How Does Losing Weight Affect Blood Pressure and Cholesterol?

In fact, many studies found that people with overweight are at greater risk of getting high blood pressure (hypertension) and high cholesterol than others with normal weight. So, there is a link between your weight and the levels of your cholesterol and blood pressure. In other words, losing weight can help. But how does it have an effect?

Will losing weight lower your blood pressure and cholesterol?

Both high cholesterol and blood pressure can be a great combination to increase your risk of getting heart disease, heart attack, and other cardiovascular diseases. And controlling your weight to keep it off is one of basic things you need to concern to improve your blood flow. See also the link between blood pressure and blood sugar, before continuing!

However, you don’t need to gain weight to get both problems. Even in people with ideal and healthy weight, there is also a chance for these problems to occur.

But with having healthy weight, you can remove one of top risk factors that will put you at high risk of having hypertension and high cholesterol.

Controlling weight is one of controllable risk factors you can do to save your heart and improve your entire health. It is also great idea to keep your productivity level on top form and improve your physically confident. So, there should be no any reason why you don’t get your regular exercise, eat in a well-balanced diet, and practice more healthy habits as much as possible!

What cholesterol and blood pressure are considered normal or too high?

While hypertension sometime can cause noticeable symptoms such as dull headaches, high cholesterol don’t cause any symptom. You need to get a blood test to see the levels of your cholesterols before getting a conclusion about the position (normal or high) of where you are.

The result of test will tell you the levels of HDL, LDL, and even triglyceride. HDL is considered as good cholesterol, and LDL is bad cholesterol. So, LDL is expected low and HDL is expected high.

The standard of analyzing the result of blood test for cholesterol may be a little bit different from lab to lab.

In general, the normal level of HDL (good cholesterol) should be 40-60 mg/dL for women and 40-50 mg/dL for men. Both men and women, the level of HDL can be categorized at high risk if it is lower than 40 mg /dL.

For in-depth information about the good levels of your cholesterol, visit this section!

The fluctuation of HDL levels is not equivalent with LDL (bad cholesterol). If you have higher LDL, you tend to have lower HDL. On the other hand, if you have higher HDL, your LDL is more likely to become lower.

Then, how about with blood pressure? Medically, it is a term used to describe the pressure within your blood vessels. When your heart pumps blood all around the body, there is more pressure within blood vessels that carry the blood leaves the heart than the pressure within the blood vessels for the blood that goes back to the heart.

Unlike in cholesterol test, the test to measure your blood pressure is more practical and doesn’t require a blood test.

140 /90 mm Hg or higher can be categorized into the level of hypertension. And for pre-hypertension, it can be between 120/80 to 139/89 – lower than these levels can be categorized normal. For more information about normal and abnormal levels of blood pressure, see this section!

So, how does losing weight help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure?

As well we know that many foods high in saturated fat (bad fat) and other unhealthy foods are high in cholesterol. They are typically also high in calories. And many obese people love them a lot. So at the same time, eating them can cause both weight gain and increased cholesterol. And when you have high cholesterol, it also can make the level of your blood pressure increases higher than normal.

All of them (either cholesterol, blood pressure, or your weight) are directly linked to what you put on the mouth. In other words, your diet can significantly affect all of them. This is the key why they are often found together and even may be linked each other.

A healthy weight loss diet is closely associated with healthy eating in a well-balanced diet. It can help you reduce eating foods high in calories and also high in saturated fats. On the other hand, it will pushes you to eat more healthy foods (high in fiber and other essential nutrients) but still in appropriate portion.

weight_blood_pressure_cholesterol_illustrationSo, along with your weight improves to its normal – your eating habits also change to be better and as a result you will also be better in controlling your cholesterol and blood pressure.

Another thing in a weight loss program that can be great for your blood flow is exercise. To lose weight, you need to lose calories. For this reason, you need to have a regular exercise to help burn more calories and help your weight off. And as well we know, exercise is also great to maintain your cholesterol and blood pressure as normal as possible.

How about the scale of the weight itself, does it have an effect? Yap, it also have contribution. If you are overweight, the amount of blood that needs to be pumped by your heart is higher than when you are on your best shape (at normal weight). And this can make your heart work harder day by day (one of reasons why heart disease is very common in obese people).

So we can conclude that your blood pressure is more likely to rise easily  as your weight increases higher than normal (particularly true if the most of your increased weight comes from fat – not lean muscles)!

How to lose calories with high blood pressure or high cholesterol

If you have hypertension, you may or may not have high cholesterol. But if you have high level of cholesterol, you might have high blood pressure.

Fortunately, both conditions are treatable and there are lots of options you can explore to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. And losing weight is one of the most recommended options if you are being overweight!

Do your diet appropriately!

When it comes to lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight with diet – there are lot of strategies you can try. But overall, you need to eat healthfully in a well-balanced diet and watch calories of every food that you eat! Below are several major checklists:

  1. No matter how healthiest food that you eat, don’t forget to watch on calories. Many times, people eat all what they want as long as for healthy foods. But you need to clearly understand that even for healthy foods, they also contain calories. If you eat them too much, this can be counterproductive for your weight loss program. So – make sure to choose the appropriate serving size!
  2. If you find processed foods and non-processed foods, you should choose non-processed foods (such as whole-wheat) instead of processed foods. If you love starches, avoid processed starches – whole-grain is much better option (it’s not only great for your entire health with its nutrient value but also great to keep you fell fuller).
  3. Foods high in fiber must be on your top list than other. There are many health advantages from fiber. It is not only great for your skin and digestive system but also great to help you lose more calories, visit this section for more detailed information about this topic!
  4. Be careful with salt! Salt is not only bad for your blood pressure (excessive consumption of salt can cause hypertension) but also not too good for your weight control. So, make sure you prioritize low-salt foods!

If you love fatty foods, you can still eat them – though they are high in calories but they also contain some essential nutrients. But make sure to eat them in limited option!

For better result, make sure most of you fat intake come from healthy fats (unsaturated fats).

It’s much better to prioritize foods low in fat (especially low in saturated fat ‘bad fat’) and low in calories in your diet. Some fatty foods that should be restricted in your weight loss diet include high-fat salad dressing, skin of animal meat (such as skin of poultry), high-fat dairy products, margarine, and butter.

Drink alcohol moderately and restrict beverages high in calories!

The reason is due to alcohol is pretty high in calories. If you drink it too much in your daily diet, it can put more extra calories which then will be stored as fat in the body and then eventually can cause a new weight gain problem. See this previous post for other beverages high in calories you need to avoid!

Another reason, drinking alcohol excessively also can increase the level of blood pressure. However, there are also some studies showed that drinking alcohol in moderation may improve blood pressure and blood sugar.

In general, drinking alcohol should not more than one drink /day for women and 2 drinks /day for men – recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

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