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Don't Let High LDL Ruin The Holidays: Three Tips To Keep The Cholesterol Beast At Bay This Winter

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A recent study reveals that levels of LDL cholesterol—the worst kind—increase over 3% for men and nearly 2% for women during cold winter months. Understand the causes of elevated LDL levels to keep your heart healthy this winter. These tips will get you started:

Get active

One mistake many people make in the wintertime is becoming sedentary, then going out one afternoon and straining their backs raking leaves and shoveling snow. After this strenuous event, they often go back to becoming sedentary due to their injury.

Keep active and fit all year by planning where and how you will exercise during winter. Indoor pools, tracks, and fitness centers provide shelter if you live in a frigid, snowy, or rainy climate. Dance classes, yoga, racquetball, and weight training are indoor activities.

Nature lovers should continue to hike and bike and take regular excursions to find new trails that are safe for winter activities. Explore new sports including cross-country skiing and figure skating.

Don't feed the LDL beast

Many foods are low in LDL levels and some even provide protection from LDL buildup. Ask your cardiologist for literature on helpful and harmful foods. They will have lists of ingredients to enjoy or avoid during the holiday season when you'll be snacking on treats more frequently than usual.

Focus on the delicious foods that are good for you. There are good reasons to enjoy holiday cookies made of nuts, chocolate, and oats. Instead of serving your family's traditional ham, study the Italian tradition of feasting on heart-healthy fatty-fish dishes during festive times.

Exchange eggplant Parmesan with your traditional pasta-heavy lasagna, and enjoy all of the apples, berries, citrus fruits, and grapes you can stand. Beans can be enjoyed in veggie chili, while barley and other whole grains make light and satisfying soups and salads.

Investigate all possible solutions to high LDL levels

Your cardiologist knows there's a direct link between high LDL levels and the potential for serious cardiovascular problems. They prescribe medicines known to help lower and maintain LDL levels in their patients.

Statin drugs have long been used to safely and reliably treat elevated LDL levels, but there are some patients who have adverse reactions to statins. One researcher and team discovered that non-statin drugs are also effective at lowering statin levels in vulnerable patients.

Check out and ask your heart doctor for recommendations on keeping your cholesterol levels low during winter. They know your unique challenges, environment, and health profile and will give you the best advice on keeping your LDL levels low during the coldest season.