6 Health Hacks to Keep Your Cholesterol Levels in Check
Cholesterol counts are getting scarier. Very often even for seemingly fit people the numbers come out rather crooked.
Cholesterol counts are getting scarier. Very often even for seemingly fit people the numbers come out rather crooked.(Photo: iStockphoto)

6 Health Hacks to Keep Your Cholesterol Levels in Check

Cholesterol counts are getting scarier. Very often even for seemingly fit people the numbers come out rather crooked. Reasons for this can be multiple and are often beyond the realms of diet and what we eat.

First, it is important to understand what cholesterol actually is. It is in fact a waxy, fat-like substance present in every cell of our body, which flows through the blood vessels without causing any damage.

What renders it ‘harmful’ is the state where the cholesterol gets oxidised and slowly builds up in the inner walls of the arteries and form a thick, hard deposit that can clog those arteries and trigger heart attacks and strokes.

So, it is important to stay familiar with it, know when the numbers are turning dangerous and intervene well in time in the right way.

1. Know Your Genes

Genetics plays a huge role.
Genetics plays a huge role.
(Photo: Public Domain Pictures)

Genetics plays a huge role; you may have your father, uncle or great grandmom to thank for this scare. So be aware and if that is the case then stay even more cautious.

Also Read: Scientists Discover Five Genes That Cause Deadly Heart Disease

2. Keep a Track of Your Numbers

Get a thorough cholesterol checkup done. 
Get a thorough cholesterol checkup done. 
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Get a thorough cholesterol checkup done. And get your figures right and examine them in detail.

Its true that if your total cholesterol is greater than 200 mg, it is high. But the real risk is when the LDL (bad cholesterol) to HDL (good cholesterol) ratio is greater than 4:1.

This is because at least 1 HDL is needed to pick and transport 4 LDL back to liver from blood thus away from causing any harm.

Also Read: 10 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy and Strong

3. Boost HDL

To jack up HDL, exercise regularly and lose excess weight.
To jack up HDL, exercise regularly and lose excess weight.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

As it cruises through the blood, HDL actually scoops up and removes harmful bad cholesterol and transports it to the liver where it can done away with. Plus, it also cleans up inflammation from the inner walls of blood vessels.

Simply put higher your HDL level, the less “bad” cholesterol you'll have in your body.

To jack up HDL, you must exercise regularly and lose excess weight.

Also Read: 10 Ways To Lower Your Cholesterol With Diet

4. Butt Out

The first thing to do to save your heart is to butt out.
The first thing to do to save your heart is to butt out.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Nicotine thickens the arteries, leading to cholesterol deposits and clotting, increasing thus the risk of heart disease substantially.

So the first thing to do to save your heart is to butt out. No middle way here, only quitting helps.

Also Read: Quit Smoking? Here’s How Diet Can Help You Rebuild Your Health

5. Climb Stairs

Climbing stairs helps improve your cholesterol numbers, as per new research.
Climbing stairs helps improve your cholesterol numbers, as per new research.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

We all know about the metabolism boosting, muscle toning, fitness boosting and waist thinning benefits of opting for the stairs instead of the elevator.

But now research has found another benefit of climbing stairs - it helps improve our cholesterol numbers, enough to cut the risk of cardiovascular disease extensively.

Now that’s worth the trouble for sure!

Also Read: 5 Things You Need to Know to Ace the Fitness Game

6. Cut Stress

Stress itself isn’t really the only culprit but how an individual reacts to and manages stress is equally important.
Stress itself isn’t really the only culprit but how an individual reacts to and manages stress is equally important.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Stress not only increases inflammation in the body and jack up the LDL cholesterol levels but also causes poor eating habits and poor food choices - all of which affect cholesterol levels.

In fact stress itself isn’t really the only culprit but how an individual reacts to and manages stress is equally important.

Those who try to put a lid on stress through hostility, social isolation, or self-blame tend to have lower levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, and that is bad news.

(Kavita Devgan is a weight management consultant, nutritionist, health columnist and author of ‘Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People’.)

(Have you subscribed to FIT’s newsletter yet? Click here and get health updates directly in your inbox.)

(For more life hacks, follow FIT)

(FIT is now on WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Click here and hit the Send button.)

Follow our Life Hacks section for more stories.