Last updated on Jan 14th, 2021 at 02:28 pm

Did you know that cholesterol and triglycerides are equally responsible for coronary disease risk? Read all about how you can lower your risk of having a heart attack by changing your diet and exercise routine.

“Triglycerides traditionally have been viewed as second-class citizens,” said Dr. Michael Miller, director of preventive cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center. “LDL cholesterol has always taken center stage. We know that LDL is intimately involved in bringing cholesterol to scavenger cells, which deposit them to form plaques in the arteries. This study shows that triglycerides in and of themselves are also lipids to blame.”  

The solution lies in changing your diet 

To get your triglycerides and cholesterol back down to a normal level, you will have to make some dietary changes. For people who have high cholesterol levels from eating too many fattening foods, cholesterol lowering can be accomplished by as much as 10-20% from dieting alone. Reducing calories to 1,200-1,500 for women and 1,500-1,800 for men will help you lose 2 pounds per week.  

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Exercise is a great help too

When losing weight, you shouldn’t drink more than one serving of alcohol per day and you should be ingesting eight cups of water daily. Adding just 30 minutes of exercise per day, either all at once or in 3 intervals of 10 minutes, can work wonders for heart health.  When cooking, replace butter with olive oil, canola oil or peanut oil. In many baking recipes, you can use applesauce instead of butter, believe it or not! Dieticians recommend eating no more than 5 ounces of meat per day, substituting half a cup of beans to get your protein and eating no more than 2 egg yolks per week. To reduce cholesterol and triglycerides and extend your life, you’ll be limiting carbs, sugars, fat and alcohol but your replacement diet doesn’t have to be torture.  In fact, many companies are manufacturing sugar free sweets and low fat ice cream to help tame those cravings. Once you use discipline over an extended period of time, you’ll find that these foods have lost their luster and no longer have control over your life or your health.

Some cases may need prescription drugs

You may have heard that cholesterol and triglycerides often require prescription drugs to help the body get back to business. Statins are the most effective and commonly used drugs because they produce little side effects and they can quickly halt the progression of coronary artery disease. They work by reducing bad cholesterol and boosting good one to restore balance.

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.