Nearly 29 million Americans have high cholesterol levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). High cholesterol levels put you at risk of serious conditions, including heart disease and stroke. At his office in Freehold Township, New Jersey, Joseph R Raccuglia, MD, is committed to managing the lipid levels in your blood to keep your cholesterol under control. To schedule a lipids management appointment with Joseph R Raccuglia, MD, call his office or book a visit online now.
Lipids are fat-like substances in your blood that your body needs to function properly. However, too many lipids in your blood can cause a buildup of waxy fat that clogs your artery walls and puts you at risk for serious diseases, including stroke, heart disease, and kidney damage.
There are three main types of blood lipids, including:
LDL cholesterol, or “bad cholesterol,” can build in the walls of your arteries and cause blockages. When your blood can’t smoothly pass through these arteries, it raises your risk of stroke, heart attack, and more. A diet high in simple sugars and carbohydrates, animal products, and saturated fat can increase your LDL levels.
Also known as “good cholesterol,” HDL cholesterol actually searches for and removes LDL cholesterol from the blood to prevent clogged arteries. You can increase your HDL levels by exercising, quitting smoking, and following a healthy diet high in vitamin-rich vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and lean protein.
Triglycerides are another type of fat in the blood that mainly comes from the foods you eat. Like LDL cholesterol, triglycerides can build up in your blood, clog your arteries, and lead to serious health complications.
With proper lipids management, you can help prevent chronic disease and maintain your health. While Dr. Raccuglia may recommend certain medications to lower your cholesterol, most lipids management programs focus on diet and exercise.
Some of the most important steps you can take to effectively lower the lipids levels in your blood include:
Trans fats raise your overall cholesterol levels, so you should avoid them whenever possible. Trans fats are often found in store-bought cookies, cakes, crackers, and other pre-packaged junk foods.
Reducing your consumption of saturated fats, primarily found in red meats and dairy products, can help lower your LDL cholesterol levels.
Soluble fiber found in beans, broccoli, leafy greens, and apples reduces the absorption of cholesterol in your bloodstream.
Omega-3 fatty acids help lower your overall blood sugar. Flaxseeds, salmon, and walnuts all contain high levels of these acids.
Exercise helps increase your HDL levels, especially aerobic exercise. Most experts recommend at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise five times a week to improve heart health.
For a customized lipids management program with Joseph R Raccuglia, MD, call his office or schedule a visit online.