High cholesterol is often detected when you do other blood tests, It generally doesn’t have any symptoms in the early stage. Some persons are at more risk of having high blood cholesterol.If you are looking to lower your high cholesterol levels without taking any medicines, you have reached the right place.
If you understand Malayalam, watch the video on the topic.
So shall we start?
What is High Cholesterol?
The first thing that you should understand is that cholesterol is very much-needed in our body. Our body needs cholesterol to make some hormones, vitamins including vitamin D and other nutrients.
We get cholesterol in our body through the food we eat. Any food that we eat gets digested in the guts and is absorbed into the blood which then travels to the liver where the rest of the metabolism takes place.
All food items are mostly converted into glucose (sugar) which is then used up to release energy. The excess amount of glucose is converted to fats and most of it gets stored in the fatty tissues around your body.
The fat around your waist, hips, and buttocks are all primarily made up of fat. The excess fat gets stored in our liver, a condition known as fatty liver disease. I have already written an article on fatty liver disease. You should read that article. Here is the Link to the youtube video on fatty liver decease – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bvCVyooZXE
You should also read this article on the healthy diet that you should eat if you have been diagnosed with fatty liver disease.
Now let me tell you about HDL or high-density lipoprotein. This is a subtype of cholesterol which is popularly known as the Good Cholesterol.
Are you thinking why HDL is called Good Cholesterol? Well, it’s because HDL carries excess cholesterol from all our cells, tissues and organs back to the liver where it is then eliminated.
LDL or low-density lipoprotein, on the other hand, carries cholesterol from the liver to all the cells and organs in our body. It is also this cholesterol that creates plaque, clots, and damages small blood vessels leading to heart attack, stroke, etc. It is for this reason that LDL is called bad cholesterol.
If you have high cholesterol, the ultimate goal should be to lower the LDL cholesterol and increase the level of good cholesterol (HDL) in your body.
Symptoms of high cholesterol
To be honest, having a raised cholesterol level as such doesn’t produce any symptoms. Symptoms usually start to appear when the complications of high cholesterol level, such as heart attack, stroke, gangrene, atherosclerosis start to develop.
Some persons who have inherited levels of high cholesterol develops yellow bumps on eyelids, and some persons will have a white ring around the iris (arcus).
Other signs that can be elicited in patients with high cholesterol are tingling sensations in fingers and toes because of reduced blood supply to these areas as a result of a blockage in the blood supply.
Persons who are overweight, obese are prone to have high cholesterol in their blood.
What are the causes of high cholesterol?
If you are wondering why you developed high cholesterol in spite of controlling fried foods and oils, you should read the full article!
MUST READ – understanding fats and fatty acid
Below are some of the main causes of high cholesterol:
1. Poor diet
This is one of the main causes of high cholesterol level in your blood. Your diet will not be containing an adequate level of fiber content in it. Do you eat fruits and vegetables every day? Comment “I eat fruits” in the comments section below if you do! I just want to know
White rice, refined wheat flour, packaged food, it’s not good for you. This food does not have fiber and is easily converted into glucose inside our liver. The glycemic index is very low for such food items.
All packaged foods have high amounts of calories, and some even contain trans fats that are so harmful to your heart.
How often have you eaten brown rice or whole grains?
I have already written on this topic and you can read the article on brown rice here.
Any food item that has high fiber in it is not easily converted into glucose and fats. Fibers have another property which makes the absorption of cholesterol from your gut a sluggish process.
Many cholesterol-lowering medicines are made on this principle.
Smoking damages blood vessels in your body makes it possible for clot formation and plaques inside the blood vessels. I have written an article on the harmful effects of smoking, you should read it to understand the full spectrum of dangers and harm done by a cigarette.
Studies have shown that smoking lowers HDL cholesterol level in the body.
Diabetes, as you all know, is a condition where the blood sugar level in your body rises.
The high blood sugar level can result in high cholesterol too. It lowers HDL cholesterol, raises the amount of VLDL and damages small blood vessels in the heart, brain, and eyes.
So, the only way to prevent high cholesterol levels if you have been already diagnosed with diabetes is to keep your blood sugar levels under control.
4. If you eat bakery items, stop it.
You cannot even predict what type of oil is used to cook and prepare this bakery food.
5. Do you like fried fish and fried chicken? Well, stop.
Stop liking it for goodness sake. All fried food, particularly those that are bought from hotels and restaurants contain high levels of trans fats. Try to guess the cooking oil they use in restaurants for frying! Your going to be surprised !
6. Lack of physical activity
We are fast-moving to a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting jobs are becoming the norm these days.
Just think about it, how often do you get up from your office chair, stretch out a little and move around, in your office? It’s necessary.
Did you know that Apple Watch has a dedicated app for measuring the physical activity you do every day? Their main marketing tool was this app! It is that important!
Do you prefer climbing the stairs or do you too like everyone else, rush to the elevator? Comment below.
How many of you workout every day? or at least does some kind of exercise five times a week??
You blame your busy work hours as your excuse of not doing any physical exercise. Really?
MUST WATCH VIDEO – GETTING STARTED WITH HOME EXERCISE
I should have mentioned this in the first part itself but, here it is now. Do you know how to calculate your body mass index? (BMI)
Divide your weight in kilograms with your height in square centimeters and you will get your body mass index.
The normal range is below 24 and anything above 25 is not good.
You are obese if your BMI is above 30.
Your chance of developing high cholesterol increased dramatically if you are obese.
8. Fatty liver disease
If you have been diagnosed with fatty liver disease, chances are that your cholesterol levels will be high too.
I have written this article about fatty liver disease and the proper healthy diet for it, I highly recommend you to read those articles.
High Cholesterol Treatment Without Medicines
If you have read through all the causes that I have mentioned above, you will have an idea on how to treat high cholesterol.
the one thing that you should completely understand here is that resorting to medicines should be the last thing to do. If you have high cholesterol, taking some cholesterol-lowering medicines for a few months is not the first step that has to be taken to control it.
It is the shortcut and it may come with other unwanted side effects.
Make healthy changes in your lifestyle, diet, and habits. That’s where you should start to lower your cholesterol levels.
So what are these lifestyle changes?
1. Get moving around! Beat your sedentary lifestyle. Do not blame your busy work hours and stress.
Read this article to find out how I identified my sitting disease and overcome it! I bought a home aerobic workout machine and made it a habit to work out at least 20 minutes every single day and now it’s a part of my life.
2. Stress is good! Yeah, I’ve also written about how coping with stress brings about all the positive changes. You cannot escape from the stress. If you are someone who loves to workout at a gym, find a good one and start tomorrow!
Do you like yoga? How about swimming, running, and brisk walking? All you have to do is to carve out the time from your current day for a daily workout.
Once you start workouts, the next thing to do is make your diet a healthy one!
Switching over to brown rice was a tough one for my family to adopt but we eventually made it.Foods rich in fibers like oatmeals and fruits should be made a routine daily diet.
Watch this video on healthy breakfast and tips for making your diet a healthy one.
3. Quit Smoking and alcoholism
4. If you are diabetic, take control of your blood sugar level and keep it in the normal range
5. Avoid buying and gifting sweets, cookies, bakery and junk food
6. No more frying fish, meat and vegetables in your home & don’t even think about ordering such fried food.
7. If you are overweight, try to cut down on the extra fat by doing some workouts. No need to take a gym membership and all! Start with 15 minutes of brisk walking and then we can increase it if you are consistent.
Don’t invest on machines and exercise equipment in the initial day! Reward yourself with such machines and workout gears for being consistent.
So, that’s it for this article. Will catch up with you guys in the next one! If you have any comments, write it down below! If you haven’t subscribed to our free mailing list, you can do it right now by filling up the form in the top right side of this page.