Why is Lowering Your Cholesterol Level so Difficult?
Why is lowering your cholesterol level so difficult? Eating a healthy diet and exercising are key to good heart health and help keep cholesterol levels in a healthy range. However, many people still have problems lowering their cholesterol levels. Let’s take a look at some reasons why you may not be meeting your cholesterol goals.
The first thing people with high cholesterol levels cut out from their diets is bad fat. Bad fats are considered trans fats and saturated fats which come from animal products and processed foods. Most people do not realize that the calories from sugar and alcohol also turn into cholesterol and triglycerides which contribute to unhealthy cholesterol levels in your blood. Cutting out all sugar, alcohol, sugary drinks as well as bread and pasta will be very helpful to lower cholesterol levels.
It is very important to watch your LDL, HDL, total cholesterol and triglycerides. Do not get overly focused on the LDL or “bad” cholesterol. The ideal LDL should be below 100 mg per deciliter.
Another roadblock to lowering your cholesterol level is that the majority of people do not take their prescribed medication on a regular basis. Due to many side effects from statin drugs, half of the people who start taking medication stop within the first year. The problem is when you don’t follow the medication prescription, you will not get the heart health benefits. If you are having unpleasant side effects, you should speak with your physician.
Many patients think that because they take statins, they can eat whatever foods they like. This is not the case. You need to follow a healthy diet and avoid sugar, bad fats and opt for more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Some people also decide to cut all fats from their diets. While it is important to eliminate fats from processed foods and limit animal products, you still need to eat heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in olive oil, nuts, and salmon. You need to watch your calories!
High cholesterol has no symptoms so if you do not get tested, chances are you don’t even know you have high cholesterol levels. The American Heart Association recommends cholesterol testing every 4 years starting at the age of 20 or more frequently if you are at risk.
You must exercise as well as eat a healthy diet to be successful with lowering your cholesterol level. Just watching your diet is not enough! Moderate exercise 5 days per week for 30 minutes is recommended!
Do not take your statin medication with a glass of grapefruit juice as it can interfere with your cholesterol medication. If you love grapefruit juice, drink it in the morning and take your statin before bedtime. The liver produces the most cholesterol at night so this makes good sense.
Why is lowering your cholesterol level so difficult? There are many reasons why people have problems staying on track from eating too much sugar, drinking too much alcohol and not taking cholesterol-lowering medication as prescribed. These tips can help you reach your goals!