Volume 8, Issue 2
Coronary Artery Disease
Up with the “Good” Cholesterol
Some people might respond better to a combination
of cholesterol medication and lifestyle changes. Your
doctor can advise which treatment is best for you.
When you have coronary artery disease (CAD),
cholesterol tests are a normal part of your doctor
visits. This test measures your total cholesterol, HDL
(“good”) cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. It
also measures your triglycerides.
After seeing your test results, your doctor may have
talked with you about the importance of lowering
your LDL and triglyceride levels. LDL or “bad”
cholesterol, can lead to the buildup of plaque. Plaque
can clog arteries, putting you at risk for a heart attack
or stroke. A high triglyceride level is another risk factor
for heart disease and stroke.
On the other hand, raising your HDL is just as important as
lowering your LDL. HDL is known as the “good” cholesterol
because it slows the growth of plaque in arteries.
Certain lifestyle changes tend to raise good cholesterol and
lower bad cholesterol and triglycerides at the same time:
Maintain a healthy weight.
Leaner bodies tend
to have higher HDL levels.
Get regular exercise.
If possible, try to exercise
30 minutes a day at least five times a week.
Choose an activity that gets your heart beating
faster, like brisk walking, cycling or swimming.
Eat more fiber.
Fruits and vegetables are great
sources. So are whole grains, such as whole-
wheat bread and brown rice. Aim for 25 to 30
grams a day.
Focus on healthy fats.
Fatty fish, like salmon,
sardines and tuna are full of omega-3 fats.
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