How to Maintain Good Body Cholesterol

 

How to Maintain Good Body Cholesterol

Cholesterol is an important part of our bodies’ functioning but when it gets out of balance it can cause serious health conditions. In order to maintain good body cholesterol, people need to make healthy choices and follow a diet and exercise routine.

It’s also important to make sure you’re getting plenty of vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat. These nutrients help your body function efficiently, and may even prevent some medical conditions.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains can have a positive impact on your cholesterol levels. The American Heart Association recommends a diet that includes lean meats, low-fat dairy products, fish and seafood, and unsaturated fats like nuts.

You should avoid saturated fats, which are found in animal products such as meat, poultry and dairy products, and tropical oils (such as palm oil). Saturated fats can encourage your liver to produce more LDL ("bad") cholesterol, which can block arteries and increase your risk for heart disease.

Try eating more plant-based foods that are high in soluble fiber, which can help prevent the absorption of cholesterol by your body. Soluble fiber can be found in beans, cereals, nuts, berries and other fruits.

Aim to eat at least 5 to 10 grams of fiber per day. This can be achieved by eating a variety of foods, including fruit, veggies, whole grain breads and pasta, and legumes such as beans, peas, lentils and peanuts.

Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids are also helpful for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in salmon, herring, walnuts, and almonds.

Limit your intake of trans fats, which are mainly found in processed and fried foods. These foods can raise your bad LDL cholesterol and decrease your good HDL cholesterol.

Check the nutrition label and look for "heart-check" symbols on food products to make sure they're low in saturated fat, trans fat and sodium (salt). Saturated fats are found in red meat, cheese, butter, ghee and other foods from animals or tropical oils, and trans fats are usually solid vegetable oils that have been hydrogenated.

Exercising regularly is another way to improve your cholesterol levels and can be just as effective as losing weight. Regular physical activity increases your HDL cholesterol and lowers your triglycerides, which are often associated with obesity.

It's recommended to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise on most days of the week, or more vigorous activity if you have a higher risk for cardiovascular diseases. You could try going to the gym, jogging or taking a yoga class.

Soluble fiber is found in whole grains, oatmeal and fruit, and it can help keep your cholesterol levels in check. If you’re new to the idea of incorporating more soluble fiber into your diet, start slowly by adding about a gram each day to increase your total intake.

It's easy to make a few small changes in your diet that will add up over time. For example, swapping a sugary soda with a glass of water can save you 100 calories or more each day.

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