According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4), the prevalence of high cholesterol among adults in India was found to be 11.6%. The prevalence was higher among urban adults (13%) than rural adults (10.3%).
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in India, and cholesterol is a major contributing factor. According to a recent study, nearly 60% of Indian adults have high cholesterol.
High cholesterol doesn’t have any symptoms, so you may not know if you have it. But it can lead to life-threatening problems, like heart disease. The good news is there are things you can do to lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Quit smoking –
Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death worldwide. If you’re a smoker, quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. There are many different ways to quit smoking, and what works best for you may vary depending on your individual circumstances. Here are three common methods that people use to quit smoking:
- Cold turkey: This method involves quitting smoking completely, without gradually reducing your intake or using any type of replacement therapy. For some people, going cold turkey is the most effective way to quit, but it can also be the hardest. If you’re considering this method, it’s important to be prepared for withdrawal symptoms and have a support system in place to help you through the tough times.
- Gradual reduction: This approach involves slowly reducing the amount of cigarettes you smoke each day over a period of time. Many people find this method helpful because it allows them to wean themselves off nicotine gradually, making withdrawal symptoms less severe. However, it’s important to be mindful that even a small number of cigarettes can still be harmful to your health.
- Replacement therapy: This is a method that involves using an alternative source of nicotine, such as patches, gum or e-cigarettes, to help you deal with withdrawal symptoms and cravings. For some people, this type of therapy is very effective, but it’s important to remember that you’re still addicted to nicotine and there’s potential for abuse with replacement therapies as well. Speak with your doctor before starting any type of replacement therapy to make sure it’s right for you.
No matter which method you choose, quitting smoking is a difficult task that requires commitment and perseverance. But remember that every day you stay smoke-free is another day closer to improving your health and enjoying all the benefits that come with being tobacco-free!
2. Eat more soluble fiber –
Soluble fiber is a type of dietary fiber that dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance. It is found in plant-based foods such as oats, beans, and apples. Soluble fiber has numerous health benefits, including the ability to reduce cholesterol levels.
There are a few ways in which soluble fiber helps to reduce cholesterol.
First, it binds to bile acids, which are compounds that are needed for the digestion of fat. By binding to bile acids, soluble fiber prevents them from being reabsorbed into the bloodstream. This forces the body to use cholesterol to produce more bile acids, which results in a decrease in overall cholesterol levels.
Additionally, soluble fiber inhibits the absorption of cholesterol from the gut.
Finally, soluble fiber promotes the excretion of cholesterol through the stool.
The bottom line is that soluble fiber can be effective in reducing cholesterol levels. If you are looking to lower your cholesterol, make sure to include plenty of soluble fiber-rich foods in your diet.
3. Exercise regularly –
One important way to reduce cholesterol is by exercising regularly.
Exercise helps to increase HDL levels, which are the “good” cholesterol that helps to remove LDL from the bloodstream. LDL is the “bad” cholesterol that can clog arteries and lead to heart disease.
In addition to increasing HDL levels, exercise also helps to lower triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood, and high levels can also contribute to heart disease.
By making exercise a regular part of your routine, you can help to reduce your cholesterol levels and protect your heart health.
4. Eat fish high in omega-3 fatty acids –
A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to have a number of health benefits, including the ability to reduce cholesterol levels.
Omega 3 fatty acids are thought to help reduce cholesterol levels by helping to remove it from the bloodstream.
In addition, they can also help to reduce inflammation, which can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. For these reasons, omega-3 fatty acids may be an effective way to reduce the risk of heart disease.
5. Lose excess weight –
Losing just a few pounds can have a significant impact on our cholesterol levels.
In fact, even a small amount of weight loss can help to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol.
Furthermore, losing body fat can also help to lower blood pressure and improve insulin sensitivity.
For these reasons, it is important to make healthy lifestyle choices that will help us to reach and maintain a healthy weight.
6. Limit your alcohol intake –
Limiting alcohol consumption is one of the most important lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your cholesterol.
Alcohol raises triglyceride levels, which are a type of fat in your blood.
High triglyceride levels can lead to atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.
In addition, alcohol can damage the liver, which is responsible for removing cholesterol from the blood.
7. Eat foods low in saturated fat & avoid trans fats –
Saturated fat and transfat are two types of dietary fat that can have negative effects on cholesterol levels. Saturated fat is found in animal products such as meat and dairy, as well as in some plant-based foods such as coconut oil.
Transfat, on the other hand, is a type of artificial fat that is often used in processed foods.
Both saturated fat trans fat can raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.
In addition, saturated fat trans fat can also decrease HDL (good) cholesterol levels, which further contributes to the development of heart disease.
For these reasons, it is important to limit your intake of saturated fat and transfat to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
8. Reduce Refined Sugar Intake –
Refined sugar can cause cholesterol issues because it causes the liver to produce more cholesterol.
In addition, refined sugar can increase the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood. LDL cholesterol is known as “bad” cholesterol because it can build up in the arteries and cause heart disease. Therefore, it is important to limit the amount of refined sugar in your diet to help prevent cholesterol issues.
9. Manage stress –
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, high cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. However, managing stress can help to reduce cholesterol levels and improve heart health. Here are three ways to do so:
- Get regular exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. Furthermore, physical activity helps to reduce stress hormones like cortisol. Regular exercise is also linked to lower cholesterol levels.
- Practice relaxation techniques. Relaxation techniques can help to lower blood pressure and heart rate, as well as reduce cortisol levels. Try practices such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing.
- Connect with loved ones. Social support is essential for managing stress. Spend time with friends and family, or join a supportive community or group. Talking about your stressors can also help to reduce their impact on your health.
10. Check your blood sugar levels & control your type 2 diabetes –
Type 2 diabetes is a condition that occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells do not respond properly to insulin.
Over time, this can lead to high blood sugar levels, which can damage the blood vessels and nerves. High blood sugar levels can also cause cholesterol problems.
In particular, diabetes can cause high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, and low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol.
This can lead to a build-up of plaque in the arteries, which can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other problems. To help control diabetes and cholesterol levels, people with diabetes should eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and take medication as prescribed by their doctor.
11. Herbs that can reduce cholesterol –
As anyone who has been diagnosed with high cholesterol knows, making dietary changes is essential to lowering your numbers.
However, it can be difficult to get all the nutrients you need from food alone. That’s where herbs come in. Certain herbs have been shown to help reduce cholesterol levels, making them an important addition to any cholesterol-lowering diet.
One of the most well-studied herbs is garlic. Garlic has been shown to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol while raising HDL (good) cholesterol.
Other promising herbs include ginger, turmeric, and green tea. While more research is needed, these herbs may offer a natural way to help reduce cholesterol levels.
12. Supplements & medications that help you to reduce cholesterol –
Maintaining a healthy cholesterol level is important for overall health and wellness.
While making lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, is the best way to reduce cholesterol levels, there are also supplements and medicines that can help. Here are six of the most effective:
- Statins are a class of drugs that work by blocking the production of cholesterol in the liver. They are highly effective at reducing LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and can also help to raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.
- Niacin is a type of B vitamin that helps to lower LDL cholesterol levels while raising HDL cholesterol levels. It is available in both prescription and over-the-counter formulations.
- Fibre supplements, such as psyllium husk or glucomannan, can help to reduce LDL cholesterol levels by binding to cholesterol molecules in the intestine and preventing their absorption into the bloodstream.
- Plant stanols and sterols are compounds found in plants that have a similar structure to cholesterol molecules. When consumed in small amounts, they can help to reduce LDL cholesterol levels by competing with cholesterol for absorption in the intestine.
- omega-3 Fatty acids are a type of healthy fat that can help to reduce triglyceride levels while also raising HDL cholesterol levels. They are found in fish oil supplements as well as certain types of seafood, such as salmon and trout.
- Red yeast rice is a type of rice that has been fermented with red yeast. It contains compounds that inhibit the production of LDL cholesterol in the liver, resulting in lower LDL cholesterol levels in the blood.
Reducing your cholesterol can be a difficult task, but it’s worth it to lower your risk of heart disease and other health problems. These lifestyle changes can help you make a difference in your cholesterol levels and improve your overall health. Talk to your doctor about other ways you can reduce your risk of heart disease.