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4 Easy Strategies to Lower Your Cholesterol This Summer

4 Easy Strategies to Lower Your Cholesterol This Summer

Nearly 86 million — that’s the number of American adults who have high cholesterol levels, which place them at greater risk for serious heart disease. But the number that we want you to focus on is this one: It’s estimated that 80% of heart disease is preventable.

By preventable, we mean ditching bad habits (smoking tops this list) and adopting a healthier lifestyle that includes exercise and foods that are good for you. And, yes, we recognize that these are far easier said than done.

So, to set you on a healthier path forward, the team here at Soffer Health Institute, including cardiology experts Dr. Ariel Soffer and Dr. Furqan Tejani, decided to start with some simpler cholesterol-improving changes that you can make today.

Why we’re concerned about cholesterol

Did you know that cholesterol is essential for your brain health, and each and every one of your cells needs cholesterol for their membranes? Did you also know that your liver produces all the cholesterol you need?

So, when you add to your natural cholesterol count with outside sources, namely fats from animal products, you can raise these levels too high. As a result, cholesterol can build up in your bloodstream and create blockages in your arteries that place you at risk for heart attack and stroke.

This is an overly simplistic explanation for a complex issue, but it’s a good starting point for our discussion on lowering total cholesterol numbers.

Simple strategies for lowering your cholesterol

As we promised, we’re not going to give you broad instructions like quit smoking, lose weight, eat healthy, and exercise more, even though these are the best steps you can take to improve your cardiovascular health. Instead, we’re going to break down a few strategies you can implement today to get you closer to the lofty goals we just outlined.

1. Start your day with a heart-healthy breakfast

Pick a meal and really make it a heart-healthy one — and what better meal than breakfast? So, instead of a bagel and cream cheese or pancakes with syrup and bacon, switch to a bowl of oatmeal with fruit. This breakfast option avoids processed meats, has less sugar, and includes soluble fiber that helps lower blood cholesterol.

2. Take the stairs and park far away

Perhaps you don’t have time to hit the gym or sign up for an exercise class. Or maybe you find the idea daunting. The thing is, not exercising is never a good option. So, if you want to squeeze some movement into your day, try some of these hacks:

These are just a few ideas of little ways that you can incorporate exercise into your daily routine to lower your cholesterol levels.

3. Swap out chips for nuts or veggies

You want a crunchy snack, and you reach for a bag of chips, pretzels, or crackers, many of which contain unhealthy fats and a lot of salt. Instead, grab some nuts, like almonds, walnuts, or pistachios, which contain heart-healthy fats and fiber. 

Baby carrots, celery sticks, or radishes can also give you the crunchiness you crave, along with vitamins, minerals, and fiber that promote health.

4. Eat an apple a day (and other fruits)

You may have heard the old adage about how an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and there’s some truth to this. Apples contain soluble fiber, which can help lower your cholesterol. Pears, berries, and many other fruits are also sources of fiber and antioxidants, and they double down as a sweet dessert.

These are just a few of the many small changes that you can make to lower your cholesterol numbers, and we’re happy to sit down with you to come up with a more tailored plan.

To get on the road to healthier cholesterol levels, contact one of our offices in Weston, Hollywood, or North Miami Beach, Florida, to schedule an appointment with one of our heart experts.

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