Davis Motor Sales banner ad

manhappyDaily physical activity, including walking, is one easy way to reduce your cholesterol levels as well as your risk for heart disease.US (12/4/2012) - High cholesterol is an issue for many men and women, who may or may not know that excessive cholesterol in the blood can increase a person's risk of cardiovascular disease. That's a genuine concern for many people, as the American Heart Association notes that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Statistics Canada reports that heart disease accounted for 21 percent of all deaths in 2008 (the most recent year for which statistics were available), placing it behind only cancer among the leading causes of death in Canada.

The link between high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease has long since been established, but the good news is that even men and women with considerably high cholesterol levels can greatly reduce their risk of one day developing cardiovascular disease. Some may need the help of prescription medication to lower their cholesterol, while others might only need to make certain lifestyle changes to lower their cholesterol. Men and women should discuss a plan of attack to lower their cholesterol levels with a physician, who will determine if medication should be a part of the plan. Even if medication is a factor, the following are some lifestyle changes men and women with high or moderate cholesterol levels can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.

* Shed those extra pounds. According to the Mayo Clinic, losing as little as 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can greatly reduce cholesterol levels. There are a number of ways to lose weight, but the most successful way to lose weight and keep it off typically involves adopting a more active lifestyle and coupling that with a healthy diet. The AHA recommends 30 minutes of physical activity each day. This can include any number of activities that get you off the couch and exercising, including walking, biking, swimming,  and jogging.

An additional benefit of exercising to lose weight is that it can raise your so-called "good" cholesterol (also known as high-density lipoprotein, or HDL), which can protect you against a heart attack. Many medical experts believe HDL carries cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where the cholesterol is then passed from the body.

* Embrace heart-healthy foods. One of the more effective, yet often most difficult, ways to lower cholesterol is to make dietary changes, forgoing unhealthy fare for more heart-friendly foods. The idea of changing one's diet does not appeal to many people, but a more heart-healthy diet does not have to be devoid of taste. You can still eat red meat and dairy products, but keep them to a minimum, as both red meat and dairy can raise your "bad" cholesterol. Also known as low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, bad cholesterol can combine with other substances to form plaque, a thick, hard deposit that can narrow the arteries and make them less flexible, increasing one's risk of heart attack and stroke. Red meat and dairy tend to have a good deal of saturated fat, which the Mayo Clinic suggests should account for less than 7 percent of your daily caloric intake.

There are many ways to make more heart-healthy dietary choices, some of which include selecting whole grains (including whole wheat pasta and whole wheat flour), loading up on fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber (which can lower cholesterol) and choosing entrees for foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as certain types of fish, which help lower LDL cholesterol.

* Stop smoking. Smokers have a surefire way to reduce their cholesterol, though some may find it more difficult than making any dietary changes. Quitting smoking has an almost immediate impact on the health of your heart, which is at a lower risk of attack within 24 hours of quitting smoking. Within one year of quitting, your risk of heart attack is half that of someone who continues to smoke, and in 15 years your risk of heart disease will be similar to that of someone who has never smoked. In addition, quitting smoking may improve your HDL cholesterol level. Though it might not be easy, quitting smoking might be the most effective way to improve your cholesterol levels while lowering your risk for cardiovascular disease.

More information about lowering your cholesterol is available at www.heart.or

SurfKY.com

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

Walmart Evacuated after Customer Alerts 911 of Gas Smell; Store Reopens Hour Later

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (2/26/15) — Walmart was evacuated Wednesday evening after a customer alerted authorities concerning a… Read More

District 10 Governors Cup Hosted by Spottsville Elementary School

HENDERSON, Ky. (2/27/15) — District 10 Governor’s Cup will be hosted by Spottsville Elementary School on Saturday, Feb.… Read More

Most Read This Week

February 21, 2015 6728

Traffic Advisory for Western Kentucky

in Top News For All Sites by KTC
February 25, 2015 5786

Multi-Agency Investigation Nets Large-Scale Meth…

in Top News For All Sites by Trooper Stu Recke
February 25, 2015 5773

New Asian Restaurant Coming to Madisonville

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
February 24, 2015 5735

Two Charged in Central City Meth Bust

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
February 22, 2015 5508

Easter Cuties Pageant in Memory of Shanice Bean

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
February 21, 2015 5227

Local Administrators Warn Employees to Watch for…

in Top News For All Sites by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

February 12, 2015

UPDATE: Name of Pennyrile Fatality Officially…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 28, 2015

UPDATED: Several Involved in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

February 26, 2015 2662

Man Accused of Holding Woman against Will,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
February 26, 2015 2609

Woman Charged for Allegedly Selling Hydrocodone

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
February 26, 2015 1781

Area College Students Touched by Cancer are…

in Top News For All Sites by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
February 26, 2015 1740

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores Thru…

in Hopkins News by Barry Franklin
February 26, 2015 1703

Probation and Parole Violators - February 26,…

in Video by Crime Stoppers
February 26, 2015 1630

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Feb. 26, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
February 26, 2015 1419

Super Sunday Hall of Fame Alumni Honored College…

in Top News For All Sites by Joyce Riggs
February 26, 2015 1400

Walmart Evacuated after Customer Alerts 911 of…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
February 26, 2015 1054

Lions Man, Woman of Year Announced

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Chris Findley
February 26, 2015 971

Gov. Beshear Announces NASCO Expansion in Bowling…

in General News For All Sites by Office of the Governor