Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in the bloodstream. There are different types of cholesterol present in our blood, and Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) is considered the most harmful. LDLs can block the arteries and prevent the normal flow of blood to and fro the heart.
This blockage could lead to the development of several cardiovascular diseases, including stroke. High cholesterol levels can either be gotten genetically from one’s parents or result from unhealthy lifestyle patterns like alcoholism and sedentary living.
Studies show that older people are particularly susceptible to this medical condition. However, there are several age-friendly exercises to lower cholesterol in older people, as this site explains in detail.
In this article, Seasons Retirement provides some insight into how to lower cholesterol levels in the body.
Engaging in regular physical exercises is one sure way to boost people’s mental and physical well-being of all age groups. Older people are not left out as they stand to gain a lot more even.
When exercising, the body produces enzymes that eliminate LDL from the bloodstream, helping the body digest and excrete the unwanted cholesterol.
The following are simple exercises that are beneficial in fighting cholesterol buildup in older adults:
It is amazing what one can achieve by simply going for a stroll. Taking regular long walks help older adults burn calories and reduce LDL levels in their body. Brisk walking combats the buildup of LDL even faster.
However, it is essential to note that the duration of one’s walks takes precedence over its pace or intensity. In other words, it is preferable to take moderately-paced long walks over short, brisk ones, as this is how to lower cholesterol.
Regular jogs on a treadmill inside the house or outdoors can help maintain healthy LDL levels in older adults.
Cycling to the grocery store and other places in the neighbourhood rather than driving can help your older loved ones burn calories, keep their knees arthritis-free, and reduce LDL levels.
Going for regular swims increases flexibility, balance, and coordination in older adults. It also helps combat an unhealthy buildup of LDL in the body.
Other helpful exercises include yoga and resistance training.
2. Reduce the volume of food consumed
Consumption of food in excessive amounts can lead to unhealthy weight gains, causing LDL buildups. Furthermore, increased weight may encourage sedentary living and make older adults less inclined to partake in exercise.
The volume of food consumed can be controlled through various means. Here are three ways:
- Eating slowly and chewing through each bite properly.
- Drinking plenty of water before, between and after meals.
- Avoid the use of large plates to avoid dishing more food than needed.
That said, it is worth noting that underfeeding can lead to malnutrition and must also be avoided.
3. Cut back on alcohol intake
Consuming moderate amounts of alcoholic drinks may increase HDL (High Density Lipoproteins), helping to fight LDL in the bloodstream. However, taking alcohol in excess can have quite the opposite effect.
Heavy alcohol intake is linked to liver failure and may lead to an increase in blood pressure. Alcoholism can have a negative effect on the “bad cholesterol” levels of older people.
These strategies of keeping alcohol intake in check are also tips for lowering cholesterol:
- Staying hydrated.
- Making a plan.
- Taking it one day at a time.
- Drinking lower-strength drinks instead.
- Setting a budget for alcoholic beverages.
4. Go for natural low-cholesterol food
Many food types consumed every day, such as red meat and various baked foods, contain unhealthy cholesterol and unsaturated fat. These foods can spell danger for older adults’ cardiovascular health.
Several natural foods are beneficial in combating the buildup of bad cholesterol, and they include:
Beans contain soluble fibre, which captures and removes cholesterol from the body. They are rich in plant protein to help the body build strong muscles and healthy tissues and aid the shedding of excess body weight. This is how to lower cholesterol.
Additionally, beans come in different types, such as black and navy beans and can be used in various dishes.
Oats are a breakfast staple for many families. They contain high levels of soluble fibre, which helps reduce bad cholesterol in the bloodstream.
c. Grapes, citrus, and apples
These fruits contain pectin, which reduces the absorption of cholesterol in the bloodstream. Pectin lowers LDL levels without having any adverse effect on the level of HDL or “good cholesterol” in the body.
Fish contain acids that prevent the buildup of cholesterol in the arteries and combat fatty triglycerides in the bloodstream.
This plant contains mucilage which aids in the excretion of bad cholesterol through stooling.
Nuts such as cashews and walnuts contain high amounts of fibre and unsaturated fats, which encourages the excretion of cholesterol and limits the rate at which the body absorbs them.
g. Whole grains
Consider substituting whole grains for flour when preparing meals for your older loved ones. Whole grains such as rye and unrefined brown rice help combat obesity and reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
In sum, a diet high in vegetables, grains, and fruits is highly recommended for older adults to improve their cardiovascular health. Older people with healthy nutrition options will have no trouble maintaining a normal cholesterol level in their bodies.
5. Check the nutrition information label
This is one of the easy ways to lower cholesterol. Many people buy their favourite packaged foods without checking the nutritional information contained on the nutrition label. This shouldn’t be the case.
A product’s nutrition label carries information about the amount and types of fat and cholesterol that it contains. Medical experts advise that people take no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol per day.
People with a history of heart diseases are advised to take even lower amounts of cholesterol.
This article is helpful for people who want to know how to reduce cholesterol. If you have been wondering how your parents or grandparents can lower their cholesterol levels, these 5 tips should help.
Through a series of lifestyle and dietary changes, your older loved ones can reduce the LDLs and increase the HDLs in their body.
You can help by encouraging them to choose more healthy and cholesterol-friendly nutrition options and pursue an active lifestyle.