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5 Ways to Improve Your Cholesterol

By Paul Rothbart

High cholesterol is a dangerous condition that should not be ignored. It significantly increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attack. There are medications to lower cholesterol but they are generally used as a last resort. It is preferable to improve cholesterol numbers naturally, with changes to lifestyle. Here are five ways to get your cholesterol down to a healthy level.

Be More Active

Regular exercise and increased physical activity, in general, can be very helpful in improving cholesterol. Moderate exercise 30 minutes a day, five days a week or more intense 20-minute sessions three times a week can help raise HDL or good cholesterol. Taking a walk each day at lunchtime is a great way to get the activity needed to improve cholesterol.

Eat Carefully

Naturally, what you put into your body has a huge impact on cholesterol. It is essential to eliminate trans fats and cut back on saturated fats. This will lower your LDL or bad cholesterol. Eat foods rich in soluble fiber such as oats, Brussels sprouts, and apples. Fiber helps prevent cholesterol from being absorbed into the bloodstream. Whey protein is another food that has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol.

Lose Weight

All that exercise and healthy eating should help you to lose weight, which is very good. Excess weight, even a little, can raise cholesterol. Watch out for beverages and foods that contain high amounts of sugar. Drink water rather than soda. Count calories and stay active. A healthy weight usually means healthy cholesterol numbers. 

Don't Smoke

If you are a smoker, make the effort needed to quit. In addition to healthier lungs and a reduced risk of cancer, quitting smoking can raise your HDL cholesterol. Within 20 minutes of quitting, the benefits begin. Three months later, blood circulation and lung function start to improve. After a year, your risk of heart attack will be half what it was when you smoked. 

Keep It Moderate With Alcohol

There's nothing wrong with a drink now and then. In fact, studies have shown that one drink a day can actually benefit your health, including raising HDL. But don't go overboard. The physical and mental health problems caused by excess alcohol consumption far outweigh these benefits.

High cholesterol is unhealthy and puts you at a higher risk for heart disease. Making these lifestyle changes can help you get your numbers to healthy levels without the need for medication. Being naturally healthy is a great way to go through life.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Danville, Calif.

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