Cholesterol is one of the most notorious factors that can lead to a heart attack. Many people believe that cholesterol only exists in a bad form that damages the heart and clogs blood vessels. However, the truth is that it has both sides to it, the good and the bad.
One of the most essential components of our body, cholesterol is a part of hormones and cellular structures. It is not only produced naturally in the body but you can also intake it in the form of foods such as animal products.
There are mainly two categories of cholesterol, the bad type, and the good type. The harmful or bad type is called low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol which forms clots and deposits. On the other hand, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol helps to remove the harmful cholesterol forms from the blood.
Cholesterol only poses as a heart attack risk factor when the harmful kind starts depositing in the arteries. These fatty clogs disrupt the normal blood flow and lead to heart disease. Also, sometimes these deposits start circulating in the blood in the form of clots and cause a heart attack.
Even though cholesterol can be a heart attack risk factor, these are other toxic habits that can lead to poor outcomes. The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests that obesity, high blood pressure, smoking, and diabetes are equal contributors to heart disease. However, you can keep these factors under control while maintaining your healthy cholesterol levels.
- Choose a heart-friendly diet
Nothing triggers the disease and illness like a poor diet deprived of vitamins and good nutrients. Incorporate as many fruits and vegetables as you can in your diet and add a portion of meat as well.
- Keep your weight under control
Obesity is an important heart attack risk factor and if gone uncontrolled, it leads to many chronic illnesses. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help you keep your weight in check while maintaining the health of your heart.
- Address mental and physical stress contributors
You can not control all the sources of stress but there are ways to manage it to some extent. Paying a visit to the therapist and meditation can help reduce stress and eventually keep the heart-healthy. Also, try reducing the intake of alcohol or caffeine to lower stress levels.
- Look into cholesterol medications
In severe cases of cholesterol deposition, doctors prescribe medications that keep the levels under control. Even though a healthy diet and physical activity can manage the cholesterol level in the body but sometimes a proper medication keeps everything under control more effectively.
All of these measures can only help to an extent as other heart attack risk factors include age or a history of heart disease in the family. Meanwhile, take all the necessary steps you can to prolong the life of your heart and keep it healthy as long as you can. One of the most important steps is to manage the cholesterol level regardless of your age and lifestyle.