Importance of High cholesterol treatment
Hypercholesterolemia, or a high cholesterol level, is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke. Fortunately, there is a wide range of viable and easily accessible therapeutic options.
Formerly, total cholesterol was the primary worry, but today, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) is the primary concern of the guidelines. An increased risk of death, heart attack, stroke, and the need for angioplasty or coronary bypass surgery is associated with elevated levels of LDL cholesterol. Over the past 50 years, studies have shown that lowering LDL cholesterol dramatically reduces the occurrence of the aforementioned cardiac events.
Cholesterol levels, especially poor LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, are best reduced through a combination of weight loss (through diet and exercise) and medication. Decreases in blood pressure, cholesterol, and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD)—which includes heart disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease—are directly proportional to the amount of weight you have lost (peripheral vascular disease). Your risk of a heart attack or stroke will go down as a result of this. Even if you already have cardiovascular disease (CVD), you can take steps to reduce your risk.
Following these guidelines can help you keep your blood cholesterol where it should be:
Learn the numbers. Cholesterol levels should be examined at least once every five years in persons over the age of 20. If your numbers start to rise, you and your doctor will be able to take preventative action sooner rather than later.
Eat a healthy, nutrient-rich diet. Rising blood cholesterol levels have been linked to dietary sources of saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. Water-soluble fiber, polyunsaturated fats like those found in fish and canola oil, and monounsaturated fats like those found in olive oil and almonds are all examples of foods that are believed to help keep cholesterol levels in balance (such as oats, beans, and lentils).
Only one third of those who have been diagnosed with high LDL cholesterol have it under control. The primary goal of treatment is to lower or bring under control your LDL level to lessen the possibility that you may experience a heart attack or develop cardiovascular disease in the future based on your cholesterol levels and other risk factors, such as a family history of cardiovascular disease.
Any person who has been given a diagnosis of high cholesterol should consider making some lifestyle changes. The following are examples:
- Changes to the diet. Implementing a heart-healthy diet is the first step in treatment. It tastes great, keeps you full for longer, and significantly reduces your risk of heart disease and cholesterol.
- One of the most crucial parts of the Mediterranean diet is cutting back on unhealthy fats like saturated and trans fats. Animal products, butter, and both whole and 2% milk include saturated fats, as do tropical oils like coconut and palm (found in fried foods and baked goods). Incorporate more polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats into your diet (found in fish, avocadoes, olive oil, nuts, and canola and soybean oil). If you want to lower your triglyceride levels, you should cut back on your alcohol use because of the potential for this to happen.
- Exercise on a regular basis. Try to engage in some form of physical activity for at least half an hour on most days of the week. Thirty to forty minutes of moderate to severe physical activity, three to four times a week, is recommended by the American Heart Association.