HDL vs. LDL
Cholesterol is a scary word. Studies have shown that it can cause heart problems, and we should avoid it. While that is true, it mostly pertains to bad cholesterol. Our body carries two types of cholesterol:
- LDL (bad) cholesterol – LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is the majority of cholesterol found in the body. Consuming high amounts of LDL can cause plaque to build-up in the arteries. Too much LDL cholesterol puts you at risk for heart disease.
- HDL (good) cholesterol – HDL (high-density lipoprotein) helps flush cholesterol out of your body via the liver, eliminating the likelihood of plaque building up in the arteries. Consuming HDL can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Why Do We Need Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is crucial for a healthy digestive system. Our liver naturally produces cholesterol, but it can also come from different food sources. Think of HDL as a cargo ship that transports cholesterol back to the liver.
There are many uses for cholesterol, like building cell membranes, producing hormones, and vitamin D. Because you can only get cholesterol from animal products, you won’t find it in plant-based foods. Finding the right balance of cholesterol can be challenging, though. Luckily we have done all the legwork to find the best sources of healthy cholesterol.
Which Foods Lower LDL Levels?
Lowering LDL in the body is essential for overall health. Here are a few foods you should add to your diet to help increase your good cholesterol and lower LDL:
- Fish – Fatty fish like tuna is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. These fish can help lower your LDL levels.
- Avocado – This delicious meaty fruit is an all-time favorite for most athletes. That’s because it’s packed with nutrients and healthy fats. Those healthy fats reduce your LDL, which will reduce the risk of heart disease. You can slice an avocado and have it on toast in the morning, use them in salads, or just cut one open and eat it.
- Red Wine – Not only is a glass wine a great companion after a long day, but it’s also good for your heart. Having a glass has been known to help increase HDL. Of course, you should only drink in moderation. Too much alcohol can damage your liver and heart and cause serious health issues.
- Olive Oil – Cooking with olive oil is delicious and healthy. The fats found in olive oil can help reduce LDL levels. Be sure not to add too much oil to your dish. Olive oil is high in calories and is easy to overuse.
Testing Cholesterol Levels
Routinely testing your cholesterol levels is necessary for optimal health. Early detection of high LDL levels can reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Most doctors recommend having your cholesterol levels tested at least once every five years. The older you are, the more frequently you should be examined.
Cholesterol tests are quick and easy. A medical specialist takes a blood sample from your vein using a needle. Your blood is then analyzed to determine whether or not you have a healthy level of cholesterol.
A healthy cholesterol level is less than 200 mg/dL. Anything higher than 240 mg/dL is considered high, and you need to take measures to lower it. Luckily, it is possible to lower your cholesterol levels even after a lifetime of bad eating.
Reducing LDL starts with changing your eating habits. By making the right food choices, we can lower cholesterol levels and improve our overall health—and that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the foods you love. You’ll be surprised by the healthy and delicious meal choices available.
Today, we have access to too many processed foods that destroy our health. To make sure you’re reducing the risk of heart disease, start by eliminating processed foods from your diet. To increase HDL levels, try consuming more healthy fats found in fish, seeds, and nuts.
Regular exercise is another solution to lowering your cholesterol levels. It’s recommended that you get at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise each day. Any exercise, like walking, swimming, jogging, or weight training, will do. If you’re new to exercise, start slowly, and gradually increase the intensity over time to avoid injury.
How We Can Help
Remember that it’s all about taking small steps. If you try to change your entire lifestyle in one day, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Our structured cholesterol management services will guide you every step of the way toward a healthier, happier lifestyle.
We’ve created a results-focused program that’s easy to follow. After testing your cholesterol levels, our wellness professionals can design a precise plan of action for you that will lower your cholesterol but and maintain it at a healthy level. We have a variety of different options available for all age levels and body types. Call today at (844) 899-4846 or ask Skylar, the Body Refined bot, by clicking the message bubble to the bottom right corner of your screen to schedule a consultation.