High Cholesterol

What Is High Cholesterol?

Cholesterol, a waxy fat like substance, is needed by the human body for several important bodily functions. Needed only in a certain quantity, if the cholesterol in the body increases, it often combines with the other substances in the body to form plaques that interrupt the blood flow. Therefore, elevated cholesterol levels directly do not show symptoms but pose to be a risk factor for several other diseases.

What Triggers High Cholesterol?

  • Family history of the disease
  • Age
  • Most commonly found in men (aged above 40) and women (aged above 55)
  • Being overweight
  • Unhealthy dietary habits (excessive intake of saturated and trans fats)
  • Sedentary lifestyle (Lack of exercise)
  • Excessive intake of alcohol
  • Medical problems such as diabetes, hypothyroidism and obstructive liver disease

How Would You Know If You Have High Cholesterol?

  • High cholesterol often does not have initial signs and symptoms. It is a risk factor for several other illnesses ( such as blood pressure, obesity, hypertension and diabetes)
  • An increase in cholesterol levels can only be diagnosed by routine check-ups (blood test/ lipid profile).

What Are The Available Treatment Options?

  • An increase in the cholesterol levels (bad) can be easily detected through a routinely blood check up. The cholesterol level in the body is tested by the lipid (fat) profile.
  • The doctor shall suggest you to bring in some major alterations in your diet and lifestyle.
  • Alongside the doctor may also prescribe you some medications such as statins (which reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke).
  • The doctor shall also suggest you to eat heart healthy foods, exercise regularly and stay active. In case you smoke, make sure you quit smoking.

Are There Any Natural Remedies For High Cholesterol?

You can try these effective natural remedies and bring in some dietary changes to ease your symptoms:

1. Add Nuts to your diet

Ways to Use:

Walnuts and almonds are a rich source of sterols that do not allow the absorption of cholesterol in the body. Therefore, make sure you add these to your daily diet. Remember to pick the unsalted ones.

2. Include Oats In your Meals

Ways to Use:

Oats are a rich source of beta glucan (a soluble fiber that helps to absorb the LDL). Therefore, try and swap the oily breakfast with oats.

3. Spinach

Ways to Use:

Spinach is rich in lutein (pigment that protects the heart from clogging of the arteries). Include spinach in your meals in the form of a salad or for additional flavor.

4. Indian spices

Ways to Use:

Garlic, along with a few more such as turmeric, ginger and black pepper, have been found to lower cholesterol by upto 9%. So, opt to use these spices more often in your kitchen.

Eat healthy, stay active, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight, and you would not have to pop in pills to lower your cholesterol levels.

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