The cholesterol limit you should not exceed: this way you can avoid it without medication

Find an asterisk in the cholesterol section it is a constant that is repeated more and more when collecting blood tests. Almost half of Spaniards over 35 years of age know this sensation, but few value that having more fat than they need in their blood greatly increases the risk of having a heart attack or other cardiovascular diseases, which together form the leading cause of death. frequent.

But this is not just a problem of maturity. Childhood obesity causes more and more teens and young adults to experience the effects of high cholesterol. Most European countries have prevalence rates of overweight and obesity of more than 10% in boys and girls of 10 years, many of whom will continue to be overweight when they grow up and will suffer more health problems related to the alteration in the wall of The arteries.

Starting at age 20, blood cholesterol levels should be measured at least once every five years. The lipoprotein panel, which is how this test is known, will yield the total amount of cholesterol, a cholesterol index LDL —The one that accumulates in the arteries and blocks them—, another of HDL —Helps remove cholesterol from the arteries to some extent — and a blood count triglycerides "It increases the risk of heart disease, especially in women." Each of these indicators must enter its own limits to consider that health is not at risk.

For men and women under 20 years:

  • Total cholesterol: 170 mg / dL
  • Non-HDL: 120 mg / dL
  • LDL: 100 mg / dL
  • HDL 45 mg / dL

For men over 20 years:

  • Total cholesterol: 125 to 200 mg / dL
  • Non-HDL: 130 mg / dL
  • LDL: 100 mg / dL
  • HDL 40 mg / dL

For women over 20 years:

  • Total cholesterol: 125 to 200 mg / dL
  • Non-HDL: 130 mg / dL
  • LDL: 100 mg / dL
  • HDL 50 mg / dL

How to lower cholesterol?

Lowering cholesterol levels inevitably goes through change three lifestyle habits. The first of these is diet. Experts recommend that fats make up no more than 25% or 35% of the daily caloric intake and that less than 7% be saturated. Thus, if 1,500 calories are consumed per day, the amount of total fat should be between 42 and 58 grams, while just 10 grams should be saturated fat. In addition, foods of animal origin that contain cholesterol such as organ meats, dairy or egg yolks should be avoided; instead eat omega-3 rich fish such as salmon or tuna; limit the amount of salt to one tablespoon a day; and increase the intake of fruits and vegetables.

A good option to guarantee that these premises are met is to follow the DASH eating plan, specially designed to prevent and alleviate hypertension. In any case, the Spanish start with an advantage: the Mediterranean diet It is widely accepted as one of the healthiest in the world and incorporates the variety necessary to keep cholesterol and blood pressure at bay.

The second pillar on which the fight against cholesterol is based is control weight. In people of normal weight or light overweight, LDL rises as the body mass index increases, so it is necessary to regularly monitor the scale. In addition to following healthy habits such as those described above, it is advisable to reduce alcohol intake – no more than two drinks a day for men and no more than one for women – as well as abandoning sedentary lifestyle.

Moving is essential. The physical activity Regular can help achieve the above goal and thus lower LDL cholesterol. It also contributes to raising HDL cholesterol, lowering triglycerides, and improving the condition of the heart and lungs. According to the Family Hypercholesterolemia Foundation, it is not necessary to run a marathon to benefit from exercising and, in fact, it is convenient to adjust the efforts to the capacity of each person:

  • Light intensity: Do some light exercise like walking slowly (16 minutes per kilometer), DIY, cleaning the house, babysitting, or playing table tennis.
  • Moderate intensity: walk a little faster (10 minutes per kilometer), fix the garden, bike, skate, play tennis or dance.
  • High intensity: running (7 minutes per kilometer), climbing slopes or stairs, playing soccer or basketball, swimming or climbing.