Hyperlipidemia is defined as having too many lipids, or fats, in the blood. Our body requires cholesterol for body functions, but in some cases, the body naturally makes too much or we consume too much through our diet. There are two types of cholesterol: high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). Increased levels of HDL are associated with a decreased risk of heart disease and stroke, while LDL cholesterol is just the opposite. Some of the first steps in achieving acceptable HDL and LDL ranges is evaluating your lifestyle and making applicable changes to benefit your health. Read below and see what changes you can make to manage your risk of high cholesterol.
Knowing what your daily limit is for calories, fat, saturated fat, trans fat and sodium are important for managing your health. These totals can be calculated by a registered dietitian and are based on your height, weight, gender, age and activity level.
For cardiovascular health, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise 5 times per week or 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise 3 days per week. In addition, moderate to high intensity muscle strengthening activity is recommended twice per week. Exercise helps to build bone and muscle mass, maintain or lose weight, strengthen cardiovascular function, relieve stress and improve overall well-being.
Maintain/Achieve a Healthy Weight
Losing 10% of your initial weight may lower or even reverse your risk of hyperlipidemia, according to the AHA. By following an appropriate-calorie diet and exercising on a regular basis, weight loss may be met and lipid levels may improve.
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, smoking is the cause of 1-out of-5 deaths in the United States and is completely preventable. The chemicals in tobacco smoke harm your blood cells, damage the function of your heart and damage the structure and function of your blood vessels. Since smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease, quitting is one of the best ways to improve your health.
Source: Julie Holbrook MS, RD, LDN is a registered dietitian for the Centegra Healthy Living Institute.
If you’d like to learn more about heart healthy eating, including ways to improve cholesterol levels, schedule an appointment with a registered dietitian at the Centegra Healthy Living Institute by calling 877-CENTGRA (236-8347).