If you have recently had an annual physical, your physician may have ordered a lipid profile assessment. The test is used to help determine your risk for heart disease. It measures your HDL cholesterol, your LDL cholesterol, and your triglycerides. If any of your levels are outside of a normal range, your doctor may ask you to take several steps to improve your cardiac health and your lipid numbers. Here are a few recommendations that he or she may make:
Exercise can have a positive effect on cholesterol and triglyceride levels. If you choose to follow your doctor's advice to exercise more, you don't have to run a marathon to receive benefits. In fact, just 30 minutes of exercise four or five days a week can help you improve your health.
To stick to an exercise routine, try to select activities that you actually enjoy. Nature walks or even playing sports with your kids can produce measurable improvements. If you feel that you don't have time for exercise, try to systematically incorporate activities that have to be done anyway, such as mowing the lawn. Also, add a few extra steps to your day by parking farther away from entrances or taking the stairs.
Cut out unhealthy fats.
Many people enjoy fried foods, but a diet that is high in unhealthy fats can contribute to less-than-stellar lipid numbers. Try to eliminate trans fats, which are known to cause inflammation in your body. Also, saturated fats should be limited. Replace unhealthy fats with healthier oils, such as olive or grapeseed oil.
In addition, foods that are naturally high in fat, such as organ meats and whole milk, should be limited.
Sugar is frequently combined with fat to form an unhealthy combination that can affect your lipid profile negatively. Instead of table sugar, try to sweeten items with natural alternatives, such as stevia or erythritol.
Lose the extra pounds.
If your BMI is too high for your height and build, shed the extra weight. The excess pounds can make your heart work harder and increase your chance of a heart attack or stroke, especially if your lipid profile numbers are too high.
Even if you are eating a healthy diet, it is necessary to consume less or burn more calories to lose weight. Monitoring your daily caloric intake can keep you abreast of whether or not you are on track with your weight loss goals.
To learn more things you can do to improve your cardiac health, schedule a consultation with a physician in your area.