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Five Ways You Can Improve Your Cholesterol This Year

September 16, 2021 Pegalis Law Group

Sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), September is National Cholesterol Education Month. Cholesterol is a fat-like substance used by your body to make vitamins and hormones and build cells. There are two types of cholesterol: LDL (bad) and HDL (good). Your liver creates enough cholesterol for you. However, certain foods you eat (dairy, red meat, and poultry) can contribute to unhealthy cholesterol levels. Having high cholesterol can cause build-up inside your arteries, putting you at a greater risk for cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and other severe health concerns. Below, Pegalis Law Group, LLC analyzes five ways you can improve your cholesterol this year. It’s never too late to make positive changes in your lifestyle to improve your health!

1. Reduce or Eliminate Saturated & Trans Fats in Your Diet.

Always read product labels carefully when you go grocery shopping and take the time to educate yourself about what you’re putting into your body. For example, if you see “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” listed, that means the product contains trans fats. Trans fats raise your unhealthy LDL cholesterol while lowering your HDL cholesterol. These culprits are often found in your favorite fried foods and baked goods, so try to eat foods such as donuts, pizza, cakes, pies, and cookies sparingly.

If you want to lower your cholesterol, cut back on fatty processed red meats, full-fat dairy products, and stick margarines and butters. Consider healthier substitutes such as extra-virgin olive oil. You don’t have to stick to a bland diet when making better choices. Certain spices like black pepper, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, and coriander can help you improve your cholesterol while enhancing your food’s taste.

2. If You’re Overweight, Try to Lose at Least 10 Pounds.

If you’re overweight, make it your goal to lose at least 10 pounds this year. You’d be amazed by what a difference 10 pounds can make when lowering your cholesterol. A realistic, healthy weight loss goal is 1-2 pounds per week. You can achieve this goal by limiting your daily calorie intake and developing a more active lifestyle. For the best results, engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate to brisk exercise five times a week or vigorous aerobic exercise for at least 20 minutes three times a week. Talk to your doctor for tips on shedding the pounds – and keeping them off for good.

3. Fill Up on More Foods That Are High in Soluble Fiber.

We could all benefit from more fiber in our diets. Fiber makes your body feel fuller after you eat, so you’re less likely to overindulge on fatty snacks between meals. Soluble fiber prevents your body from absorbing cholesterol. Foods that are high in fiber include whole-grain cereals, oats, fruits, and beans. A word to the wise: gradually increase your daily fiber intake to avoid uncomfortable cramps and bloating.

4. Eat More Foods That Are Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

There’s a reason why your doctor may have suggested you eat more fish instead of red meat or poultry. Many fish are high in heart-healthy omega-3 fats that can help you lower your blood pressure and cholesterol by reducing your consumption of saturated fats. Wild salmon, tuna, sardines, lake trout, cod, herring, and mackerel are your best fish options.

5. Find Better Ways to De-Stress, Such as Yoga or Reading.

Did you know that stress can increase your cholesterol? Try finding better ways to de-stress this year that don’t involve smoking or drinking alcohol, such as reading, painting, walking, or practicing yoga. In addition to finding new hobbies to help you de-stress, keep in mind that laughter really is the best medicine. Laughing has been shown to increase HDL cholesterol in several recent studies, so don’t be afraid to share more of those funny pet videos online with your friends and family!

Proactive Patient and Healthcare Champions for 50+ Years

Pegalis Law Group, LLC is a New York-based law firm practicing in the areas of personal injury and medical malpractice. For nearly 50 years, we’ve educated clients and the public about the importance of being proactive patients to ensure improved universal healthcare measures. Please visit our website and be sure to follow us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to receive additional insights.