High Cholesterol: Reducing Your Risk of Stroke


When you hear the words “high cholesterol”, most people think of a thick, crusty build up in arteries. They also think that the biggest threat of high cholesterol is the breakdown of the arteries that it attaches to. This is pretty scary information, to say the least. Even though they know what it is, they don’t know how to stop the progression. With the right advice, and the right planning, you can reverse many of the effects of high cholesterol and reduce your risk of high cholesterol associated stroke.

Cholesterol is a soft, pliable substance that slowly builds up in arteries and veins. It can completely or partially block the flow of blood through the artery. It can also break free in chunks, completely blocking the exit of the artery. Either method of cholesterol blocking an artery, even partially, could result in a stroke.  The damage done to arteries by the cholesterol build up, can also lead to arthrosclerosis, which literally means hardening of the arteries. If this happens, the artery cannot expand to accommodate the clog and the blood flow can be reduced causing serious injury to body parts or the brain.

Risk Factors for High Cholesterol

There are some things you can change about your risks of developing high cholesterol. Other things, you cannot change.

The things that can cause you to have high cholesterol are family history, your age, or your gender. Scientific studies have shown that women that have crossed over the threshold of menopause are at higher risks than those who have not.

Don’t let this information intimidate you. There are things that you can do to reduce the health risks of having high cholesterol.

Managing Your Cholesterol to Prevent Stroke

There are many things you can do to reduce your risk of developing high cholesterol, and to manage existing high cholesterol.  All of these steps can also prevent stroke if you do have high cholesterol.

  • Staying active and exercising regularly can help reduce your risk of developing high cholesterol, and also help reduce your cholesterol if it is already high.
  • Losing weight is not just for cosmetic reasons. Maintaining a lower weight can help prevent your LDL level from increasing.

Managing High Cholesterol

Managing high cholesterol is not as hard as you may think. The little nagging voice in your head telling you to eat a healthier diet is right.

Eating foods that are low in saturated fat can dramatically reduce your cholesterol. Fruits, vegetables, chicken and fish, as well as low-fat dairy products is the best route to take. It is also recommended that you bake, broil, steam, and grill your food, while avoiding fried foods.

It is also important to add fiber to your diet. Adding whole grains, beans and lentils can help reduce your cholesterol levels.

Combining Lifestyle and Medications

Even though we all want to avoid medical intervention, it is sometimes necessary to use medications along with lifestyle changes to properly control cholesterol.  There are many different medications available, on prescription only basis, that can treat high cholesterol. Many find that they only have to take medication for a short period of time, as long as they combine proper diet and exercise.

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3 Unexpected Foods to Help You Lower Cholesterol
Why Diabetics are at Risk for High Cholesterol
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