Health

Ask This When Starting a Low Cholesterol Diet & Exploring Treatment

High cholesterol levels can make us susceptible to a number of unfortunate health problems. The 3 biggest risks of high cholesterol include drastically increasing your risk of coronary artery disease (which results in angina, otherwise known as chest pain), heart attack, and stroke. Cholesterol is directly linked to diet. Getting your cholesterol checked regularly (at least every five years) is important, but following a heart-healthy diet and exercise regimen is still the best way to offset potential cholesterol problems before they start. The older you get, the more you need to worry about the health problems most commonly associated with having high cholesterol levels. Knowing which questions to ask your doctor, dietitian and others can help you achieve the cholesterol levels you need to be considered healthy for your age group. One way to lower your high cholesterol is through diet and exercise. These 6 foods have been proven to help lower bad cholesterol: oats, fish, beans, nuts, garlic and artichokes. Another major way to lower high cholesterol, especially for those who feel that their high cholesterol needs more medical attention as its become harder to control, they should know that there has been some groundbreaking cholesterol research showing great promise for successful treatment. The top 3 breakthrough cholesterol treatments include PCSK9 inhibitors, statins, and LDL lowering. Consult your doctor to learn more about these treatments and see if one of them is right for you! Read below for more information on ways to lower your cholesterol levels.

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What is my healthy cholesterol level?
Your ideal cholesterol level varies based on your age, sex, weight, overall health and other factors. Talk to your doctor to figure out what your cholesterol level should be. This gives you something to shoot for as you attempt to lower your cholesterol.
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Can I have a menu with nutrition information on it?
Everyone loves eating out at restaurants, but even nice restaurants are often guilty of serving too large of portions and using unhealthy ingredients. If you are dieting to lower your cholesterol, ask your server or host to see a menu that contains nutrition information. This lets you see the saturated and trans fat levels of whatever you're going to order.
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What kinds of exercise can I safely do?
Dieting is the best way to lower cholesterol levels, but incorporating regular exercise into your life is a close second. If you don't exercise much, then talk to a fitness professional before starting up a new workout routine. People with certain health problems should refrain from certain types of exercises. In addition, people who are not used to exercising can benefit from getting some instruction to avoid injuries from poor technique or overtraining.
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Am I getting enough unsaturated fat?
Not all fats are bad for low-cholesterol diets. Nuts and fatty fish (such as salmon) contain important unsaturated fats that can help decrease LDL cholesterol in the body. LDL is regarded as the "bad cholesterol" that you're trying to reduce.
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Have I removed trans fats from my diet?
Recent studies have shown that trans fats contribute greatly to high cholesterol and elevated risks of heart disease. Trans fats are often found in fast food and processed food, and they're also found in various products that need to be kept crispy such as cookies, cereal or chips. Food manufacturers and restaurants are now required by law to list any trans fats on their nutrition labels and menus. Foods that contain trans fats should be avoided at all costs.
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Should I still eat fast food?
Some people who are trying to lower their cholesterol levels can still get away with some fatty foods in moderation. However, others need to be more strict about their diets. Talk to your doctor to find out how much wiggle room you have.
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Am I eating too much saturated fat?
Saturated fats are common in dairy products and red meat, which should be eaten only in moderation, if at all. Substitute with lean meats, like chicken or pork, and switch to low-fat dairy products instead of full-fat versions. You can also check the nutrition labels of food products you're using to learn whether you should substitute any diet staples with healthier alternatives.
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What is my cholesterol level?
Your doctor can check your cholesterol level with a simple blood test. Anyone who is over the age of 20 should consider getting a cholesterol test at least once every five years. This becomes more important as people grow older.
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How can I modify my diet to lower my cholesterol?
A diet expert can help you take a closer look at your diet and recommend specific changes that can help you lower your cholesterol levels. Knowing the guidelines of healthy dieting is good, but getting more personalized feedback is always helpful for people who are dieting.

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