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Home Lifestyle 5 Reasons Why Most People Fail at Managing Their Cholesterol

5 Reasons Why Most People Fail at Managing Their Cholesterol

Last update: Mar 3
reading-time4 min
Older woman smiling

When we hit the age of 60, our cholesterol usually rises as arteries become thicker. It’s a natural part of the aging process. 

Usually, lifestyle changes may lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol. 

But very often, people have problems maintaining healthy cholesterol.

Here’s why.

1. Forgetting to Take Your Medication

It is, by far, one of the most common reasons why seniors can’t maintain their heart health.

I want to point out that about 125,000 people die each year because they don’t take their medicines1.

Irregular use of medicines can lead to higher risks of stroke and the development of cardiovascular diseases like:

  • Coronary heart disease (CHD – tightening arteries)
  • Abnormal heart rhythms or arrhythmia
  • Heart attack
  • Deep vein thrombosis2
  • And more…
Lots of medicine

I would suggest creating a schedule – write down which and how many medicines you need to take at a specified time.

It may seem like a lot of work, but writing a plan is more reliable than keeping it in your head.

This way, you won’t forget to take your medicine wherever you are.

There is also a way that is a hundred times more convenient.

Imagine getting notifications to your phone about which meds you have to take and when.

That would eliminate the hard work of noting everything down by yourself. Wouldn’t it be ideal?

I will explain it in more detail later on.

2. Eating Too Much Junk Food

If your daily servings include these:

  • Fizzy drinks, sodas
  • Baked goods and snacks
  • Sugary cereals
  • Ready meals containing food additives (with preservatives, dyes, stabilizers, artificial sweeteners)
  • Dehydrated vegetable soups
  • Reconstituted meat and fish products…

…then, read this part carefully.

The British Medical Journal released a study that eating junk food daily increases developing heart disease by 62%3.

Junk food

An easy way of making sure you don’t have too much junk food in your diet is to be mindful of what you eat.

According to NutriNet-Santé researchers, meal planning is associated with a healthier diet and preventing obesity4.

However, meal planning might not seem intuitive for everybody. People might struggle with planning the correct amount of food or the appropriate nutrition for their conditions. 

Some people just get overwhelmed by the amount of work that goes into researching the right meals for them!

There are millions of recipes that may help improve your heart health. Some people might find the same meals helpful, and others might not. It’s because everyone’s different ‒ it’s natural.

Instead of researching such recipes or even struggling to count calories before each meal for months…

You can have a plan that would automatically do all of this for you.

Some mobile apps have accurate meal plans according to your individual needs. They consider your weight, age, gender, allergies, favorite food, and even symptoms.

And it’s perfectly designed for seniors.

3. Lack of Attention to Mental Health

Mental health plays a massive role in the management of cardiovascular diseases. A variety of mental health conditions can have an impact on heart health.

Studies have discovered a close link between depression and heart attack5.

Depression is one of the most overlooked issues that can impact a person’s heart condition.

Long-term stress and negative emotions can increase the amount of LDL “bad” cholesterol. It happens because of cortisol – a stress hormone that builds up plaque inside the arteries6.

If unmanaged, such conditions may cause severe consequences. Especially for people who are recovering or those who have high blood pressure.

It’s also relevant for individuals who work or live in high-stress environments. 

There are many different approaches to reduce stress and stabilize the state of mind.

One of the most popular and effective ways is to practice conscious breathing

Another great solution is to focus on a simple activity. For example, walking, gardening, reading, or any other activity that you find enjoyable and relaxing.

4. Using Unreliable Measurement Devices

Most of these items sold online are not FDA-approved. And they can’t assure accurate readings. Devices that are FDA-approved have almost the same accuracy as the tests run at a hospital. 

Having a well-functioning measurement device or a kit will prevent decision errors. It means you’ll take the right medicine or choose the proper exercise.

If you decide to buy a device from third-party sellers, you take the risk of making the wrong decision. It means you could risk worsening your cardiovascular condition.

5. Lack of Exercise

Research shows that physical inactivity causes one out of three CHD-related deaths.

CHD is the deadliest cardiovascular disease in the United States. More than half a million Americans lose their lives each year7 8.

But, a study run in 2013 showed that higher levels of physical activity caused a 21% reduction of CHD events for men. And for women, it was 29%. It means that regular exercise helps significantly lower the risk of CHD9.

The American Heart Association recommends 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity 3–4 times per week10.

Older woman working out

There are many options on how to exercise on your own. 

For example, having a walk outside around your neighborhood or in a park can be a great start. 

Or, if you have a friend or a partner, have a walk together. This is a proven safe way to reduce stress.

In fact, regular exercise can reduce total cholesterol to healthy levels. Physical activities that help greatly reduce LDL include walking, swimming, yoga, cycling, team sports (basketball, football…), and high-intensity workouts (HIIT)11.

Also, there are countless videos and articles about fitness. But exercising without proper instructions puts people at risk of injuries and worsening their health.

A professionally created workout plan is much safer than doing the exercises alone.

Written by
Edibel Quintero, MD

Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel's goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.

Older woman smiling

Comments (3)

  1. avatar
    2 Jan, 2022 at 6:48 am

    The personal meal plan is really good because I can avoid foods that I don’t like and not end up with every meal being kale or spinach!

  2. avatar
    6 Jan, 2022 at 10:02 am

    I already lost 4 pounds using this and it has only been a month, really excited to see what I can do.

  3. avatar
    6 Jan, 2022 at 1:20 pm

    I wish I had more time to exercise in the gym, but I just don’t. Looks like the workout plan isn’t too long and difficult, so I will give it a try.


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