When the levels of bad cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in the body are between the ranges of 200 to 239 mg/dL, it is defined as borderline cholesterol. This level is basically an indication that the individual is at risk of acquiring the problem of high cholesterol. The reason why the levels of LDL in the body may rise is primarily due to the fact that the LDL sticks to the arterial walls in the body, thereby reducing the ability of the body to pump blood. This means that the body has to make a greater effort in order to pump blood and the risk of blood clots formations and heart disease rises. A heart-healthy diet and exercise can go a long way in not just reducing the levels of cholesterol, but also increasing the levels of HDL i.e. high-density lipoproteins for flushing out the bad cholesterol.
Here are some of the steps that people can take for reducing bad cholesterol levels:
1- Red meat should be avoided. Even though this meat is laden with proteins, it also includes pork and beef, which contribute to high LDL levels because of the presence of saturated fats. Albacore tuna, mackerel, salmon and halibut can be eaten by people because they are not just high in protein, but also cause a reduction in the levels of low-density lipoproteins.
2- It is best to eat a diet that comprises of low-cholesterol foods. Some healthy substitutes include egg whites, lean cuts of meat and fat-free milk that can provide the essential nutrients without adding to the levels of bad cholesterol.
3- Butter and margarine should be eliminated. Use canola oil, olive oil or peanut oil as their replacement because butter is high in saturated fat. Monounsaturated fatty acids can be found in cooking oil, which can promote the health of arteries. Fried and fatty foods typically contain trans fat, which is known as partially hydrogenated oils and increase the levels of bad cholesterol.
4- The consumption of whole grains should be increased. The levels of bad cholesterol in the arteries can be reduced by whole-grain foods such as pasta, cereal and bread.
5- Develop a daily exercise routine. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), bad cholesterol can be reduced and circulation can be promoted with half an hour of cardiovascular activity such as taking brisk walls, running and aerobic exercise.
6- Consumption of alcohol should be limited. The risk of heart disease can be lowered when alcohol beverages are taken only in moderate amounts. However, if more than one drink is taken every day, the risk of high blood pressure can be increased. 1.5 ounces of liquor, 8 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine and 12 ounces of beer equals one drink.
7- Smoking should be stopped completely. The HDL levels can be reduced because of smoking and this can put the health at risk because bad cholesterol will be allowed to accumulate in the arteries and there will be less HDL to clear it out.