Published On: Sat, Nov 10th, 2018

Lowering Cholesterol to Prevent a Heart Attack or a Stroke

Cholesterol is a type of fat found in the body that is used for synthesis of various vitamins, bile acids, and hormones. An excess of cholesterol in the blood will often cause arteries to narrow, which may instigate heart disease or a stroke.

Cholesterol, Heart Attack, Stroke

When a physician checks a patient for high cholesterol with a blood test, four major values are analyzed. Total cholesterol is the level of all the cholesterol found in the blood. Low density lipoproteins (LDL) are particles in the blood that are often referred to as “bad cholesterol,” as they promote health problems. Conversely, high-density lipoproteins (HDL) actually reduce the amount of cholesterol in the arteries, and as such are sometimes referred to as “good cholesterol.” Finally, triglycerides are another type of fat in the blood. High levels of triglycerides can increase the chances of having a heart attack or a stroke. One can reduce high cholesterol in the blood through diet, exercise, and medication.

Modification of Diet

The primary objective of a low cholesterol diet is to reduce the total fat intake to less than 30% of the total calories consumed each day. One can also reduce their saturated fat intake by eating less red meat, chicken, pork and lamb. By replacing these types of meat and poultry with fish, one can not only reduce saturated fat intake, but also increase intake of omega-3 oils, which help lower cholesterol and triglycerides. Fish with darker flesh such as mackerel, salmon, and halibut tend to have more omega-3 oils. One can also reduce cholesterol intake by eliminating high-fat dairy products, palm and coconut oils, and egg yolks.

The Necessity of Exercise

Another key to reducing total cholesterol is daily exercise. Reduction of ten pounds will not only reduce the total cholesterol level, but also increase the levels of high-density lipoproteins in the blood. A brisk walk daily for 30 minutes is a great first step towards an exercise routine. After becoming accustomed to daily exercise, one will want to graduate to 20 to 30 minutes of concentrated aerobic activity such as calisthenics. It’s also recommended to quit smoking, as quitting will increase high-density lipoproteins and reduce the risk of heart disease.

The Possibility of Medication

In some cases a physician may prescribe a statin, which is a type of medication used to reduce a patient’s low-density lipoproteins. There are many medications of this type available for prescription, the most well known being the drug Lipitor, which is manufactured by Pfizer.

About the Author

- Paul Linus is an eminent online journalist who has been writing news, features and editorials on different websites from across the world for about a decade. He can be contacted at knowledgeherald@gmail.com

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