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It's wonderful growing older. There is so much you've seen and experienced, and there is more to come. Even so, it is important to remember that the health of your heart is vital. With a healthier heart, you can rest assured that there are many more years to look forward to. Begin with small changes in your lifestyle for better health now and in the future. And this is very important, especially when it comes to cholesterol levels in older adults.
Cholesterol accumulation in the body of older adults can lead to devastating health conditions. For instance, it increases susceptibility to heart diseases like stroke or heart attack. With the following 14 tips to improve cholesterol for older adults, you can get your health on the right track!
Try These Tips to Improve Your Cholesterol
Physical activities like working out for an hour or two every day effectively improve cholesterol in older adults. For better results, focus on cardiovascular workouts between half an hour to two hours. They should be moderate exercises to avoid stressing the body. You can try dancing routines, swimming, jogging, or biking/spinning.
2. Cut Back on Cholesterol Intake
We need cholesterol for certain vital functions in the body. However, especially as we age, it is important to moderate the intake. This will not only keep your cholesterol level in check but will also promote a healthy heart. Therefore, go slow on foods like fatty red meat, whole milk, and cheese.
3. Quit Smoking
Are you still smoking? Well, you should quit if you need to improve your cholesterol levels. From studies, smoking tampers with the normal functioning of the immune cells. As such, they are unable to shed cholesterol on the walls of blood vessels for transportation to the liver. Due to this, clogging of arteries occurs more quickly among smokers, promoting heart diseases. Luckily, you can reverse the effects and improve cholesterol levels when you quit smoking.
4. Watch Your Weight
How much do you weigh? Check with your doctor if you are within normal range or overweight. By losing excess weight, cholesterol improves. Losing weight is very feasible. You just need consistency and determination to succeed. In addition to that, a few weight loss tips are important. For instance:
- Adopt a healthy diet
- Practice regular physical activities
- Always staying hydrated
5. Limit or Quit Alcohol Consumption
According to American Heart Association, alcohol should be consumed in moderation. If you are a heavy drinker, then try to scale back. If you quit, it's even better. Excessive alcohol intake promotes higher triglyceride levels in your blood. And with an excess amount of this fat in the blood, you are vulnerable to arterial fibrillation and hypertension.
6. Increase Fiber
Include more fiber in your diet. Include whole grains like beans, oatmeal, prunes, and apples, among others. Fiber is essential in regulating cholesterol in the blood. It works by suppressing the absorption of cholesterol into the blood. Fiber intake also lowers your cravings by promoting satiety. And as such, you can manage your weight more comfortably.
7. Replace Red Meat with Fish
How much do you love fish? Well, it might be one of the simplest means to scale back your cholesterol. By eating fish two to four times weekly, it improves your cholesterol. At the same time, you need to reduce red meat consumption since it is rich in saturated fat. On that note, try varieties like bluefin tuna, sardines, and salmon.
8. Try Nuts
Most varieties of nuts are effective in improving cholesterol for older adults, among other age groups. They have a rich supply of sterols that work the same way as fiber. They limit the absorption of cholesterol into the blood. However, you should always keep in check your consumption. Remember, nuts are also rich in calories and could promote weight gain.
Under stress, the cholesterol levels in the blood can spike up. This can be dangerous, especially among older adults. Therefore, you need to note what makes you calm and happy, and then focus on it. For instance, you can try yoga, chat with friends, or read a book.
10. Try Spicy Foods
If you love spicy food, then you can use this moment to improve your cholesterol. It's also a simple strategy for seniors to manage their cholesterol. It cuts across every food from a simple cappuccino to a full course meal. And all you have to do is spice up with coriander, cinnamon, ginger, or curcumin, among others.
11. Be Happy
When was the last time you were happy? Do you know that being happy and laughing often improves cholesterol? Yes, it works! So, as an older adult, engage in what makes you happy and boosts your HDL levels. And with higher HDL levels, more bad cholesterol will be shed from your system with ease. Consequently, your heart health will improve.
12. Take Supplements
Not everyone can stomach the various foods recommended for improving cholesterol. If you are in a similar position, then get supplements. Studies have shown that taking supplements like fish oil can be efficient in managing cholesterol. Besides fish oil, there are soluble fiber supplements, among others. Ask your doctor if this is right for you and for recommendations.
13. Quit Trans Fats
Are you still cooking with trans fats? Then this might be the cause for your spiking cholesterol. From studies, trans fats enhance both LDL and cholesterol while suppressing good HDL. Therefore, by quitting trans fats, you can reverse this effect.
14. Choose Monounsaturated Fats
Monounsaturated fats like olive oil and canola oil are some of the best fats to consume for a better cholesterol level. From studies, consuming monounsaturated fats enhances HDL more than a diet rich in saturated fat.
While cholesterol is vital and needed by the body, it can wreak havoc on your health and cause terminal diseases. But when under normal levels, you can enjoy a long and healthy life full of vitality. The above 14 tips to improve cholesterol for older adults are handy for any senior. Each of the tips will ensure that seniors can better manage cholesterol levels and be more resistant to stroke and hypertension, among other diseases.