Lower your cholesterol level and lead a healthy life

Edited by Shiza Ahmed, Nate Pepperell, Eulalee, Eng and 3 others

Cholesterol is a soft, odorless, waxy substance which is a part of all animal cells including those of human beings. However, a build up of cholesterol in our arteries is a real danger to health. These cholesterol plaques, also known as "hardening of the arteries", can narrow the arteries and restrict blood flow. When blood flow is restricted, a heart attack can result.

There is something about a danger you cannot see. That's how it is with high cholesterol. It has no symptoms. But make no mistake, it's a major risk factor for coronary heart disease which kills thousands of people each year in our country.

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Risk factors and cholesterol levels

Risk Category

  1. 1
    Any one with an existing heart disease.
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  2. 2
    No heart disease but more risk factors.
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  3. 3
    No heart disease but less than two risk factors.
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Cholesterol normal levels should be

  1. 1
    less than or equal to 160mg/dL.
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  2. 2
    less than or equal to 200mg/dL.
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  3. 3
    less than or equal to 240mg/dL.
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How to modify your diet to lower your cholesterol level

  1. 1
    Eat More Fresh Food
    .
    Eat more vegetables, fruits and grains. You will find below a sample list of food to choose from. The American Heart Association recommends no more than six ounces of cooked lean meat and skinless poultry each day. Fish is a particularly good choice as it's low in saturated fat.
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  2. 2
    Limiting the fat you eat is just as important as limiting your cholesterol intake
    .
    Be especially careful of saturated fat. Choose polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats instead.
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  3. 3
    The American Heart Association recommends limiting the total fat in your diet to less than 30% of your calories each day and, saturated fats to less than 10% of total calories
    .
    (You will find the percentage of calories from fat listed on most labels).
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Following these guidelines is a commitment, but you will be surprised at the number of delicious fat-free and low-fat foods available to help make it easier. Just be sure to keep calories in mind too. There are plenty of fat- free foods available to help make it easier but remember, fat-free doesn't mean calorie–free. Some people, because of family history or some other reason, may continue to have a high cholesterol level, no matter how hard they try to manage it with diet and exercise. If diet and exercise are not effective on their own, your doctor may prescribe cholesterol-lowering medication as part of your overall treatment program. Remember, only your doctor can determine the most appropriate therapy for you.

List of foods you should eat and those you should limit

Choose these foods

  1. 1
    Red meat (free of fat), chicken (roasted or baked) with skin removed.
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  2. 2
    Fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen or canned).
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  3. 3
    Whole grains, beans, breads, potatoes.
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  4. 4
    Vegetable oil (olive, corn, and soybean).
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  5. 5
    Fish (baked or broiled).
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  6. 6
    Skimmed milk, non-fat yogurt.
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Limit These Foods

  1. 1
    Fatty cuts of red meat, fried chicken, organ (liver,kidney)
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  2. 2
    Coconut
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  3. 3
    Butter, Mayonnaise
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  4. 4
    French-fries
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  5. 5
    Fried fish or other seafood.
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  6. 6
    Whole milk, ice-cream, egg yolk, cream cake.
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Some Remedies If You Were Not Able to Avoid High Cholesterol Dishes

  1. 1
    Avoid drinking cold water
    .
    If you are eating a lot of pork, which is very high in cholesterol, avoid drinking cold drinks during and after your meal. This is because it will not help the cholesterol get digested easily. Instead, it will tend to harden and make it more difficult for the body to process. This can be compared to putting cold water onto a pot filled with fat. You will see that only within seconds, the fat will harden and it is more difficult to remove it from the pot. The same thing happens inside your body. It is good to drink lots of water to cleanse your body, but keep in mind that it's best to have tap water only.
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  2. 2
    Drink hot tea during or after the meal
    .
    Hot tea is a very good internal cleanser. Not only does it cleanse your body because it's hot, most tea contains a lot of antioxidants as well that will help counter the effects of cholesterol into your body. Hot tea may also help in making you feel full quite easily. Therefore, if you drink it during your meals, it will curb your appetite a bit and you will be able to control your intake unconsciously.
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  3. 3
    Pair up your high cholesterol dishes with green leafy vegetables
    .
    If you really cannot suppress the craving for pork, beef, and other high cholesterol dishes, make sure that you pair it up with lots of vegetables, particularly those green leafy vegetables. It will help in flushing out the excess cholesterol from your body. At the same time, because of the fiber content of these vegetables, you will feel full rather easily and you will reduce your intake of food.
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  4. 4
    Get into a fruity cleanse a day or a few days after
    .
    It is becoming very common these days to make a fruity concoction and make it into a delicious smoothie. Treat yourself into these types of drinks and you will feel that you are able to expel most of the cholesterol that you have put into your body. At the same time, these types of drink are rich in vitamins and minerals so you're doing double good things to your body.
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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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Article Info

Categories : Physical Activity & Diet | PL Check GREEN

Recent edits by: Christine dela Cruz, Ephraim, Eng

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