September is National Cholesterol Education Month, so Discount Drug Network has researched a number of tips to lower your cholesterol.
Like fats, there are good and bad kinds of cholesterol. Bad cholesterols build up in your arteries, blocking the flow of blood. Good cholesterols help to carry away the bad cholesterol, keeping your blood stream clean and unblocked. So, don’t automatically assume that all cholesterol is bad!
How can I find out if I have high cholesterol?
Easy, get a test! The Mayo Clinic gives an in-depth description of why you should get a cholesterol test done and how the test is performed, but here’s a quick overview. A cholesterol test is done because, quite often, high cholesterol levels don’t give off any symptoms in the body. It is suggested that everyone over the age of 20 get a cholesterol test done every five years, especially if you are overweight or have a history of heart disease in your family.
The best place to have your cholesterol tested is at your regular doctor’s office. Your doctor knows your medical history the best and can help you determine risk factors for high cholesterol. However, you can also get your cholesterol tested at a hospital or at a public screening. Many public screenings are free, so you can take advantage of the savings.
Ok, so I might be at risk for high cholesterol. What’s next?
You’ve got the test results and discovered that you have high cholesterol. It’s time to take some steps to ensure that your cholesterol count decreases. Here are four tips to lower your cholesterol:
- As the Canadians say, “Get ote and abote.”
Exercise is one of the best ways to lower cholesterol. But not all of us have the time or money to get a gym membership. That’s okay, because you don’t need to become a gym rat in order to lower your cholesterol. Try getting in the habit of taking a walk around your neighborhood after dinner. The exercise not only helps to lower your cholesterol, but also is a good way to aid your body in digestion. Plus, being out in the fresh air and getting active is a great way to improve your mood.
- Go Mediterranean
The Mediterranean diet is an excellent way to lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease. This diet consists of plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, and fish. All of these foods, especially the fibers that are found in vegetables and grain, are known to be full of good cholesterol that helps to get rid of the bad cholesterol. The point is to avoid red meats and sweets that can raise your cholesterol and cause problems for your heart. And if you need a little extra incentive, red wine is part of the Mediterranean diet too!
- That’s nuts!
Studies have shown that eating a daily handful of nuts, especially almonds, can help reduce your cholesterol. However, try to get unsalted nuts, because too much salt can bring your blood pressure right back up.
- Quit smoking
This one is kind of a no-brainer. So seriously, stop smoking. It hurts you and the people around you!
If none of these methods get your cholesterol down to a good level, try medication
Discount Drug Network can help with that, as always. Our free prescription discount card can get you savings on any kind of cholesterol medication that you may be taking!