Cholesterol is a waxy substance in your blood used to build healthy new cells. As you age, you are at an increased risk for high cholesterol levels. With high cholesterol, fatty deposits develop in the blood vessels that can cause a host of medical issues. The good news is high cholesterol can often be controlled naturally or without the use of medications. While it's necessary to see a physician before starting any medical program on your own, consider the following natural ways to lower your cholesterol.
According to the American Heart Association, the majority of the foods in your diet should contain monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats. These fats provide many nutrients to help develop and maintain your body's cells, and they can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood. Foods high in monounsaturated fats include olive oil, sesame oil, peanut butter, avocados and many nuts and seeds.
Losing weight reduces the total amount of cholesterol in the body and helps decrease the creation of new cholesterol. Seniors who diet and exercise and maintain a healthy weight are also at a reduced risk of heart disease. At ViewPointe assisted living, we offer a variety of fitness classes to help you stay active.
Smoking causes many changes in the body, including the way the body handles cholesterol. For someone who smokes, the immune cells can't transport cholesterol from the vessel walls in the blood to the liver, which causes high cholesterol. Fortunately, those who give up smoking may see a reversed effect on cholesterol levels.
Found in plants, stanols and sterols resemble cholesterol found in human blood because they are absorbed in the diet the same way. The chemistry of these substances is different than human cholesterol as they do not clog the arteries and instead help lower cholesterol levels by competing with human cholesterol. They are found naturally in vegetable oils and are added to butter and oil substitutes.
When added to the diet, soluble fiber helps reduce the absorption of cholesterol in your bloodstream. To increase your intake of soluble fiber, choose foods like oatmeal, Brussels sprouts, apples, kidney beans and pears.
For seniors concerned about cholesterol levels, ViewPointe assisted living community in Colorado Springs offers regular health assessments. We also offer fitness classes and regular healthy meals to ensure you are getting proper nutrition. For more information on our other amenities, contact us today to schedule an appointment to tour the facility or to speak to one of our staff members.