Exercise and Healthy Food for the Heart - How to Lower High Blood Cholesterol

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n the UK someone dies from a heart attack every 6 minutes.

Learn how healthy food for the heart and exercise lowers high blood cholesterol.

Exercise and Diet for a Healthy Heart

Cardiovascular disease is the UK's biggest killer. Claiming 200,000 lives every year, the World Health Organization estimates 33% of cases are caused by high blood cholesterol.

So what is high blood cholesterol, and how can exercise and diet for a healthy heart help to avoid it?

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Cholesterol is found in the outer membranes of each body cell and is essential for countless body functions: in short, every part of your body needs it to work effectively. The problems only begin when there is too much of the wrong type of LDL cholesterol, often leading to consequences that can be deadly.

Here is what happens:

In much the same way silt slows the flow of water in a stream, an excess of cholesterol can kill by slowly clogging your arteries. Accumulating on the blood vessel walls, it soon forms plaques leading to a hardening of the arteries. The result? This degradation can ultimately trigger a stroke or heart attack.

Photo courtesy of k4dordy

Exercise and Healthy Food for the Heart

Fortunately this fate can be avoided. Using exercise and healthy food for the heart you can soon boost your well-being.

So where do you start?

Heart Research UK suggests just six key steps are all you need to lower high blood cholesterol levels.

Easy to implement, why not give their guide a try?

Six Steps to a Healthy Heart

    1. Get active.

    Any form of exercise which increases your heart rate and leaves you feeling slightly out of breath is good for you. The benefits? You lower the bad LDL cholesterol in your body and raise the good HDL cholesterol.

    Why is this important?

    The HDL or "happy" cholesterol protects against heart disease, while LDL, the "lousy" cholesterol, raises the risk.

    Increasing evidence shows that it is the ratio between the two which has the greatest impact on your heart attack risk factors. And the best part? Science shows strength training is great at boosting "happy" cholesterol.

    2. Go nuts.

    Increase your intake of nuts to bring your cholesterol levels down.

    One American study found how eating 67g of nuts a day - the equivalent of a small bag - reduced cholesterol levels by 5%.

    A great reason to go nuts!

    3. Fabulous fats.

    Choose healthy monounsaturated fats to boost healthy HDL cholesterol. You can find them in olive oil, rapeseed oil, avocados, nuts and flaxseed.

    And the fats you want to avoid?

    The worst fats of all are hydrogenated fats which are most commonly used in processed foods. Research shows they reduce healthy HDL levels and increase unhealthy LDL levels.

    4. Healthy foods for heart.

    Be sure to get your fruit and veggies, as the antioxidants in your 5-a-day stalls the oxidization of LDL and reduces cholesterol deposits on artery walls.

    And another benefit of your fruit and vegetables?

    The added plant fiber in your diet further helps lower cholesterol levels by mopping up any excess in the bloodstream.

    5. Powerful plant sterols.

    Margarine and yoghurts which contain cholesterol-lowering plant sterols and stanols can reduce high cholesterol levels by up to 15%.

    How much do you need?

    Less is more, as you only require 2-3g a day to see the benefits of these powerful plants.

    6. Say "no" to nicotine.

    Smoking is the single largest risk factor for heart disease - a great reason to terminate the tobacco.

    Ready to say "no" to nicotine?

    Then wave goodbye to this heart-harming habit.

In Summary

In the UK someone dies from a heart attack every 6 minutes.

Learn how to lower high blood cholesterol with exercise and healthy food for the heart.

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