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How Long Does It Take to Lower Cholesterol?

How long does it take to lower cholesterol?

Around 26% of adults in the U.S. have elevated cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol is the waxy substance your body needs to produce hormones, vitamin D, and digestive juices. But having too much of it can lead to heart disease or a stroke.

Maintaining a healthy cholesterol level is crucial for your overall health and reducing the risks of serious disease.

This article explains how to lower your cholesterol - and how long it will take. Don't go anywhere.

What a Normal Cholesterol Level Looks Like

A healthy cholesterol level is typically defined as having a total cholesterol level below 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).

What does this mean?

There are three key types of cholesterol that medical professionals differentiate between:

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL)
  • Triglycerides

LDL is the "bad" cholesterol, while HDL is known as the "good" cholesterol. LDL cholesterol can build up in the walls of your arteries, while HDL cholesterol helps remove LDL cholesterol from your bloodstream. The buildup of LDL makes it harder for your heart to pump blood, increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Triglycerides are a form of fat that stores the body's excess energy. They're not exactly cholesterol - but they are evaluated with most regular cholesterol tests.

Normal cholesterol levels are measured by comparing the amount of HDL, LDL, and triglycerides in the blood. Up to 100mg/dL of bad cholesterol and 60mg/dL of good cholesterol are healthy.

Dangerous Cholesterol Levels

Dangerous levels can result from both low and high cholesterol.

If your bad cholesterol is registering 160mg/dL or more (around 60% higher than average), then you have high cholesterol. If your good cholesterol is registering 39mg/dL or less, you have low cholesterol. Your triglycerides should be below 150mg/dL.

Your doctor will measure your total cholesterol and evaluate the numbers. If any of them are outside the recommended range, you may need to make lifestyle adjustments or take medication to improve your cholesterol levels.

The American Heart Association advises cholesterol checkups every five years for adults over the age of 20.

Factors that Increase Cholesterol Levels

Lots of factors can affect your cholesterol levels, including:

  • Age
  • Genetics
  • Gender
  • Diet
  • Lifestyle Choices

Some people are naturally predisposed to high cholesterol levels. Others develop high cholesterol because of a poor diet. A lack of exercise is a common cause of high cholesterol, while age and gender also play a role:

Men typically have higher cholesterol levels than women. And as with most medication conditions, you're more likely to see your cholesterol rise as you age.

How Cholesterol Affects Your Heart

High levels of LDL cholesterol form plaque in your arteries. Your arteries are the blood vessels that supply fresh blood to your body. The buildup of plaque can restrict blood flow to your heart, increasing your risk of heart disease and heart attacks.

HDL cholesterol helps your body remove excess LDL cholesterol, reducing the strain on your heart. That's why low levels of HDL cholesterol can be concerning in addition to high levels of LDL cholesterol.

How Long Does It Take To Lower Cholesterol?

Improvements to cholesterol take time - and the timeline varies from person to person. Several factors influence your body's response. The severity of your high cholesterol, the extent of your dedication to lifestyle changes, and the use of cholesterol medication all affect your own timeline.

In other words, individual experiences differ.

Even so, it's reasonable to expect noticeable improvements within a few weeks to a few months.

Ultimately, cholesterol management is a long-term commitment - and not a "diet". Sustaining a healthy lifestyle, improving your diet, and taking prescribed medications (if applicable) is essential for maintaining your levels over time.

Regular testing and medical follow-ups will help you keep track of your progress.

Improving Cholesterol with Exercise

Regular exercise is an effective way of improving your overall health.

Studies show that regular exercise reduces your risk of death across the board by a wide margin. Regular physical activity can help raise your HDL and lower your LDL cholesterol levels.

That means at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week for adults. By incorporating regular exercise into your routine, you can start to see improvements in your cholesterol levels within a few weeks.

Lifestyle Changes That Lower Cholesterol

Regular exercise is only part of the package.

There's a lot more you can do to lower your cholesterol.

If you're a smoker, then reducing your intake of tobacco products or quitting smoking will have significant improvements to your whole cardiovascular system. Smoking damages the blood vessels and lowers the levels of HDL cholesterol in the body.

Stress management is also crucial. The modern world and the modern workplace cause a lot of undue stress, and many adults don't take steps to manage it effectively. While stress alone won't increase your cholesterol, it typically contributes to unhealthy lifestyle choices.

Stress leads to stress eating, drinking, and a sedentary lifestyle, and as we've discussed, a poor diet will increase your cholesterol levels.

Meditation, yoga, hobbies, and socializing can all help you manage stress.

Finally, maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for cholesterol management. Excess weight, especially around the waist, is often correlated with elevated cholesterol.

The Role of Your Diet

By adopting a balanced diet focused on healthy living, you'll reduce your intake of saturated fats and trans fats that are known to elevate cholesterol levels. Whole foods, lean protein, and lots of fruit and vegetables help you effectively manage your cholesterol levels.

The kinds of food to avoid are heavily processed snacks, fatty meats, and fried foods.

But that's not as easy as it sounds.

Most modern foods are full of added sugar and fat, which can make them far less healthy than they appear. The easiest way of selecting healthier diet options is to focus on natural, unprocessed foods.

Bread bought from a local baker is healthier than processed bread sourced at a supermarket. Cooking meals from scratch trumps fast food every day of the week. And swapping chips, chocolate, and other calorie bombs for fruits and vegetables helps with weight management and reduces your dependency on sugar.

All in all, the "Mediterranean diet" emphasizes healthy fats, high fiber, and plenty of cholesterol-lowering foods. It's a great way to start eating healthier - and it's packed with delicious recipes to broaden your palate.

Best Foods for Reducing Cholesterol

What foods can lower cholesterol?

There's no magic pill, but certain foods have been shown to have a positive impact. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, can help raise HDL cholesterol levels.

Nuts like almonds and walnuts are also beneficial.

Additionally, foods fortified with plant sterols or stanols help lower LDL cholesterol levels. Orange and lemon juice, certain kinds of margarine, avocados, and oatmeal contain the right compounds that lower LDL cholesterol.

Healthy heart supplements, such as ones that provide a range of natural, cholesterol-lowering ingredients, can help ensure you're getting enough good cholesterol in your diet.

Medications and Their Impact on Cholesterol

When lifestyle and dietary choices alone aren't enough, your doctor will prescribe medication to lower it.

In general, this is only done as a last resort. Making healthy lifestyle choices, exercising regularly, and eating well are all better for managing cholesterol.

Statins are a common medication that can lower LDL cholesterol levels. Other medications, such as bile acid sequestrants, cholesterol absorption inhibitors, and PCSK9 inhibitors, may also be prescribed depending on the severity of your high cholesterol.

Your doctor will work closely with you to determine the best treatment plan for your needs.

Monitoring and Maintaining Healthy Cholesterol Levels

You need to monitor your cholesterol levels regularly once you've made the decision to improve it.

Most doctors will carry out periodic blood tests to keep track of your cholesterol levels. These tests enable healthcare professionals to assess your cholesterol accurately and make adjustments to your treatment plan if necessary.

But you need to stay proactive and committed to your well-being.

Open communication with your healthcare provider is key - they can't tailor their help to your needs if you aren't being honest about your habits. Through a combination of lifestyle changes, medication, and ongoing collaboration with your doctor, you can continue to safeguard your health and make positive changes to your cholesterol levels.

In the end, the choice lies with you.

Lower Your Cholesterol Levels

So, how long does it take to lower cholesterol? The answer is: it depends on you. With the right choices, you can expect to see improvements in a matter of a few weeks to a few months.

It takes time, and it takes a can-do attitude. Remember, it's never too late to take your first baby steps toward a healthier lifestyle.

Formed by a two-time heart attack survivor, Cardio Cleanse offers a natural defense against heart disease. Click here to order a value pack of all-natural heart supplements.

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