If you’ve previously measured cholesterol and were advised to lower it, you might be wondering: What steps should I take?
If you haven’t measured your cholesterol recently, make sure you review the new biomarker test (Fitnescity Method X), as it also includes a dietary and lifestyle analysis, along with a diet and exercise plan.
In this article, you will learn the basics about Cholesterol, the healthy ranges and most importantly, what you can do to maintain your cholesterol within a healthy range.
Cholesterol, Glucose and HbA1c Test
Dietary & Lifestyle analysis and Diet Plan
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that occurs naturally in your body. At normal levels, it is essential for the body to function properly. This includes making hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods.Your body generally makes all the cholesterol it needs, thus eating too much saturated and trans fats leads to an excess of cholesterol in your blood. This, in turn, can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Excess weight, smoking, drinking alcohol and hypertension are also risk factors that can lead to high cholesterol. Although high blood cholesterol does not usually produce any symptoms, it is a significant risk factor for coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke. The great news is that it can easily be controlled with exercise and proper nutrition.
What you need to know about cholesterol measurements
Cholesterol is transported in the blood by lipoproteins, of which there are two main types:
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is known as "bad" cholesterol because it can clog up your arteries
High-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is known as "good" or “healthy” cholesterol because it helps take cholesterol out of the bloodstream.
FIND A TEST NEAR YOU
Five Tips to Lower Your Cholesterol
1- Know your Macros
Diet is key to reducing Total and LDL cholesterol, while maintaining HDL cholesterol at a good level. Pay attention to portion size, and pick your macronutrients (protein, fat and carbohydrates) wisely. Emphasize complex carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) and lean protein over simple carbohydrates such as white bread, refined-grain pasta, and sugary drinks. Most importantly, replace saturated fats and trans fats with polyunsaturated fats.
In terms of portions, here’s an example of the required daily macronutrient intake for a female weighing 135lbs and whose exercise program is mostly composed of strength training 4-6 times per week:
FIND A TEST NEAR YOU
In terms of food items, below is a list of healthy food items by macronutrient.
2- Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids don't affect LDL cholesterol. But they have other heart-healthy benefits, including reducing blood pressure. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, mackerel, herring, walnuts and flaxseeds.
3- Increase soluble fiber
Soluble fiber can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. Soluble fiber is found in such foods as oatmeal, kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, apples and pears.
4- If you’re not active, start with some physical activity
The starting point for bringing weight under control, in general, and combating abdominal fat, in particular, is regular moderate-intensity physical activity — at least 30 minutes per day (and perhaps up to 60 minutes per day) to control weight.
This is especially important if you have not been active for a while, as it will reduce your risk of injury.
5- Add strength training
Strength training can help you lose weight by burning fat. When you’re losing weight through cardio exercises, you generally lose both fat and muscle, and you therefore do not decrease your body fat percentage. The absence of resistance training in your routine, could actually slow down your metabolism by losing lean muscle mass, especially if you are also restricting your calories.
FIND A TEST NEAR YOU
Why work with Fitnescity
We handpicked some of the nation’s most prestigious medical centers, and partnered to use their equipment and staff for fitness testing.
You receive a detailed report with anthropometric data, interpretation, unique insights, comparison with heathy ranges and population data.
You have access to unlimited chat, phone and email support as you work towards your goals. Your results are always secure and accessible online.