How Overweight Affects Your Cholesterol and How to Improve It
Studies show overweight individuals have a higher chance of having high cholesterol levels. Being overweight increases harmful LDL cholesterol levels, therefore increasing the risk of heart diseases. Unfortunately, high cholesterol levels do not have symptoms and the only way you will know is to get yourself tested. Although you cannot feel the symptoms of having high cholesterol, there are physical signs that you can watch out for.
It is important to know your ideal weight based on your height. Below are some tools you can use to determine your cholesterol health risk based on your body weight and measurement:
- Height and weight chart – gives you an idea of what your ideal weight is based on your height.
- Weighing scale – to help you determine if you are on your ideal weight.
- BMI calculator – gives you an estimate of your total body fat.
- Waist circumference – use a tape measure to get your waist circumference. Measurements more than 40 inches (men) and 35 inches (women) are considered high risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
If you find that you are over the ideal weight and measurement, you should consider seeing your physician to get your cholesterol level checked. Ask your doctor about the best way to lower your cholesterol levels.
Changing your eating habits make a huge difference in improving your cholesterol levels. There are two types of cholesterol found in the body, HDL (good) and LDL (bad) cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is responsible for flushing out LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream and into the liver. We want to maintain high HDL cholesterol at all times to ensure that our bloodstream is clear from plaque build-up caused by LDL cholesterol. Here are some food tips that you should consider to increase HDL and lower LDL:
- Avoid saturated fats and trans fats because they increase LDL and decrease HDL cholesterol.
- Go for monosaturated fats like olive oil, nut fats, and avocados to increase HDL cholesterol.
- Include fiber-rich foods in your diet like soy, legumes, whole grains like oats.
- Do not skip breakfast. This is the most important meal of the day and skipping this meal can result to cravings and binge eating later in the day.
Improving cholesterol levels need work and discipline. You need to get into an active lifestyle and eat right in order to raise your good cholesterol and eliminate the bad ones. A healthy lifestyle is guaranteed to improve your cholesterol levels at the same time decrease your risk of getting cardiovascular diseases.