But other fats consumed in foods can also raise blood cholesterol. While some of the excess fat is removed from the body by the liver, most heart specialists recommend that the average person limit himself/herself to less than 300 mg daily. And if one has been diagnosed with heart disease, that level should be less than 200 mg daily. If one has been diagnosed with extremely high cholesterol, even more drastic measures may be necessary to bring it under control.
How Do I Control My Intake?
A proven and accepted measure of control is to limit one’s intake to no more that 6 ounces of lean meat/fish/poultry daily, and to consume only low fat/no fat dairy products. Effective substitutes for the protein necessary for good health can be found in beans and vegetables with high protein content. Two excellent sources for determining which foods have high protein content can be found at:
It is also recommended that one adopt a regular exercise regimen. Even a moderate amount of daily activity can help to increase the movement of blood through one’s body. Physical activities such as leisurely walking, gardening, light yard work, housework and slow dancing are often prescribed as ideally suited for those who need a daily routine to help control the cholesterol levels.
A more intense regimen can include brisk walking, jogging, swimming and weight-lifting. Aerobic exercising is an excellent way to increase one’s breathing and heart rates.
Side benefits of a regularly scheduled exercise program can include weight control, reducing one’s risk of developing diabetes, and helping to keep one’s blood pressure at a healthy level. Regular moderate to intense exercise can also help to strengthen one’s heart and lungs.
To Smoke or Not to Smoke…
Most physicians and specialists recommend that no one smoke. And it has been proven that tobacco smoking increases the risk of heart disease. One’s intake of oxygen, which is a necessary component for good vascular circulation and health, is drastically reduced. Plus, smoking is detrimental to HDL cholesterol levels and increases the possibility of blood clots, not to mention the risks of causing cancer in one’s body.
The Effects of Alcohol on Cholesterol Levels
The moderate consumption of alcohol has shown, in some studies, to actually promote higher HDL cholesterol levels. With that said one must weigh the risks of alcoholism, obesity, stroke, high blood pressure, some forms of cancer, and sometimes depression. Exercise moderation (not more than 1-2 drinks daily for men, not more than 1 drink daily for women). And if you don’t drink, don’t start. There are better and safer alternatives for controlling one’s cholesterol.
– HDL is `good` cholesterol
– LDL is `bad` cholesterol
– An exercise regimen can help in lowering LDL and increasing HDL
– Cholesterol can be controlled with a sensible diet, for many people
– Smoking can increase the risks of lower HDL levels and the possibility of blood clots
Consult your physician or health care provider before embarking on any exercise regimen, or the consumption of alcohol, as a method to control one’s cholesterol. He or she can direct you to what steps you need to take in order to ensure the best results for your efforts.
Have an annual screening (usually a blood drawing) to determine your cholesterol levels. Be sure to discuss family history and other issues which your doctor may want to know before deciding whether or not you should be checked for the Lp(a) lipoproteins. He or she can better determine your risks, the diagnosis, and possible treatment (which may include prescription medication) when fully informed.