Good and Bad Cholesterol

Healthy food in bowls.
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In simple terms, cholesterol is fat found within your bloodstream. There is LDL and HDL cholesterol. Having high levels of LDL cholesterol is bad for your health because it can lead to heart problems and blood clots. Your HDL cholesterol is there to keep your LDL levels in check and under control. There are steps you can take to lower your LDL levels. Elmhurst Extended Care Center has 4 suggestions to lower your cholesterol naturally.   

Exercising Is Good for You 

Though the first step seems a bit time consuming, rest assured that exercise just means you should increase your daily physical activity. In other words, simply walking and moving around more can benefit your health. Instead of driving everywhere, try walking. If you see a part of your home that needs some cleaning, get some cleaning supplies and make that room squeaky clean. You do not have to follow through with a whole fitness plan in order to lower your cholesterol levels. 

On the other hand, if you are a busy person, you can try making a workout plan. If your daily schedule is packed, just plan a good workout for 3 days out of your week. Those 3 days are better than not exercising in general. Plus, if you have bodily pain, like arthritis, any form of exercise will benefit you. Before you know it, you will feel healthier inside and out. 

Do Not Smoke 

It is already a known fact that cigarettes are bad for your health. But did you know that they can also affect your cholesterol levels? When you smoke, you inhale a vapor called toxin acrolein. When you inhale that man-made poison into your lungs, your bloodstream absorbs the toxin from your lungs. Once the toxin is in your bloodstream, it can negatively affect the way your body metabolizes cholesterol.  

You can inhale the vapor as a secondhand smoker or directly as a smoker, but as soon as the toxin makes its way into your bloodstream, health problems may arise. You can suffer from heart problems or high levels of cholesterol. The best option is to avoid cigarettes as much as you can, for your own body and for others who inhale secondhand smoke.   

Saturated Fats are Not Healthy 

Dairy and meat products usually contain saturated fat. Butter, cheese and red meat are some good examples of food that contain saturated fat. Saturated fats are bad because they can elevate your LDL levels; however, you can consume limited amounts of saturated fats and still be fine. EECC did some research and found out that 5-6% of caloric intake of saturated fat would be the ideal amount to eat when planning out your diet. 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Monounsaturated Fats 

Like good cholesterol, there are also good fats. Both Omega-3 fatty acid and Monounsaturated fats are good for your cholesterol and overall health. Food such as fish, avocado and nuts contain these great nutrients. Omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in fish and krill oil supplements. Both decrease LDL cholesterol levels while also helping HDL levels. If you incorporated Monounsaturated fats and Omega-3 fatty acids into your diet, your cholesterol, blood pressure, and overall health will improve. 

If you want more health advice from skilled nurses and dietitians, contact Elmhurst Extended Care Center.