How to Prevent Stroke and Heart Attack by Lowering Your Cholesterol Level
Getting a stroke or a heart attack is no joke. You may never really feel how serious it is until a family member or you yourself experience it. But these serious life threatening illnesses can be avoided. Along with altering your diet, there are other steps you can take to lower your cholesterol level: lose extra weight, exercise regularly, and reduce your other heart disease risks. See your doctor to have your cholesterol level periodically rechecked, so you can be sure you’re maintaining a desirable cholesterol level.
Watch your weight
If you weigh more than what your ideal weight should be, your body tends to store more fat and cholesterol. This may cause your blood cholesterol level to rise. Since fat has many more calories (9 per gram) than protein (4 per gram) and starches (4 per gram), the quickest way to lose weight is to reduce the amount of fat in you diet.
A regular exercise program can help raise your HDL (good) cholesterol level and can also help you lose weight. Exercise aerobically (such as walking, jogging, or swimming) for at least half an hour four times a week the least. Before you begin any exercise program, check with your doctor first.
Reduce other heart risks
High cholesterol is only one of the main risks factors of heart disease. You have no control over factors such as your family’s history of heart attacks. But you can control other risks.
- Stop smoking.Smoking lowers your HDL (good) cholesterol and increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, and cancer.
- Control high blood pressure through diet, weight loss, medication, (if prescribed), and regular monitoring.
- Reduce stress in your life. Give yourself some form of relaxation. Ask your doctor for information about stress management tips.
Follow up with your doctor.
Visit your family doctor periodically to be sure that your cholesterol level and your other modifiable risks for heart disease are under control.
Recheck your cholesterol level.
Whatever your cholesterol level is now, you should have it periodically rechecked. If your cholesterol level is “desirable,” have your cholesterol level checked every five years. If your cholesterol level is “borderline high” and “high,” after you begin your diet, your doctor may ask you to have frequent cholesterol tests. After your cholesterol level has been lowered to a desirable level, you should have it rechecked every year.
Take your medication if prescribed.
If your cholesterol level does not go down after three to six months of diet and weight loss, your doctor may prescribe cholesterol-lowering medication. Follow your doctor’s instructions. Your doctor will also ask you to continue with your guide for low-cholesterol living which helps the medication work better.
Read also on How to Live Healthier With A Low-Cholesterol Diet