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When there’s too much “bad” cholesterol in the bloodstream, the cardiovascular system will be pushed to its limit. Over time, this increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and heart disease, which are just a few of the reasons seniors must do everything in their power to keep their cholesterol levels within a safe range. Here are a few tips older adults can use to naturally lower their cholesterol levels.
1. Avoid Trans Fats
Fat is an essential macronutrient, but your aging loved one should be wary of what type of fat he or she is consuming. Trans fats increase LDL levels and lower HDL levels, which is what causes high cholesterol. When shopping for bread and other baked goods, your loved one should always take a look at the labels. Trans fat can be found in many different ingredients, including partially hydrogenated oil. Even if a product has “low fat” on the label, it might still contain quite a bit of trans fat.
2. Drop a Few Pounds
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, losing 10 pounds can reduce LDL levels by up to 8 percent. If your loved one is overweight, encourage him or her to consider scaling back on daily calories until he or she is within a healthy weight range. As a general rule, losing one to two pounds per week is a reasonable and safe goal. A senior who is relatively active might be able to accomplish that goal by cutting a few hundred calories per day.
If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care Albuquerque families can rely on. All of our caregivers are bonded, licensed, and insured, there are no hidden fees, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.
3. Eat More Soluble Fiber
In addition to being vital to digestive health, fiber also regulates cholesterol levels. When plenty of fiber is consumed, the liver pulls cholesterol out of the bloodstream to create digestive enzymes, which is one of the reasons the American Heart Association recommends eating at least 35 grams of fiber per day. Fiber can be found in a wide variety of foods, including leafy green vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
4. Increase Physical Activity
One of the most effective ways to lower cholesterol levels is to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. Seniors who have been diagnosed with high cholesterol should speak with a doctor before starting any exercise program. While exercising is extremely healthy, your loved one needs to be cautious if he or she has any cardiovascular issues. The doctor might suggest starting off with moderate activities like going for a slow walk or stretching for a few minutes every day.
From exercising to managing simple housekeeping tasks, older adults may need help with an array of activities. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Albuquerque respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.
5. Stop Smoking
When a person smokes a cigarette, all of the blood vessels constrict, making it nearly impossible for the liver to pull cholesterol out of the bloodstream, which is one of the reasons smokers experience much higher rates of heart disease. Quitting smoking can be a difficult task, but it can enhance almost every aspect of your loved one’s life. Nicotine replacement therapy is especially effective, and you should speak with a doctor about nicotine replacement products if your loved one isn’t able to quit independently.
Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to boost your loved one’s wellbeing. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Albuquerque, NM, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To talk to one of our Care Managers, call 505-798-0800 today.