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Heart health 

heart health

All about Heart Health:

Improving cholesterol levels and heart health involves adopting a healthy lifestyle and making positive changes to your diet and physical activity. 

What is cholesterol? 

It is a waxy substance and it’s not bad. Your body needs it to build cells, make vitamins and hormones. With Heart health, Liver and gallbladder also plays crucial role for overall wellness. To read more about liver and gall blader, read this article, https://sparklinglifestyle.in/liver-and-gallbladder-health/

3 types of cholesterol:

(1) LDL.  

Low density lipoprotein. It is bad cholesterol. High level LDL raises the risk of heart disease and stroke. In addition, too much LDL can build up on walls of blood vessels and block or narrow arteries. This buildup is called “plaque”. 

LDL Ranges:

Optimal; Less than 100 mg/dl. This is the goal for people with diabetes or heart disease.  

Near Optimal; 100 to 129 mg/dl 

Borderline High; 130 to 159 mg/dl 

heart health

(2) HDL; 

High density lipoprotein. It is good cholesterol because it absorbs bad cholesterol in blood and carries it back to liver. Liver then flushes it out from the body. Moreover, high levels of HDL protect you from heart diseases or stroke. 

HDL Ranges:

Doctors recommend HDL level of 60 mg/dl of blood or higher.  

HDL that falls within the range of 40 to 59 mg/dl is normal but could be the higher. 

Having HDL under 40 mg/dl increases your risk of developing heart diseases. 

(3) Triglycerides:

It is types of fat in your blood that the body uses for energy. When you eat, your body converts any calories it does not need to use right away into triglycerides. In addition, the triglycerides are stored in your fat cells.  

Triglycerides Ranges; – 

Normal; less than 150 mg/dl or less than 1.7 mmol/l 

Borderline; 150 to 199 mg/dl (1.8 to 2.2 mmol/l 

High; 200 to 499 mg/dl (2.3 to 5.6 mmol/l) 

Very high; 500 mg/dl or above (5.7 mmol/l or above) 

Difference between cholesterol and triglycerides:

Triglycerides and cholesterol are different types of lipids that circulate in your blood. Triglycerides store unused calories and provide your body with energy. While cholesterol is used to build cells and certain hormones. 

What happens with poor lipid profile? 

– Coronary artery disease. 

– Heart attack. 

– Metabolic syndrome. (Combination of hypertension diabetes and of the city.) 

– Peripheral artery disease. 

– Strokes. 

– Hypertension. 

How to overcome cholesterol issues for better heart health:

(1) Exercise regularly:

According to American Heart Association, 150 mins/ week exercising can lower the risk of heart diseases. Hence, try to incorporate 30 minutes of physical activity daily. Regular exercise can lower triglycerides and boost HDL. 

In addition, incorporate more activity in your routine life. For example; taking stairs, walking while talking on phone, not sitting for long. 

Moreover, incorporate aerobic activity for 20 minutes, 3 times/ week under doctors’ guidance. 

Additionally, playing your favorite sport. For example, cycling, swimming, cricket, basketball, football and badminton. Find an exercise partner for motivation. 

(2) Quit smoking:

20 minutes after quitting your blood pressure and heart rate recover from the cigarette induced spike. 

Then, within three months of quitting, your blood circulation and lung function begin to improve. 

Furthermore, within a year of hitting your risk of heart disease, is half dead of a smoker. 

(3) Lose weight: 

More fat and less muscles contribute to poor liquid profile. 

According to a survey, every 4.5 kg of excess fat produces roughly 10 mg of bed cholesterol per day. 

That’s why, work on losing fat and increasing muscle mass. For example, weightlifting. 

(4) Replace unhealthy with healthy fats: 

Use cold pressed oil instead of refined oils. 

Avoid trans fats, hydrogenated vegetable oils, fried fast food and baked goods. 

Add healthy fats to your daily meal. For example; soaked almonds and walnuts, flax, chia, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, coconut, ghee, handful of peanuts, or homemade peanut butter without salt, oil and sugar. 

(5) Add Omega-3 fatty acids:

It reduces blood pressure and inflammation. 

Incorporate Omega 3 fatty acids rich foods or supplements into your daily meal. For example; soaked walnuts, flax seeds, wild caught fish like salmon. Mackerel and Herring. 

(6) Increase fiber intake:  

Soluble fiber can reduce abruption of cholesterol into bloodstream. 

Additionally, As it is not absorbed in the intestine, soluble fiber can bind cholesterol in the intestine and remove it from the body. 

Moreover, According to the “National Lipid Association”, 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber can help lower total and LDL cholesterol by 5 to 11 points. 

Examples; chickpea, kidney beans, avocado, chia seeds, veggies, fruits and sweet potatoes. 

(7) Vitamin D:

As of the last update in September 2021 there is some evidence to suggest that vitamin D may play a role in supporting heart health. 

The best way to maintain adequate vitamin D levels is through a combination of moderate sun exposure, dietary sources and vitamin D supplements. 

(8) Supplements;  

Fish oil, Psyllium, coenzyme Q10, Niacin, Berberine and garlic extract. 

According to FDA, soluble fiber from foods such as psyllium husk as a part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart diseases. 

Psyllium is a soluble fiber derived from the seeds of the Plantago ovata plants. It has been studied for its potential health benefits, particularly concerning Cholesterol management and heart health. 

Incorporating psyllium into your diet can be done by consuming products like psyllium husk powder or using whole psyllium seeds in cooking. 

Remember that individual responses to lifestyle changes can vary, and some people may need more intensive interventions, including medication. 

Conclusion:

In conclusion, always work closely with your doctor to develop a personalized plan to address your cholesterol issues and support your heart health effectively. Lastly, its essential to be patient and consistent with these lifestyle changes, as improvements in cholesterol and heart health may take time.  In summary, making long term, sustainable changes to your lifestyle are key to achieving lasting benefits for your heart health and overall wellbeing. To know more about heart health, follow my Instagram page.

Dr.Hetal Patel

Admin

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