High cholesterol is one of the leading health problems today. High cholesterol and triglycerides lead to arteriosclerosis which is a major risk factor behind several leading causes of death in developed countries, heart attacks and stroke. Conventional wisdom is that the two main causes of this are a poor diet laden with fatty foods and a lack of exercise.
While there are several medications out there that can reduce your cholesterol levels, the best defense anyone can have against this serious problem is an understanding of how important it really is to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Once an appreciation of this is gained, the next and most important step is to take positive action. Selecting a prevention lifestyle is critical to maintaining freedom from these conditions. As in all things relating to health, an ounce of prevention really is worth a ton of cure.
Taking control, early on, of the volume and type of food we eat and how much exercise we do is far more responsible than expecting a doctor to, later on, repair our poor health choices and ultimately try and ‘fix’ our cholesterol problem. Studies have shown that fatty streaks are found in American children and young American soldiers killed in action.
Aside from taking medications which may result in side effects for some people, there are plenty of other things you can do to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. If you agree that high fat content food is a likely culprit then buy and consume less of these foods.
You can start by going through the items in your pantry and your fridge, and getting rid of everything that contains transfats or saturated fats. The next time you go grocery shopping, opt for products that are low-fat, fat-free, or cholesterol-free. Take time to check the ingredients list and stay away from those that contain the harmful fats.
TIP – make your choices and grocery list BEFORE you get to the store and do not go shopping while you are hungry!
You may also want to have a consultation with our nutritionist, who will be able to give you suggestions on which foods are safe to eat. Talking to our exercise specialist or a personal trainer can also help if your objective is to lose weight and gain fitness for improved health. Seeking advice from these professionals is recommended so that you can gain knowledge and understanding specific to your personal situation.
Cholesterol and the Role of Exercise
Many people believe that a relatively small amount of exercise will allow them to eat whatever they want. Unfortunately unless you are in serious training this is usually not the case. The benefits of exercise extend well beyond weight loss and fat reduction.
Exercise improves your cholesterol levels, gives better circulation and aerobic fitness, and increases mobility. Walking for 20-30 minutes a day, or taking up a sport, will do wonders for your longevity.
If you have more time to spare, consider taking up regular exercise activities like yoga or Pilates. Not only will these workouts help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels but they will definitely improve your overall health.
This level of exercise however, does not mean being able to eat like an Olympic athlete. The volume and type of food we eat needs to be appropriate to our age, metabolism and activity level. A person over 40 years of age in a job which is not physically demanding cannot expect to eat what a 20 year old laborer does and not gain weight.
If you are sensible, there is lots that you can personally do to maintain a healthy cholesterol level, and as a result you should avoid having a serious problem to manage in the years to come.