Are you making these 5 cholesterol mistakes?
Our bodies need cholesterol, but if we get too much, it can clog arteries and cause heart disease.
Avoid these everyday health mistakes to keep your cholesterol at a healthy level and reduce your risk of heart disease.
You don’t Know Your Numbers
If you don’t know what your cholesterol numbers are, then you will not know if you need to get them under control. High cholesterol has no symptoms, so you may have it and not even know it. Yet it can lead to serious health problems like heart attacks and strokes. So it is important to know what your numbers are. The American Heart Association recommends getting tested every 4-6 years starting at age 20 and more frequently for people who have a family history of heart disease, diabetes or obesity.
Your not getting enough exercise
You may think you are getting enough exercise because you go to the gym for 30 minutes twice a week. Well according to the Surgeon General, you need at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of high intensity exercise each week to effect your cholesterol levels.
Exercise increases HDL (good cholesterol levels) and promotes weight loss, which is another factor in high cholesterol. It is best to find a workout that you enjoy, like walking, swimming, biking, or playing a sport. But, start slow and increase your workout over time as you become stronger.
You don’t count alcohol
Many people think of chicken wings or burgers with fries when they think about causes of high cholesterol. But consuming large amounts of alcohol will spike your LDL (bad cholesterol) and could lead to a stroke, heart failure and high blood pressure.
You don’t have to eliminate alcohol entirely, but it should be consumed in moderation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends women have no more than one drink a day and men, no more than two drinks a day.
You don’t keep track of your sugar consumption
Fried foods and red meats are known to increase LDL (bad) cholesterol, but how does sugar effect you? Americans consume up to 3x more sugar than is recommended on a daily basis. Too much sugar increases weight gain (a risk factor in high cholesterol), increases triglyceride levels and overall cholesterol numbers.
You forget about good fats
It is important to avoid trans fats, found in fried foods, and saturated fats, found in red meat and animal products, to reduce bad cholesterol. It is best to replace these fats with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. They’re mainly found in fish such as salmon, trout and herring, avocados, olives, walnuts and liquid vegetable oils such as soybean, corn, safflower, canola, olive and sunflower.
Both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats may help improve your blood cholesterol when used in place of saturated and trans fats.
Omega-3 fatty acids are good for increasing high-density lipoproteins (HDL), or good cholesterol, and lowering triglyceride levels, a type of fat found in the blood.
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lowers blood pressure and cholesterol
In addition to these daily changes, an easy change you can make is to take a once a day chocolate drink that has the ingredients that have been shown through clinical trials to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, widen (dilate) arteries, reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, increase circulation, dissolve plaque that is already in your arteries and reduce new plaque from forming.
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