By

Dr. Alex Leon

| 02/06/2020

How To Keep Your Cholesterol In Check, Heart Health Month

How To Keep Your Cholesterol In Check, Heart Health Month

Throughout the day, your heart beats approximately 108,000 times per day. The heart pumps oxygen and nutrients to the cells in your body via the blood. When you do not protect your heart, you are at risk of a heart attack or stroke. We have collected the top tips to help improve your heart health.

 Know Your Numbers

The two most important numbers to understand when it comes to heart health is your blood pressure reading and your cholesterol levels. If either of these is too high, it can increase the risk of heart disease. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, occurs when the blood inside your arteries and veins press too forceful against the walls of your blood vessels. High blood pressure is linked to heart disease, as well as several health issues. Blood pressure readings consist of a top and a bottom number. The top number on a blood pressure reading shows the pressure inside your arteries when your heart contracts. Conversely, the bottom number indicates the pressure inside your arteries when your heart relaxes.

 If you're like most people, you have heard of cholesterol and know that it is vital to protect your cholesterol health, but you may not know exactly what cholesterol is and what it does. In addition to cholesterol from the foods you eat, your body creates cholesterol.

There are two different types of cholesterol in the body. High density lipoproteins are known as good cholesterol, while low density lipoproteins are known as bad cholesterol. The body uses high density lipoproteins to create hormones and vitamin D, aid in digestion, and help protect against heart disease. Conversely, low density lipoproteins can cause plaque to build up in your arteries, increasing the risk of developing heart disease.

 High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure occurs when the force of your blood increases inside your arteries. If elevated blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is not treated, damage can happen to your arteries, kidneys, heart, and other organs in your body. This damage can lead to kidney failure, stroke, heart attacks, memory loss, chest pain, erectile dysfunction, respiratory issues, circulation problems, and a host of other health issues.

 How to Lower Blood Pressure Readings

There are quite a few lifestyle modifications you can make to reduce your blood pressure and protect your heart health. Many of these modifications help lower cholesterol levels too. Let’s take a look at each modification you can make to your lifestyle to improve your heart health.

  • Healthy Diet – Decrease sodium consumption to less than 1500 mg, limit sugar, and fats.
  • Exercise – Get a minimum of thirty minutes of brisk exercise each day to help decrease blood pressure readings.
  • Weight Loss – Losing as little as ten percent of your body weight can significantly improve blood pressure readings.
  • Avoid Tobacco – Tobacco usage and second hand smoke can increase blood pressure.
  • Alcohol – Do not drink more than one to two servings of alcoholic beverages daily.

 How to Lower Cholesterol Levels

There are various things you could do to improve your overall heart health. Making healthy lifestyle changes can lower your cholesterol levels and improve heart health. Even if you don't suffer from high cholesterol, making these changes can reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

  • Diet

You can improve your heart health with a healthy diet plan. Eating a heart healthy diet includes including a plethora of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. These high fiber foods help to remove all excess bad cholesterol from the body. When choosing meats and dairy products, opt for low fat options. Finally, limit the amount of fatty foods and red meat you consume. In addition to this, avoid foods and drinks high in sugar. Following a cholesterol reducing diet plan can also aid in weight loss. 

  • Exercise

Exercise is good for the heart. When you perform aerobic exercises, your heart pumps faster and harder, which gives it a workout. In addition to this, exercise increases your respiration rate, which provides the heart with more oxygen. To safeguard your heart and prevent heart disease, get at least thirty minutes of exercise daily. 

  • Tobacco Products

Cigarettes and secondhand smoke can increase the risk of heart disease. If you smoke, stop smoking. If you do not smoke, avoid being around others who smoke. 

Following these recommendations to decrease your blood pressure and cholesterol level helps improve your heart health. In addition to these tips listed above, ensuring you get enough omega fatty three acids through diet and supplementation can help improve cholesterol levels, decrease blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart disease. Foods high in omega three fatty acids include salmon, trout, and tuna.

Taking care of your heart through healthy lifestyle modification lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels. When you have a healthy heart, your risk of having a stroke or heart attack or developing cardiovascular disease is reduced. At Rose Wellness Center, we can help you use a more natural approach to heart health. We specialize in Functional Medicine, taking a holistic approach to finding the root cause of your health concerns.

Join me for my FREE Webinar on Wednesday, February 12th at 7pm to learn more. Check out our events page for Registration information.

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