High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
Pharmacist Duncan Reid, an expert at Pharmacy2U, said around “two-thirds” of Britons have high levels of cholesterol.
Regular exercise is a good way to lower your bad (LDL) cholesterol and increase your good (HDL) cholesterol, said Reid.
He explained: “‘Bad’ low-density lipoprotein (LDL), carries cholesterol from the liver to the cells.
“When there is an excess of LDL cholesterol in the blood, it can build up on the arterial walls, forming plaques that narrow the arteries, leading to atherosclerosis.”
Atherosclerosis, Reid explained, is the hardening and narrowing of the arteries.
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Should the narrowing block blood flow to the brain, a stroke occurs, which can result in numerous outcomes.
“‘Good’ high-density lipoprotein (HDL), HDL cholesterol, on the other hand, helps remove excess cholesterol from the bloodstream,” added Reid.
The excess cholesterol from the blood is transported back to the liver so that it can be excreted from the body.
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In order to lower cholesterol levels, Reid said: “It’s recommended to do at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise to see the best results.”
He suggested brisk walking, jogging, running, swimming, biking and yoga.
Whatever exercise you choose to do, even if it’s a combination, should get the heart rate rising slightly.
In order for exercise to really count towards the 150-minute goal, one must feel slightly warmer while performing the movements.
While exercise is key, the “quickest way to lower cholesterol is through making immediate dietary changes”.
Reid suggested “reducing saturated and trans fats, while increasing the intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and foods rich in soluble fibre”.
People who are taking statins, which are cholesterol-lowering medications, would also benefit immensely from eating healthier and exercising frequently.
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