Making Healthy Lifestyle Choices to Better Manage High Cholesterol

Manage High Cholesterol

Helps seniors manage high cholesterol by making a few healthy lifestyle changes.

The pandemic has altered many things, from social gatherings and travel to book clubs and lunch dates with friends. While these unplanned and dramatic changes to life as we know it may cause some uncertainty and anxiety, it’s helpful to look for the silver lining in the situation: newfound time to focus on ways to live with and manage high cholesterol.

All too often, it’s easy to neglect making healthy choices to manage and control cholesterol. Because the pandemic has forced people to slow down, now is the perfect time to implement some lifestyle changes that can make a real impact on long-term health and reduce the risk for heart disease and heart attacks.

Eat heart-healthy foods.

Even minor changes in diet can have a significant impact on heart health.

  • Reduce saturated fats. Reducing saturated fats, like those found in red meat and dairy products, can help reduce LDL cholesterol.
  • Increase foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce blood pressure, which benefits the heart. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, walnuts and flaxseeds.
  • Eliminate trans fats. Sometimes listed on food labels as “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil,” trans fats are often found in margarine and store-bought snack foods like crackers and cookies.
  • Increase soluble fiber. Soluble fiber has been found to reduce the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream, and is found in food such as kidney beans, apples, and oatmeal.

Exercise regularly.

Beyond helping to raise HDL cholesterol, there are many great benefits to regular exercise such as:

  • Providing structure and routine to the week
  • Serving as a stress buster and mental health-booster
  • Increasing strength, stamina, and balance
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

With doctor approval, it’s recommended to work up to at least 30 minutes of exercise five times per week.

Consume alcohol in moderation.

Some research studies point to increased levels of HDL cholesterol with moderate alcohol use. For healthy adults this translates to:

  • Up to one drink per day for women of all ages and men over 65 years old
  • Up to two drinks per day for men 65 and younger

Too much alcohol can lead to serious health problems such as strokes, high blood pressure, and heart failure, so it’s important to use alcohol in moderation.

Quit or never start smoking.

Quitting smoking improves HDL cholesterol levels and provides benefits quickly:

  • Blood circulation and lung function improve three months after quitting.
  • Heart disease risk is cut in half after one year of quitting.

At Visiting Care Giving Services, our team of highly-trained caregivers can help ensure a senior you love is prioritizing healthy lifestyle choices to manage high cholesterol and reduce the risk for heart disease and heart attacks. Our elder care services in St. Charles can help with:

  • Planning and preparing nutritious meals
  • Serving as a motivator to engage in regular, physician-approved exercise
  • Providing transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments
  • And much more

Reach out to us today at (636) 493-9058 to schedule a free in-home consultation and to learn more about the elder care services St. Charles families trust. To see if we provide services in your community, please visit our Service Area page.