3 Tips For Lipid Management
Managing your lipids (cholesterol) may not be an easy task, especially if you are predisposed to having elevated cholesterol. There are ways you can reduce your cholesterol, especially when you combine lifestyle changes and medical interventions.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight will have different meanings for each person. If you are significantly overweight and have struggled with your weight for many years, it may be time to have a discussion with your doctor about weight loss options. The goal is not only to lose weight but keep it off indefinitely, and some people find success with medically supervised diets or bariatric surgery. In some cases, people who had bariatric surgery are able to reduce or eliminate cholesterol or other chronic disease medications shortly after surgery.
Just because your weight is considered normal on the body mass index (BMI) scale does not mean you are absolved from finding a healthy weight. If you have a high body fat percentage but a normal weight, you need to achieve a safer body fat percentage, especially if you tend to store fat around your abdomen and chest. Have your body fat analyzed and strive to increase lean body mass while reducing fat, even if it means you gain a few pounds.
Weigh Statins Carefully
Your doctor may recommend statins for high cholesterol, but it is often best if you attempt non-medication treatments to lower your cholesterol first. The average person may be able to avoid statins with lifestyle modifications. If you have a serious family history of high cholesterol or early-onset heart disease, you may not be able to wait to see if you can change your lifestyle to reduce your cholesterol. Some people are predisposed to have high cholesterol or may be at a high risk for a heart attack in the near future. Although this does not mean you are doomed and should not make strides to live a healthier lifestyle, it simply means you may need more help through medication.
Make Heart-Healthy Food Choices
Your food choices may be the easiest changes to implement. Even if you need to lose weight, spend time focusing on the quality of food you eat rather than the quantity or calories. Naturally, if you eat better quality food, you will likely consume fewer calories overall. Try to limit or avoid foods with saturated fat, while eating reasonable amounts of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Healthy, unsaturated fats are important for helping you stay full.
Include more fiber in your diet, especially in the form of vegetables and occasional fruits. Fiber helps remove some of the excess cholesterol in your body. A few high-fiber crackers or bread are okay in moderation, but if you have a weight problem or diabetes, these products often contain more carbohydrates than you need. Try eating your carbohydrates early in the day when you are more active and more likely to burn them off.
High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart attack and other forms of vascular disease. A combination of lifestyle changes and help from your doctor can help you manage your cholesterol before significant problems occur.