7 Reasons To Seek Addiction Treatment
Substance use disorder, which is more colloquially known as drug addiction, is a serious mental...
Blood cholesterol is a substance that your body needs and produces naturally. Good cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein (HDL), is carried to your liver to be processed. Bad cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein (LDL), is the plaque or fatty cholesterol that builds up in your arteries.
When a person is told they have “high cholesterol,” this means they have a higher level of LDLs in their body than is considered normal. High cholesterol is a problem for millions of people and can lead to heart health issues, including heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, and more.
There is no magic pill or product that can drastically change your cholesterol. Actively lowering cholesterol happens when you make some significant life changes. Read on to learn 8 proven ways to lower your cholesterol if need be.
Most cholesterol-lowering journeys start in the kitchen. Foods like oats, nuts, whole grains, leafy green vegetables, beans, fish, lean meats, and fruits are helpful in lowering cholesterol. Cooking with olive oil or other vegetable oils, using new spices, and trying healthy recipes can help you find meal options that you like without the boredom of constant salads. Avoid processed foods, foods that are high in fat and sodium, sugary foods and drinks, and unhealthy takeout foods.
Exercise gets your blood moving and can help break up bad cholesterol. Exercise can also help you lose weight, which in turn helps to lower cholesterol. If you are new to exercise, start with walking for just 30 minutes once or twice a day. As you begin to move more, maybe you can try a light jog or lift some weights. If you would like, consider joining a local gym. Not only do gyms have the equipment, but they may also offer training and classes for group participation.
Cigarettes are one of the most common forms of tobacco, along with shredded tobacco (also known as chew). Though cigarette smoking has been on the decline for decades, many have picked up e-cigarettes, vaping, Juuling, and other forms of disposable e-cigarettes as a method of using tobacco. Tobacco use can increase your cholesterol and harm your blood vessels.
According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology, smoking is associated with decreased good cholesterol and increased bad cholesterol. Lowering or stopping your tobacco use is important for overall health and will help lower your cholesterol.
Alcohol is high in sugars, carbohydrates, and calories. Alcohol is a major contributor to weight gain and can cause issues with your cholesterol and blood pressure. Using alcohol and other substances can also contribute to unhealthy eating choices and other unhealthy habits. If you are addicted to alcohol or other substances, consult your doctor or contact a treatment facility to help you.
Stress has a significant impact on your cholesterol levels and blood pressure. You can reduce stress in your life through meditation, yoga, mindfulness, and other practices. Exercise has also been scientifically proven to reduce stress (see above). If you are not sure how to lower your stress or feel like your life is out of control, talk to your doctor or a therapist.
Mental health and physical health are intricately linked. Poor mental health can affect everything from your cholesterol and blood pressure to your stress, eating habits, and substance use. If you are experiencing signs of anxiety or depression or having trouble managing your mental health, consult a doctor or therapist right away.
Sleep is essential for reducing stress, reducing cholesterol, and increasing overall health. Adequate sleep can be hard to come by with busy schedules and long workdays. But for adults, getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep is essential to protecting your health.
Some people are prescribed medication to help manage their cholesterol. If you are prescribed cholesterol medication, be sure to always take it to keep your cholesterol at a healthier level. That being said, medication should not be the only way that you are managing your cholesterol.
Following the suggestions above (eating a healthy diet, exercising, reducing tobacco, alcohol, and other substance use, etc.) is a great way to start reducing your cholesterol. Even if you would like to wean off cholesterol medications by making these lifestyle changes, do not stop taking your cholesterol medication without consulting your doctor.
If you’re a person who regularly uses tobacco, alcohol, or other substances, you may feel like changing your lifestyle, getting healthy, and lowering your cholesterol are impossible tasks. If you’re currently in active addiction, your cholesterol levels are probably just one of many serious worries. The good news is that quitting tobacco, alcohol, and other substances is not impossible, and we can help at RECO Intensive. We understand how addiction can take control of your life and make what should be simple health choices so much harder. The professional staff and experienced alumni at RECO Intensive are here to help you learn how to break old habits and create a treatment plan that is specifically catered to you. We also offer personalized therapy and other practices to help you with co-occurring stress and mental health issues. To learn more about our programs, call us today at (561) 464-6533. We want to support you. Let’s get back to a brighter future.
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