• Hyperlipidemia

    on May 16th, 2017

Strategies to Reverse Hyperlipidemia

Hyperlipidemia means you have too much fat, or “lipids,” in your blood. You may think of hyperlipidemia as high cholesterol, but the term also describes high blood levels of another kind of fat called triglycerides.

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that’s important for the building of cells and hormones. Your body makes cholesterol, and certain foods can trigger your liver to make more than necessary. While you need some cholesterol for optimal health, too much can be a health hazard.

Triglycerides are a kind of fat that’s stored in your fat cells to use for energy later. Some triglycerides are found in your bloodstream, too, especially when you eat more calories than your body needs. If your blood triglyceride levels are too high, it can signal a health problem.

Genetics is one cause of hyperlipidemia, but lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise play a role, too. You can’t change where you came from, but you can eat, exercise, and live in a way that helps keep your lipid levels in check.

Why Change is Important

Hyperlipidemia doesn’t cause symptoms, but over time it can create health problems. High cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. High triglycerides can be a risk factor for atherosclerosis, or thickening of your artery walls, so it also increases your risk for heart problems and stroke. When triglyceride levels are extremely high, a condition called acute pancreatitis can develop.

Revise Your Diet

If you’re suffering from hyperlipidemia, your diet can be a primary reason. While some fat in your diet is good and necessary, other forms can contribute to health problems. For most people, mono- and polyunsaturated fats, such as those found in avocados, nuts, and fish are good for your heart and overall health. However, in some people, high amounts of saturated fats found in full-fat dairy and fatty cuts of meat, may cause the liver to produce more cholesterol than it should. Trans fats, usually found in processed and fast foods, are of particular concern when it comes to high cholesterol and high triglycerides.

Triglyceride levels can rise in reaction to excess calories from refined carbohydrates and sugar. These foods have lots of excess calories that your body readily stores as fat in the blood.

Dietary steps to take to improve your lipid levels:

Avoid trans fats. Eliminate store-bought bakery goods, fast foods, and other processed foods. Read ingredients labels, and if the word “hydrogenated” is there, don’t buy the product.

Replace some saturated fats with unsaturated fats. Cook with olive oil instead of butter. Have the salmon rather than the burger with bacon and cheese. Snack on roasted nuts rather than a candy bar.

Keep your calorie intake in check. Limit portions and fill up on lower-calorie foods, such as fresh vegetables, fruits, white meat poultry, fish, and broth-based soups.

Eat more fiber. Whole grains like oats and barley contain soluble fiber, which helps reduce cholesterol levels. Beans, eggplant, and fruits are other sources.

Get Moving

Cholesterol comes in two forms: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Too much LDL correlates with health problems, but higher amounts of HDL is actually good. In fact, if you have too little HDL, it can be a serious health concern, too.

Exercise helps boost HDL, and it burns off extra calories, so you’ll store less as triglycerides. But exercising to keep your blood lipids in check doesn’t require hours of sweating at the gym or a commitment to run a marathon. Instead, pick an activity that you think is fun, and start doing it more often.

A good goal is to aim for the 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity cardio exercise recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s 30 minutes, 5 times a week of brisk walking, swimming, or dancing. Of course, the more active you can be, the better. Take the stairs, park farther away in the parking lot, or cycle to work, if it’s possible.

Make Gradual Changes

You may find making small changes over time is your route to success. Gradually add exercise and make stepwise dietary changes. Start by snacking on plain popcorn instead of chips, for example, and adding a 10-minute walk to your morning routine. Over time, small changes lead to big reforms in the way you live.

And, remember, you don’t have to get supermodel slim to improve your health. Even losing 10% of your current weight can have a positive impact on your lipid levels.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Hypertension

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is known as a “silent killer” because you can live with it for years without suffering any symptoms.

Our Locations

Choose your preferred location