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High Cholesterol? That Can't Be, I'm Not A Senior Citizen

Aug 18, 2007
I hate to break the news to you, but high cholesterol is not just a problem for our seniors, high cholesterol levels can affect any one at any age.

In your mind you might be recalling your parents or grandparents discussing their cholesterol levels or remember a television commercial with two elderly people worrying over their levels but even teens and those in their early 20's can have high cholesterol levels - they just don't know it.

So now that you know what your levels are what should you be doing about it?

The first thing that you should not do is panic, as stress can actually make your level higher, instead develop a plan to attack high cholesterol every day.

Here are a few easy tips to start getting your levels down to an acceptable level and on the road to a healthier you.

1. Cut down on the amount of sugar and white flour in your diet. Although everyone knows about how eating too much fatty foods will raise your cholesterol levels, not many know the correlation between sugar and cholesterol levels. They give up the greasy burgers and fries only to then rely on foods that are high in sugar and wonder why their levels have not gone down. If at all possible try to eliminate these simple carbs from your diet.

2. Increase the amount of fiber in your diet. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble and both play a role in your cholesterol levels. However, it's the soluble fiber that you will give the most bang for your diet. Try adding more oatmeal into your weekly meals. Oatmeal is an excellent source of soluble fiber and will help to whisk away the high cholesterol blues. Oatmeal will also help keep hunger away so you may in turn you may drop a few pounds. Try adding some oatmeal to your next smoothie, you'll be quite surprised as how good it tastes.

3. If you are over weight - lose it. Extra fat on your body not only puts stress on your heart and joints but does affect how your body utilizes cholesterol. Just losing 5 pounds can greatly lower your risk or a heart attack or stroke.

4. Get out and exercise. You have heard that exercising won't affect your LDL numbers (the bad cholesterol)but by adding some type of physical activity daily will help raise your HDL numbers (the good cholesterol) which are probably too low right now. It can be as simple as a brisk 30 minute walk, 5 days a week.

5. Enjoy breads that are labeled 100% Whole Grain. Don't settle for mixed grains or products that say "whole wheat". The label must say 100% whole wheat or 100% whole grains. The high soluble and insoluble fiber content will work at lowering your cholesterol levels. And an added plus is that like the oatmeal,whole grain breads will also quench your appetite so you won't be looking towards snacks right after you eat.

6.Switch from full fat dairy products to non fat. Ok, I can hear you now "I hate skim milk" it's like drinking watered down milk. So don't move directly from full fat to non fat, slowly go from full fat to 2%, then 1%, then non fat. If you do this over a three week period you won't notice the difference as much. After you start drinking skim milk you won't want to go back to full fat ever again, as you can feel the fat on your tongue.

7. Look for products in your grocery store that are labeled "heart healthy". These products can lower your cholesterol and taste good at the same time. You can find these in almost every section of the supermarket, even in the snacks aisle.

Above are just a few of the many ways in which you can naturally lower your cholesterol level. Pick a few and start lowering your numbers. Your body will love you for it and just maybe, you won't be talking about your high cholesterol levels when you get older.
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