Cholesterol plays a key role in the functioning of body cells, in maintaining a healthy heart and avoiding other health problems. It becomes essential to understand cholesterol, its formation, solutions to control it and some ways in which you can maintain good health.
There are two forms of cholesterol:
- LDL (low density lipoprotein), which is a bad form of cholesterol, and,
- HDL (high density lipoprotein), the good quality cholesterol.
High levels of LDL result in building up of plaque on artery walls, leading to narrowing of the arteries and affecting their flexibility. This can increase your risk of cardiac problems. HDL on the contrary, helps to protect yourself against the dangers of heart diseases by taking LDL from the blood and guarding it from building up on artery walls.
Here are some ways in which you can keep your cholesterol levels in check:
- Know your cholesterol levels
Go for a complete cholesterol test. It will show your cholesterol levels, which will help you decide the steps to be taken in maintaining it.
- Regulate your diet, eat healthy
Reduce intake of foods that contain cholesterol, saturated fats and trans-fats, such as sugar, alcohol, foods loaded with carbohydrates, etc. These lead to LDL. Instead, increase intake of good cholesterol foods such as beans, legumes, high-fiber fruits, olive oil, fatty fish, soy and nuts. When purchasing your groceries, choose the right food products. Replace regular butter with Nutralite, which is free from hydrogenated fats, rich in omega 3 and low in cholesterol – definitely a healthier alternative.
- Other good cholesterol food habits
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential and helpful in promoting the levels of HDL. So, make sure you consume foods such as salmon, mackerel, herring, etc., as they are good sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Using Nutralite table spread is an easy way of adding omega 3 to your diet on a regular basis. You could spread it on breads, rotis or just add a dollop while cooking food.
- Keep your weight in check
Too much weight can lead to increased cholesterol levels. Consult your doctor, conduct the necessary tests and figure out if you are overweight.
- Exercise everyday
Being active is a great way to ensure that your cholesterol levels are under control. Include a 30 to 45 minute exercise routine in your day. Brisk walking, jogging or swimming are great activities to include in your daily routine.
Now that you know all the basics about cholesterol – how it is formed, types and essential steps towards maintaining/ controlling it – living a healthier life should be your new heathy resolution.