How to Lower your LDL Cholesterol
Having high LDL cholesterol levels, which is also called “bad cholesterol” is one great risk factor for heart diseases. But, the good thing is that, unlike other risk factors, LDL levels can be prevented or you can lower your LDL cholesterol levels.
There should be less than 160 mg/dl of LDL cholesterol levels, if you are comparatively healthy and at a low risk of heart disease or coronary artery disease. But, you may need to reduce your cholesterol levels, if you have risk factors like heart disease, diabetes or any hereditary problems related to heart disease.
So, whether you need to prevent your LDL cholesterol levels from increasing, or lower your LDL cholesterol levels, the following steps can help you.
Diet and weight loss:
Having an overweight body not only increases the risk of heart disease, it can also raise the LDL cholesterol levels. Losing weight helps to lower your LDL levels. Also, to lower your LDL levels, you need to maintain a certain diet. Foods that are high in soluble fiber and low in saturated fat are helpful in lowering LDL levels.
Exercise not only helps to lower your LDL cholestrol levels but also keeps you in good shape. Aerobic exercises like cycling, running, swimming and jogging can lower your bad cholesterol levels by 5-10%. You can also practice other forms of exercises like walking, yoga and weight-bearing exercises. These forms of exercises can also lower LDL levels.
Smoking may slightly reduce the LDL levels, but it is linked more to the formation of oxidized LDL, which is a damaging form of LDL and contributes to atherosclerosis. Studies have proved that smoking cessation can decrease your LDL cholesterol levels by about 5%.
Drink moderate amount of alcohol:
Moderate consumption of alcohol not only raises your HDL levels, but also decreases your LDL levels by about 4-8%. However, drinking too much alcohol could lead to higher risk of heart disease. A typical moderate consumption of alcohol could be 1-2 drinks in a day for men , and one drink per day for women.