Do you know that elevated cholesterolrangeis not just caused due to high-cholesterol diet alone? Yes, the fact is that it is a mixture of different factors that can affect your cholesterol levels. When talking about the 10 risk factors of high cholesterol, the factors can be classified under two main categories and they are controllable factors and uncontrollable factors. The former is something that you cannot control, while the latter can be controlled:
Controllable risk factors:
Factors that can be controlled are something related to your lifestyle. The choice of foods you make and the level of exercises you do on a daily basis. These are areas of your life that you can take control of the improving cholesterol range and can improve your overall health:
1. Diet: Since your body itself makes 80% of cholesterol, 20% is made for the foods that you consume. If your diet is high in foods that can bring a hike to the cholesterol levels like transfat, saturated fat and cholesterol foods and those that are low in heart-healthy nature, your diet is probably contributing towards increasing your cholesterol levels.
2. Physical activity: If you are inactive, you will automatically increase the risk factor of getting cholesterol. When you exercise regularly, you can naturally bring down LDL levels and it will also increase your HDL levels, which are bad and good cholesterol levels respectively. You can get these benefits just with some simple exercises.
3. Weight: Do you know that if you are overweight, the risk of cholesterol automatically increases. The reason is that the extra calories that you consume will be stored as triglycerides by your body. When the level of triglycerides increases in your blood, they tend to lower the good cholesterol range in a natural manner. Losing just 10% of body weight, will help with improving your cholesterol levels.
4. Smoking: Smoking can have an ill-effect on the good cholesterol levels in your body. When you stop smoking, you can bring down the existing damage level to the body and can also reduce the risk of high cholesterol.
5. Large waist circumference: Your risk of cholesterol will increase, if you are a man with a waist circumference of a minimum of 40 inches or a lady with a waist circumference of a minimum of 35 inches.
Uncontrollable risk factors:
The following five factors are out of your control. Even though, you cannot do anything to change them, it is important that you should understand whether you come under any of these higher-risk categories:
1. Age: Your risk of getting high cholesterol will naturally increase with age. Reports state that men over 45 years and women over 55 years are at higher risk of getting this problem.
2. Gender: Comparatively, men are at higher risk to high cholesterol range as compared to women.
3. Family history: Not just your eye color, but many other health issues inclusive of high cholesterol range are decided by your family history. If you have a family history of this problem, you are at high risk of getting it.
4. Race: Like your family history, your race will also determine the risk of your elevated bad cholesterol levels.
5. Women after menopause: After menopause period, women are at higher risk of developing bad cholesterol range due to hormonal changes and age.
Apart from these factors, alcohol consumption, high blood pressure and high blood glucose can also increase the risk of high cholesterol, thereby making the task of finding answer to the question how to reduce cholesterol important.
How to control it?
If you fall under any of the risk factors mentioned above, you are recommended to take the following steps to control it:
- Eat foods that are healthy to heart. Here are some tips to follow under this category:
o Choose healthy fats
o Eliminate trans fats from your diet
o Consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids
o Increase soluble fiber intake
o Include whey protein in your diet
- Exercise on most days of the week and indulge in more physical activities.
- Quit smoking.
- Lose weight.
- Reduce alcohol consumption.
The above-mentioned tips can provide answer to both questions being ‘how to control cholesterol’ as well, besides reducing the risk.