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7 Ways to Lower Cholesterol

Innovative Express Care is a primary and urgent care in Lincoln Park, Chicago. They work with patients that have high cholesterol and give great advice on how to keep it down naturally. As you may know, there are two types of cholesterol: HDL, known as the good cholesterol and LDL, known as bad cholesterol. 

Eat foods high in HDL

HDL is known as good cholesterol. HDL carries bad cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver which removes the cholesterol from your body. Some foods rich in HDL are oats, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado, and fatty fish. 

Avoid foods low in LDL

LDL is known as the bad cholesterol. LDL raises your chances of having heart disease, heart attack, or stroke by clogging your arteries. It is also linked to diabetes and high blood pressure. Foods to avoid are pretty simple. That means no junk food (chips, candy, cookies, ice cream, soda), fried foods, and red meat or fatty pork.

Eat more fruits & veggies

Colorful fruits and vegetables should be added to your diet. Any natural produce with no cholesterol and low-fat is a great base for a healthy diet. 

Exercise 

Losing weight and maintaining a healthy BMI will help you lose LDL. If you exercise for 30 minutes each day, it raises your HDL which will overall lower your LDL. 

Quit Smoking

Smoking is linked to an increase in LDL, the bad cholesterol. The added chemicals and nicotine in cigarettes make your artery walls stiff, makes your blood vessels narrow,  makes your blood thicker, and increases your blood pressure and heart rate. When you quit smoking it raises your HDL, the good cholesterol.

Limit Alcohol Use

Using alcohol frequently raises LDL. It is even worse if you are mixing alcohol with sugary soda and juices. Yet, drinking wine in moderation has been linked to lowering LDL and raises HDL in the body.  

Manage Stress

Long term stress is very bad for your heart, especially your cholesterol levels. It can raise LDL both directly and indirectly. Stress  can raise cholesterol directly through hemoconcentration, cortisol, fatty acids, and it also causes other negative effects on the heart that can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, etc. It indirectly raises LDL, because a stressed person is more prone to eating unhealthier and not exercising. You should spend time each day to manage your stress levels. Take a yoga class, work on your breathing, find time to do what you love outside of work, spend time with friends, or even read your favorite book. Lastly, make sure you get a good night’s rest!

Schedule an appointment with our primary care doctors today.