Will Weight Loss Reduce Cholesterol? Healthy weight is important for overall heart health. Losing weight will help you to lower the cholesterol level, which will eventually result in a lower risk for other obesity-related conditions including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Exercise can improve cholesterol. Moderate physical activity can help raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Adding physical activity in short intervals several times a day can help you begin to lose weight. Consider:
- Taking a brisk daily walk during your lunch hour
- Riding your bike to work
- Playing a favorite sport
Work up to 90 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per day for heart health and weight loss. Cardiovascular exercise means any activity that uses large muscles repetitively and increases the heart rate – think walking, cycling, rowing, using the elliptical, and swimming. Start with 30 minutes and work your way up a little at a time.
Consistency is the key. Work out regularly and you’ll watch your triglyceride levels drop. Triglycerides are the only lipid in the cholesterol profile used for energy.
Start by decreasing your portion sizes. Avoid drinking your calories, too. Instead, choose zero-calorie beverages as your primary fluid source. Be mindful of your hunger levels to limit extra calories from mindless snacking.
A low-carb eating plan can help you lose weight and reduce cardiovascular risk factors. Choose high-fiber carbohydrates like oatmeal, whole-grain starches, beans, lentils, and whole fruit, which will provide the energy you need but also keep you feeling full.
We all want a healthy and ensuring a healthy level of cholesterol is the first step. Medications can help improve your cholesterol. But rather first make lifestyle changes to improve your cholesterol, try these healthy changes
1. Eat heart-healthy food
- Reduce saturated fats
- Eliminate trans fats
- Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids
- Increase soluble fiber
- Add whey protein
2. Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking improves your HDL (High-density lipoprotein) cholesterol level. The benefits occur quickly:
- Within 20 minutes of quitting, your blood pressure and heart rate recover from the cigarette-induced spike
- Three months of quitting, your blood circulation and lung function begin to improve
- Within a year of quitting, your risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker
3. Drink Alcohol Occasionally
The moderate use of alcohol has been linked with higher levels of HDL cholesterol, but the benefits aren’t strong enough to recommend alcohol for anyone who doesn’t already drink.
If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Too much alcohol can lead to serious health problems, including high blood pressure, heart failure, and strokes.
In nutshell, sometimes healthy lifestyle changes aren’t enough to lower cholesterol levels. If your doctor recommends medication to help lower your cholesterol, take it as prescribed while continuing your lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes can help you keep your medication dose low.