Lowering Risks of Heart Disease in Sugar Land, TX
Your body is capable of generating all the cholesterol it needs for healthy function, but cholesterol is also found in many of the foods you consume, adding excess cholesterol to your body after digestion. If you have high cholesterol, you are at a higher risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. At Reddy Cardiac Wellness, we can help you evaluate your cholesterol levels and your risk for heart disease, then take the right steps to lower your cholesterol for improved lifelong heart health in Sugar Land, TX.
High Cholesterol and Heart Disease
There are two types of cholesterol found in the body: LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. High cholesterol is a condition characterized by excess LDL cholesterol in the blood, which is associated with an increased risk of heart disease—specifically, a condition called coronary artery disease.
- Coronary artery disease occurs when plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart. This leads to atherosclerosis, or narrowing of the arteries. Because plaque is composed partly of cholesterol, high levels of cholesterol allow plaque to form more easily.
- Atherosclerosis restricts blood flow to the heart, making it work harder while starving it of the oxygen it needs. The plaque deposits in your arteries also raise your risk of a heart attack—if an area of plaque ruptures, a blood clot will form, which can further reduce or even completely block the flow of blood to the heart.
- Only high levels of LDL cholesterol are associated with a greater risk of heart disease. HDL cholesterol, sometimes called “good” cholesterol, aids in the removal of excess cholesterol from the body. Excess HDL cholesterol is not considered a risk factor for heart disease.
Lowering Your Cholesterol
There are several treatment options for patients with high cholesterol. While medication may be prescribed at first, dietary and lifestyle modifications are often the best long-term solution for maintaining desirable cholesterol levels after your goal has been reached.
- Foods containing soluble fiber reduce the absorption of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream. These foods include oatmeal, beans, oranges, and flaxseeds.
- While omega-3 fatty acids won’t directly reduce LDL cholesterol levels, they lower your risk of blood clots and can be used as substitutes for foods that contain cholesterol. Foods rich in these nutrients include salmon, sardines, herring, and olive oil.
- Lutein can help reduce the buildup of plaque in the arteries by making it difficult for plaque and cholesterol to stick to artery walls. Foods high in lutein include egg yolks, spinach, and kale.
You can find out more about lowering your cholesterol and reversing the effects of high cholesterol by calling Reddy Cardiac Wellness at (281) 617-2203 today.