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High cholesterol: Know how lifestyle modifications help to reduce high triglyceride levels

Understanding and managing cholesterol through lifestyle and dietary changes is a must for avoiding health risks and promoting cardiovascular health.

High cholesterol Know how lifestyle modifications help to reduce high triglyceride levels RBA
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First Published Jun 19, 2024, 7:30 AM IST

Cholesterol, a type of fat, is found in every cell of the body and plays a significant role in various bodily functions, including hormone production and cell membrane structure. However, high cholesterol levels, particularly low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglycerides, harm the body. High cholesterol levels are an identified high-risk factor for cardiac and cerebrovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes.

Studies have shown that a decrease in about 10 units (10mg/dL) of cholesterol reduces the risk of cardiac and cerebrovascular diseases by 12%. Lowering harmful cholesterol levels (LDL and triglycerides) and increasing good cholesterol levels (HDL) have long-term benefits in managing these diseases.

High cholesterol Know how lifestyle modifications help to reduce high triglyceride levels RBA

Understanding and managing cholesterol through lifestyle and dietary changes is essential for reducing health risks and promoting cardiovascular health.

Adopting a healthy diet is the key player in reducing LDL and triglycerides. Ideally, fats should constitute around 30% of the daily dietary intake. It is important to avoid saturated fats and trans-fats in your daily diet and replace them with mono and polyunsaturated fats. Mono and polyunsaturated fats are good for health as they have better cholesterol values. The sources of saturated fats include animal fats, butter, clarified butter (ghee), ghee, and coconut. These facts are known to cause an increased risk of cardiac and cerebrovascular diseases.

Mono-saturated fats include fruits such as avocado, nuts, and olive oil. Polyunsaturated fats are found in groundnuts, sunflowers, flax seeds, soybeans, etc. Additionally, increasing the number of dietary fibers in the daily diet also helps lower cholesterol levels. Dietary fibres are known to decrease LDL and Triglyceride levels and Increase the good cholesterol HDL levels. Fibre-rich sources include unpolished rice, grains that are not processed, legumes, beans, green leaves, and fruits like avocados.

High cholesterol Know how lifestyle modifications help to reduce high triglyceride levels RBA

Physical activity and exercise are the next important lifestyle factors that help manage cholesterol and triglycerides. For lowering cholesterol levels, indulging in about 45 minutes of physical activity and moderate to high-intensity exercises is recommended. Weight management and maintaining a BMI of 25 or less are highly recommended for cholesterol management.

Take home message: Proactive cholesterol management is a pivotal step toward a healthier life. Managing cholesterol levels through lifestyle modifications, including a heart-healthy diet and regular physical activity, is a proven strategy for reducing the risk of cardiac and cerebrovascular diseases.

-Dr. Pradeep Kumar D, Senior Consultant – Cardiology, Manipal Hospital Yeshwanthpur

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