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STOP Making These 8 Mistakes If You Are Struggling With High Cholesterol

Having high cholesterol doesn't necessarily mean you're stuck with it forever. The consequences of high cholesterol levels may lead to body inflammation, atherosclerosis, and heart disease. Fortunately, adopting the right diet and lifestyle modifications can effectively reduce your cholesterol levels and shift your future towards more positive results.


To Begin With, What Is Cholesterol?

The human body relies on cholesterol for various essential functions, including cell formation, nerve insulation, and hormone production. Typically, the liver produces sufficient cholesterol for these needs. However, cholesterol can also enter the body through dietary sources, particularly animal-based foods like eggs, milk, and meat. Excessive cholesterol poses a risk factor for heart disease. 

There Are Two Commonly Known Types Of Cholesterol:

1. LDL cholesterol ( low-density lipoprotein or "bad" cholesterol ) is primarily responsible for the formation of plaque (narrowing up of blood vessels, restricting the flow of blood to the heart, eventually increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke)

2. HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein or "good" cholesterol) functions to eliminate cholesterol from the blood.

 

    How Does High Cholesterol Contribute To Heart Disease?

    When an excess of cholesterol accumulates in your bloodstream, it gradually builds up in the arterial walls, leading to a condition called atherosclerosis, a type of heart disease. This process causes narrowing of the arteries, restricting the flow of blood to the heart muscle. Inadequate blood supply and oxygen to the heart can result in chest pain. And if a blockage completely cuts off blood flow to a specific part of the heart, it can cause a heart attack.

    Are You Making These 8 Common Mistakes When Trying To Lower Your Cholesterol?

    Despite following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and taking prescribed medication, could something be sabotaging your success? Here are 8 common mistakes to avoid when trying to lower your cholesterol. (Psst: don’t miss the #8)

    • Avoiding Dietary Cholesterol:

    Disregarding the myth that consuming cholesterol-rich foods directly raises your body's cholesterol levels, it's essential to understand that dietary cholesterol has minimal impact on serum cholesterol. When you consume cholesterol from food, your body compensates by reducing its cholesterol production, maintaining cholesterol balance. Remember, moderation is key. Instead of solely focusing on limiting cholesterol intake, prioritize reducing saturated and trans fats, which have been linked to increased LDL cholesterol and decreased HDL cholesterol compared to healthier fats.


    • Eliminating Dietary Fat:

    The goal is not to eliminate all fats from your diet but rather to limit unhealthy fats. Cutting out fat entirely may not be beneficial for your cholesterol levels. Replace processed foods high in saturated fats with healthier options like avocados, olives, olive oil, sunflower seeds, and oil, as well as nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, and macadamias. Additionally, incorporate polyunsaturated foods like chia and flax seeds, nuts, and fatty fish such as salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, and herring.


    • Inadequate Fiber Intake:

    Don’t underestimate the power of fiber. Fiber is indigestible and acts as a superhero by lowering cholesterol. It adds bulk and binds cholesterol, preventing it from being absorbed by the liver and instead excreted in bile. Opt for high-fiber foods like oats, oatmeal, and barley, fruits such as pears, berries, bananas, and apples, vegetables including kale, spinach, broccoli, carrots, peas, and corn, as well as lentils and beans.


    • Neglecting Physical Activity:

    Get active, increase your steps, and elevate your heart rate. Engaging in aerobic exercises, resistance training, and low-intensity activities like walking can improve your cholesterol profile. These activities boost HDL cholesterol (the good kind) and decrease LDL cholesterol (the harmful kind). Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity on at least 5 days per week. Embrace the long-term relationship with exercise, as it can also contribute to weight loss, another vital factor in lowering cholesterol levels.


    • Excessive Alcohol Consumption:

    If you consume alcohol, limit your intake to 1-2 drinks per day to promote healthy HDL cholesterol and heart health. While a glass of wine in the evening can be enjoyed, excessive alcohol consumption negatively affects cholesterol levels, as well as heart and liver health.


    • Inadequate Protein Intake:

    Remember to include sufficient protein alongside healthy fats and high-fiber foods. Diets rich in protein have been associated with higher levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol. Research specifically highlights the potential of whey protein to lower LDL cholesterol (the harmful kind) when incorporated into daily intake.


    • Failure To Quit Smoking:

    Smoking adversely affects cholesterol levels by disrupting the body's cholesterol processing mechanisms through processes that induce cellular changes, inflammation, thrombosis, and oxidative stress. These cellular dysfunctions contribute to high cholesterol levels and the development of blocked arteries. It's time to break free from smoking and take control of your high cholesterol. Remember, while smoking may have been perceived as cool in the 50s, maintaining lower cholesterol levels is eternally cool!


    • Depending Solely on Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs:

    Cholesterol-lowering drugs, also known as statins, are medications prescribed to help lower cholesterol levels in the body. They work by inhibiting an enzyme in the liver involved in cholesterol production, thus reducing the amount of cholesterol produced. Statins primarily target LDL cholesterol, or the "bad" cholesterol, which contributes to the formation of plaque in the arteries.

    However, it's important to note that cholesterol-lowering drugs are typically most effective when used in combination with lifestyle changes. These lifestyle modifications include adopting a healthy diet low in saturated and trans fats, increasing physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding tobacco smoke. Lifestyle changes can help to further reduce cholesterol levels and improve overall cardiovascular health.


    Can You Eat ‘Just’ Anything, If You’re On Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs?

    While cholesterol-lowering drugs can be beneficial in managing high cholesterol levels, they are not a license to indulge in an unhealthy diet. It's crucial to understand that diet and lifestyle choices continue to play a vital role in maintaining overall cardiovascular health, even when taking medication.

    Certain dietary factors contribute to elevated cholesterol levels. Foods high in saturated fats, trans fats, and dietary cholesterol can increase LDL cholesterol. Even with cholesterol-lowering medication, consuming excessive amounts of these foods can undermine the drug's effectiveness and hinder efforts to manage cholesterol levels.


    Follow These Tips for a Low Cholesterol Health. Thank Us Later ;)

    Ayurveda offers several approaches that may help in lowering cholesterol levels. Here are some key pointers on how Ayurveda can be beneficial:

    • Dietary recommendations:

    Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of a balanced diet by consuming fresh, whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and healthy fats. Choose healthy fats, emphasize fiber, reduce saturated and trans fats, and moderate cholesterol-rich foods.

    • Detoxification therapies:

    Ayurveda suggests periodic detoxification or purification therapies known as Panchakarma. These treatments aim to eliminate accumulated toxins from the body, which may contribute to imbalances and health issues, including high cholesterol.

    • Herbal remedies:

    Ayurvedic practitioners may prescribe specific herbs and herbal formulations to support cholesterol management. Some commonly used herbs include guggul, arjuna, Triphala, and shilajit which help regulate cholesterol levels and support overall cardiovascular health.

    The Balance Heart Malt is a perfect dietary addition to help you maintain your cardiovascular health. It helps as a preventive agent in managing blood pressure and keeping cholesterol levels in check. Loaded with traditional herbs, it helps purify the blood, gets rid of minor blockages and clots, and promotes better heart health. Our Balance Heart Capsules keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels balanced to prevent heat-related illness.

    • Lifestyle modifications:

    Regular physical activity, such as yoga or moderate exercise, can be beneficial in managing cholesterol levels. Stress reduction techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing exercises, are also recommended to promote overall balance and well-being.


    Final Thoughts

    Through a combination of lifestyle changes and medical interventions, individuals can effectively manage their cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Implementing a balanced diet that includes heart-healthy foods, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight is essential for lowering cholesterol. 

    Remember, taking proactive steps today can lead to a healthier tomorrow. To start taking the first step, get in touch with Balance Ayurveda today