Your doctor says you need to lower your cholesterol, but how much cholesterol per day is allowable? You might also be asking yourself some questions like these. What exactly is cholesterol? Do you have to take prescription medications? Or are there ways of lowering cholesterol naturally? We’ll talk about all of these in this short article
Just What is Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance similar to fat. It’s made mostly in the liver, but also by other cells. Because of this, you need to do more than simply reduce cholesterol in your diet.
So, Just How Much Cholesterol per Day is OK?
You should reduce your intake of foods high in cholesterol, such as meat, eggs, and dairy product. The American Heart Association’s cholesterol guidelines are to eat less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol each day (200 milligrams if you already have heart disease). Always remember that this is the maximum you should have – not a “recommended daily allowance.” You also should keep in mind that your blood cholesterol levels depends on more than just what you take in in your diet. Your liver will convert saturated fats into cholesterol, at rates that are significantly influenced by heredity. And your good cholesterol transports back to your liver reducing the bad cholesterol. So in addition to reducing your daily cholesterol intake, you need to be reducing fats in general.
Are There Alternatives to Prescription Medications?
There are three ways to lower cholesterol:
- increased exercise
- dietary changes
Your doctor is of course the best equipped to review your blood tests and heart-disease risk factors to determine if cholesterol-lowering drugs are needed and how much you need to reduce your cholesterol intake per day. These risk factors include smoking and lack of exercise, so you can deal with these in any natural approach as well. For those with known heart disease, diabetes, or multiple-risk factors there may be no alternatives to prescription medicines.
Now days most doctors suggest you first try to naturally lower your cholesterol unless your levels are extremely high.
If your doctor OKs a natural approach, consider yourself lucky. Often a few simple changes in your life can lower your cholesterol. You just might even feel better. As mentioned, exercising and stopping smoking are important, with a multitude of other benefits. Smoking lowers your good cholesterol, but this reverses when you quit. Exercises lowers bad cholesterol in most people, and can increase good cholesterol in some people. Just cutting back on smoking plus moderate-intensity daily activity can reduce your heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and excess weight. That’s all in addition to lowering your cholesterol.
Changing your diet is also crucial in lowering your cholesterol. If you’re overweight, weight-loss will help. But irregardless of that, it’s more a matter of eating differently rather than eating less. It’s especially important to avoid foods high in saturated fat as these usually contain high levels of cholesterol. Instead, focus on foods like fish, fruit, and nuts instead.
Mixing up your eating habits just might surprise you – you may find yourself enjoying your meals more.
If you don’t know your cholesterol levels, you should visit your doctor. He’ll most likely recommend a blood test to determine your blood-serum levels. Heart disease and high cholesterol are hereditary, so this is especially important if there’s a history of heart problems in your family. This will be far more helpful than just following general cholesterol guidelines and hoping for the best. Your doctor will then be able to accurately determine your best course of action, including more specific advice on how much cholesterol per day you should target in your diet.
Reading Nutrition Lables to Know Your Cholesterol Intake…
… and more (great video!)