Managing Cholesterol at Home

Once you’ve come to terms with the fact that you’re among the 17 percent of Americans over the age 20 whose total cholesterol has been clocked at or above 240 milligrams per deciliter, you need to make a plan as to how you’re going to reverse this number and put a stop to the heart disease that is now encroaching upon your arteries with clogging plaque.

The good news is that studies have shown that a 1 percent reduction in total cholesterol can result in a 2 to 3 percent decrease in the likelihood of heart disease. One of the prime components of your cholesterol-lowering blueprint should be making your home a place that promotes the reduction of triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol, and the accrual of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or good cholesterol. These following tips will help you strike a cholesterol balance on the home front:

Go vegetarian.

Well, you don’t have to completely swear off meat, but if you pull back considerably on the animal products, you’ll see a corresponding reduction in your triglyceride and LDL levels. Meat and diary products provide the only outside source of cholesterol, and they also contain a palpable amount of saturated fat, too much of which can cause your overall cholesterol level to spike.

Invest in aerobic and strength-training equipment.

Exercise has been shown to raise HDL and lower LDL and triglycerides by as much as 40 percent. And research has determined that strength-training and aerobic activity are particularly effective in keeping your cholesterol levels in check. Engaging in moderately strenuous activity at least 30 minutes every day is especially important if you’re overweight, since reaching and maintaining the right body mass index will keep your cholesterol level where it needs to be.

Make your home smoke-free.

This should go without saying, but as a not-so-gentle reminder: Cigarettes wreak havoc on the blood vessels and not just those belonging to smokers. A study published last year in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that a mere 30 minutes in a smoky room was enough to cause significant damage to the blood vessels of healthy young adults.

Stock up on fiber-rich snacks. Nature’s Draino is not only good for your digestive track, it also lowers your cholesterol by facilitating the transportation of any excess out of the body. The daily recommended amount of 25 grams a day can be derived from soluble fiber sources such as oat bran, oatmeal, strawberries, beans, peas, apples, and citrus fruit and insoluble fiber food like whole wheat bread and cereal, cabbage, carrots, beets, and cauliflower. Though insoluble fiber hasn’t been linked to a decrease in bad cholesterol, the American Heart Association recommends that you include both in your diet.