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As per the 28-state study by the Indian Council of Medical Research or ICMR, 79% of Indians were found to have high lipid levels and 72% of Indians had low levels of HDL or good cholesterol.

Increased cases of young people succumbing to heart attacks are linked to high cholesterol. Indian diet is traditionally high on carbohydrates and fat, spiking the triglycerides levels of the consumers. Other than the rich diet, the factors such as genetic risk and lack of regular physical activity have also made cholesterol problems common.

It is imperative to be wary and maintain an optimal level of cholesterol to lead a happy and healthy life.

Signs and symptoms of high cholesterol

The first thing is to watch out for the signs and symptoms of high cholesterol. However, there are no symptoms of high cholesterol, unless in the cases of emergency events like a heart attack or stroke.

  • The best way to determine the cholesterol levels in the body is to go for a blood test. The cholesterol normal range is less than 200 mg/dl.
  • High cholesterol is also prevalent in people who have the conditions like high blood pressure, are overweight, people who smoke, and genetic conditions.
  • Some people experience xanthoma, which is a yellow patch above the skin or a lump underneath the skin.

You must have your cholesterol checked frequently if you have a family history.

What reduces cholesterol quickly?

A healthy diet, daily exercise, and medication can help reduce high cholesterol. Here we explain everything in detail.

Foods to eat and foods to avoid

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) experts recommend eating little dietary cholesterol such as meat and fat-rich dairy.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, mackerel, walnuts, and flax seeds have heart-healthy benefits.
  • Some of the cholesterol-reducing foods are oats, beans, sprouts, apples, barley, whole grains, eggplant, soy, ladyfinger, pears. These foods contain Soluble fiber that reduces the absorption of cholesterol into your blood.
  • Studies have inferred that whey protein lowers total cholesterol and controls blood pressure too.
  • Studies have been shown that nutrition from plant-based whole foods has been found successful in reducing blood cholesterol and plaque buildup. Eat plant foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds such as chickpeas, lentils, peas, quinoa, almond, etc.
  • The foods to avoid are red meats, cheese and butter, vegetable oils, sugar, alcohol, and unhealthy packaged foods. Reduce the intake of food rich in trans-fat and saturated fat as much as you can.

Physical activity

It is a no-brainer that 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity is essential for maintaining the right cholesterol levels.

  • Start the physical activity with short intervals several times a day.
  • Consider 30 minutes of a brisk walk in the morning or evening
  • The American Heart Association or AHA recommend the people to exercise for at least 150 minutes per week to lower LDL or bad cholesterol.
  • Cycle to work
  • Start playing a sport such as a tennis, badminton, cricket, hockey, etc.

Ensure to have a word with your healthcare provider to take care of the medical conditions you may have.

Medication

If these lifestyle changes are not enough to lower your cholesterol levels, then consult your doctor for medication. The doctor will most likely prescribe cholesterol medicine in Capsules to help lower your cholesterol, while you can continue your efforts for creating a healthy lifestyle. Lifestyle changes can keep your medication dose also low.

Lose weight

The people who are overweight are at higher risk of having increased triglycerides and heart disease. Losing your weight will be a step towards raising your HDL and lowering your bad cholesterol.As per National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reports,the patients who lost 5 to 10 % weight showed reduction in triglycerides and total cholesterol.

Quit Smoking

Along with many detrimental effects of tobacco, one of the most harmful impacts is that it lowers the level of good cholesterol in the body.

Stay Light Avoid Stress

If you explore the causes of several diseases, you will always find one name common in all – Stress! It is the time to ditch the stress and lead a relaxed and fit life. The ways to beat stress are meditation, yoga, pursuing your interest, deep breathing, and sound sleep.

One of the chief reasons to treat high cholesterol is to prevent coronary heart disease. A combination of the above preventive and treatment methods such as adding physical activity, keeping away from smoking and alcohol, keeping a watch on your weight, and eating healthy can quickly reduce the total cholesterol and risk of heart disease.

By GoSocial Healthcare (Unit of Globus Consulting)

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