmful things like bad relationships, unhealthy jobs, long commute times etc., and you’ll notice a difference in your cholesterol levels as your stress levels fall.
Lowering your high cholesterol is as simple as making a few quick lifestyle changes. None cost too much money or take too much time yet, in the long run, they can impact your health and your cholesterol levels in enormous ways.
SOURCES: WebMD – Test Your Cholesterol IQ, American Heart Association – How Can I Lower High Cholesterol?