How to Lower Cholesterol

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

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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:

A lipid profile from a fasting blood test gives you a set of measurement that include total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, total to HDL ratio, and triglycerides.

 
 

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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:

 
 

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In terms of food items, below is a list of healthy food items by macronutrient.

Fitnescity Macronutrient Chart - Protein, Fat and Carbohydrates.jpg
 

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.

 
 

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