7 Tips To Lower Your Cholesterol Before an Exam

by Jeff Rose on October 5, 2012

7 Tips To Lower Your Cholesterol Before an ExamWhen it comes to your life insurance medical exam, nothing can be worse than being rated down because of a high cholesterol level.

This is an issue that is easily overlooked by many individuals that do not realize that their cholesterol is high or on the border line.

Is All Cholesterol Bad?

The answers is no. There are two different types of cholesterol, LDL and HDL.

  • LDL ( Low-Density Lipoprotein) is the “bad” cholesterol. The type of cholesterol can cause build-ups inside of your arteries that increase your risk for heart disease.
LDL CholesterolLDL Cholesterol Category
Less than 100Optimal
100 - 129Near optimal/above optimal
130 - 159Borderline High
160 - 189High
190 and aboveVery High
  • HDL ( High-Density Lipoprotein) is “good” cholesterol. This type of cholesterol helps remove the “bad” cholesterol in the blood to prevent build-ups and heart disease.
HDL CholesterolHDL Cholesterol Category
60 and aboveHigh/Optimal; associated with lower risk
Less than 40 in men and less than 50 in womenLow; considered a risk factor for heart disease
HDL and LDL

Total Cholesterol Levels.

Total cholesterol levels in the blood is a measure of lipid components and LDL/HDL cholesterol. This total cholesterol level is recommended to be below 200.

HDL CholesterolHDL Cholesterol Category
60 and aboveHigh/Optimal; associated with lower risk
Less than 40 in men and less than 50 in womenLow; considered a risk factor for heart disease

Don’t Forget About Triglycerides!

Your triglyceride level will also be checked when you apply for life insurance. Excess calories that you intake are converted to triglycerides and stored in the fat cells in your body. People with high triglyceride levels have a higher risk of coronary artery disease.

TriglyceridesTriglyceride Category
Less than 150Normal
150 - 199Mildly High
200 - 499High
500 and aboveVery High

Lowering your cholesterol before an exam.

If you are on the border line of having high cholesterol, it is important to start eating right before you have your medical exam for life insurance. Here are a 7 easy tips that can help lower your cholesterol.

  1. Watch your saturated fat intake. Saturated fats have been linked to increasing your cholesterol level.
  2. Mom always told me to eat more fiber. She was right! Fiber acts like a sponge to absorb bad cholesterol. Make sure you eat more things high in dietary fiber such as whole grain foods, oats and bran.
  3. Don’t forget the fruits and vegetables! Soluble fibers can be found in fruits and vegetables. This soluble fiber has a double effect of lowering LDL “bad” cholesterol and increasing HDL “good” cholesterol.
  4. Go fishing! Fish and fish oil are high in omega-3 fatty acids. This acid helps lower cholesterol and triglycerides. Salmon is a great source for the omega-3 acid. If you are considering fish oil capsule, consult your physician first. The omega-3 acid can also be found in plant sources such as soybeans, flax seed, walnuts and canola.
  5. NO SMOKING! Not only is smoking going to cost you for life insurance premiums, but it also lowers HDL levels, good cholesterol, in your blood.
  6. Have a drink. Wait a second, you’re telling me that drinking alcohol is good for me. Yes, but only in moderation. It has been shown that one or two drinks a day can increase HDL levels in the blood. Don’t get carried away though, drinking too much can have a negative impact on liver and heart health.
  7. Exercise, exercise, exercise. Doctors show that even moderate exercise can lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and raise HDL “good” cholesterol by up to 10%!

 

If you are concerned about your cholesterol levels, following these steps can help you have a healthier lifestyle and avoid higher premiums.

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