Maintaining a Healthy Cholesterol Level
High cholesterol heavily increases your chances of suffering from a heart attack or stroke and living with heart disease. With one million Americans experiencing a heart attack and approximately 500,000 deaths due to heart disease, it is no surprise that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. This September, in honor of National Cholesterol Education Month, Neighbors Pharmacy wants to share some simple ways to help control your cholesterol levels.
If you suffer from high cholesterol, you have probably been told to eat healthy more times than you can count. However, controlling your cholesterol is more than just eating healthy; it requires eating heart-healthy. Try to reduce saturated and trans fats that are common in full-fat dairy products and many processed foods. Omega-3 fatty acids should quickly become your best friend. Although they don’t directly affect your cholesterol levels, they can help maintain your blood pressure and the overall health of your heart, so the occasional store-bought cookie is safe to enjoy. Salmon is a great option for these fatty acids, as are walnuts and flaxseeds.
Increasing your physical activity will not only improve your cholesterol but can also help you feel a little more confident about yourself. Try to aim for 30 minutes of exercise five times a week. This can be as simple as taking a brisk walk during your lunch break or as intense as playing a favorite sport. Try to find a workout buddy to encourage and motivate you to keep up this important habit.
Speaking of habits, as important as it is for you to create some good ones, it’s equally as important you kick some others to the curb, i.e., smoking. Not only will this addiction make it more difficult for you to properly work out as your lungs may be weaker than average, but smoking can negatively affect your blood pressure and heart rate. These important vitals can be fixed as quickly as 20 minutes after smoking so throw that pack out now and get started on fixing your health. After a year of being smoke-free, your risk of heart disease will be cut in half.
Alcohol, especially in the South, is as prominent in society as churches. Although there is no need to completely cut out alcohol, which is good news for those football games, drinking in moderation is crucial. Too much alcohol can lead to high blood pressure, strokes, and possibly even heart failure. Try to have no more than two drinks if you’re under the age of 65, and limit yourself to one alcoholic beverage if you are over 65.
Maintaining a healthy cholesterol level isn’t too difficult, but it will require a conscious effort to be effective. For more information on the importance of maintaining a healthy cholesterol level or for more recommendations on how to do so, contact Neighbors Pharmacy.