By Dr. Sergio Lopez Salamanca
In my previous article I discussed the importance of maintaining normal levels of cholesterol in our bodies, especially levels of low-density lipoprotein, and ensuring that levels of high-density lipoprotein, commonly known as good cholesterol, are high enough to maximize its beneficial effect. Although there are very effective medications to control cholesterol levels they do carry a risk, so they should always be prescribed and their use monitored by a doctor, who will likely advise supplementary treatment measures focused on changing habits related to physical activity and food. Here I will mention some actions that can help correct cholesterol levels.
Change your eating habits, especially avoiding foods containing excess animal fat, and try to eat three meals a day, along with two snacks in between. Choose foods low in animal fat and refined sugars, and include a sufficient supply of vegetables. Do not forget that breakfast is an important meal that should not be omitted. Include fish in your diet. Fish has been shown to help protect the cardiovascular system.
Exercise to the extent you are able. Your doctor can help you understand the type and intensity of exercise that is best for you. It is generally recommended that a 40- to 50-minute walk, at least three times a week, will help lower your blood cholesterol.
Enjoy a glass of wine with your meal. Wine contains substances that promote the elevation of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), especially red wine. Excess alcohol consumption, however, reverses the beneficial effect and promotes, among other damage, raising blood cholesterol.
If you like coffee, add half a teaspoon of cinnamon to your coffee maker or eat that half-teaspoon of cinnamon mixed with a little honey every day. A relationship has been found between consumption of cinnamon and elevation of good cholesterol levels.
Some other habits that have been associated with lower blood cholesterol include drinking cranberry juice and low-fat milk and eating grapefruit , apples, grapes, blackberries and avocados and whole-wheat bread.
These are just some simple tips that may be useful to help control levels of blood cholesterol and keep your cardiovascular system in top shape.