Reducing Cholesterol With Diet and Exercise

Having high blood cholesterol levels is a leading risk factor a great variety of potentially deadly diseases including coronary artery disease, heart disease, blood clots, and strokes. If you make an appointment with your doctor to get your cholesterol tested and it comes back high the first recommendation he or she will make is a cholesterol reducing program built around diet and exercise.

Your diet is the key to lowering your levels back into the normal but probably not in the way you think. The way in which your food is prepared can have just as big an impact on cholesterol levels as the food itself. It used to be thought that avoiding foods high in cholesterol such as egg yolks was the way to control it. In fact this limited diets to the point that most people had a hard time following one because all food from animal sources has cholesterol in it.

Fortunately research has shown that this line of thinking is not necessarily true. It has been found that cholesterol found in food does not necessarily translate into higher levels in the blood stream. What the research did find is that the largest contributors to high blood levels of cholesterol are saturated fat and trans fat. If you can significantly cut these types of fat from your diet you can make considerable gains.

This is where how you prepare your food becomes important. Many times it what you are cooking your food in that causes the problems. Cooking and frying your food in vegetable oils, butter, or margarines that have high saturated and trans fat content will raise your cholesterol levels more easily then eating foods that contain it.

Label reading when grocery shopping will also be a skill you will need to learn to help combat high cholesterol. Look for lean cuts of meat that can be broiled or baked. Remember frying up that chicken or fish in some batter and hot oil is the wrong thing to do. You will also need to make the switch to low fat dairy products. This includes drinking 1% or skim milk. Dairy products do have a lot of important vitamins and mineral it them so do not completely cut them from your diet.

An exercise program of some sort will also help keep those cholesterol levels under control. You do not have to join a gym or hire a personal trainer, just going for a walk 4 or 5 times a week is a good start. There are other health benefits to undertaking an exercise program as well.

Exercise also helps burn extra body fat, which it uses for energy. But fat needs to be converted into a usable form of energy that the body can use. The liver increases it output of the good HDL cholesterol which circulates through the blood stream picking up the bad LDL cholesterol which is then converted into the energy your body needs during exercise.

The fight against high cholesterol starts with a sensible diet and exercise plan. In fact reducing cholesterol may be as simple as making just a few minor lifestyle changes centered around these two areas.