Chances are if you’re concerned about your health, you’re familiar with the term ‘cholesterol.’ You know that having too much low-density lipoprotein cholesterol can cause serious heart-related health issues, like high blood pressure (hypertension), heart attacks, or strokes. It can also put you at risk for other dangerous illnesses, such as diabetes. However, just avoiding LDL cholesterol may not be enough to make the very most of your health. If you find yourself having trouble getting your cholesterol in order, or you just want to live a happier, healthier life, pay attention to these 11 cholesterol dos and don’t’s.
Don’t – Ignore Sugar and Alcohol Intake
When you are watching your health, determining which foods to avoid may seem pretty simple at first. Anything obviously fatty or salty should go. However, even if you cut out fat, sugary foods, and alcohol, may be flying under the radar. These unhealthy foods can also contribute to higher levels of LDL cholesterol. This is because any excess calories that your body acquires from sugars and alcohol is eventually turned into cholesterol and triglycerides. To cut down your cholesterol, limit your sugar(carbohydrates) intake by going light on pasta, sugary drinks, and alcohol, and swap your white bread for whole grain.
Do – Focus on the Entire Picture
It’s fairly common knowledge that cholesterol, particularly LDL cholesterol, is bad for the body. However, it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. While you do ideally want to keep your LDL below 100 mg/dL this is only part of a much larger picture. You should also be aware of your triglyceride levels because these will also play a role in your health. Also, you will want to pay attention to your High-density Lipoprotein levels. HDL is the ‘good’ kind of cholesterol, the kind you want to get more of. Balance total cholesterol by lowering your LDL and boosting your HDL.