What is Cholesterol
The human body naturally makes all the cholesterol it needs for proper biological functioning in the form of blood cholesterol. Blood cholesterol is a waxy substance created in the liver that is essential for making hormones and digesting foods. Because we create cholesterol naturally, experts recommend consuming as little dietary cholesterol as possible.
Dietary cholesterol is found in animal products, such as meats, seafood, poultry, eggs and dairy products. Consuming too much dietary cholesterol causes plaque buildup in the arteries and increases your risk of developing heart disease.
Preventing and Managing High Cholesterol
At ForCare Medical Center, we work with each patient individually to develop a management plan for their high cholesterol. Medication is often prescribed to patients with high cholesterol, but this medication works best when paired with these healthy and sustainable lifestyle changes:
Consume a heart-healthy diet
A heart-healthy diet can significantly reduce cholesterol and improve your overall heart health. We recommend making these changes to aid in cholesterol management:
- Reduce saturated fats
- Eliminate trans fats
- Consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (or take omega-3 supplements)
- Increase soluble fiber
Physical activity can promote healthy cholesterol levels. Exercise looks different for everyone depending on their interests and resources, but exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week is essential. Great exercise options include:
- Bike riding
- Attending local group classes
Being overweight heavily contributes to unhealthy cholesterol levels. Losing excess weight in a healthy and sustainable way can help increase heart health and longevity. Incorporating a healthy diet and exercise plan is the best way to lose weight long-term.
At ForCare Medical Center, we can help develop a cholesterol management plan to help you lose weight, eat right, and keep your heart as healthy as possible.