The downsides of high cholesterol and manifold, and high risk. Heart disease, strokes, and other issues can result from high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, so managing your levels and staying healthy is a key concern, especially later in life.
As many as 78 million adults in the US suffer from high cholesterol, so learning how best to manage it is essential to staying healthy.
A significant number of adults now rely heavily on statin medication, a form of medication that specifically treats high levels of LDL cholesterol.
Whilst statins are effective and generally safe, learning how to manage your own levels with healthy diet and exercise is also preferred.
How long can it take to lower my cholesterol?
According to the professionals, lowering your cholesterol with healthy lifestyle changes generally takes around three to six months.
Women on average take longer than men when lowering their cholesterol, so don't worry if your levels take a little longer than the above figure.
How to quickly lower cholesterol
If you need to lower your cholesterol fast, there are several things you can do. Here's what you should be focusing on.
Eat a diet high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans.
A high vegetable, high fibre diet is super effective at lowering cholesterol. It also ties into the next point nicely.
Lower sources of fat, especially red meat
Meat fats are a key contributor in cholesterol levels, so learn about what's good and what's not from your doctor.
Replace meat proteins with plant proteins where possible.
Plant proteins, and some plant fats, actually lower cholesterol and are heart healthy. Things like olive oil and things that contain plant sterols should be a part of your diet.
Cut down on refined grain
Whole grains are a much better choice than refined grains, so if given the choice, go for the whole grain option.
This doesn't just mean bread, either. Think about grains like couscous, quinoa and wild rice.
Start a simple exercise plan
Part of heart health is moving around enough. It's a sad truth that many of us don't move around enough, especially with the advent of cars and office jobs. As little as 20 minutes a day of moderate exercise makes a huge difference.
If you're worried about your cholesterol levels, the best thing to do is not be concerned about getting them down fast.
The things you need to do to lower your cholesterol levels are a lifestyle change. By implementing long term, healthy habits, you have a much better chance of them sticking, and also of keeping your cholesterol at a healthy level for the rest of your life.
As always, speak to your doctor if you have any questions, and before making sweeping lifestyle changes.
Important information: The information provided on this website is of a general nature and information purposes only. It does not take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. It is not personalised health advice and must not be relied upon as such. Before making any decisions about your health or changes to medication, diet and exercise routines you should determine whether the information is appropriate in terms of your particular circumstances and seek advice from a medical professional.