High cholesterol symptoms: ‘Blue toe syndrome’ and other signs on the feet

High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) explained that “blue toe syndrome” describes the colour the foot digits turn when one or more blood vessels are blocked. This blue hue is present whether the foot is cold or warm, and tells you that the body’s extremities are not receiving the amount of oxygen it needs. “Without treatment, the lack of oxygen can cause the skin and underlying tissue to eventually die,” the AAD pointed out.

Another possible indication that you have high cholesterol is when the feet become swollen.

This swelling can extend as far as the upper legs and groin, which are a clear indication that the heart is struggling to function.

Painful lumps may develop underneath the surface of your toes, which can last for a few hours to a few days.

Such a symptom usually indicates an infection in your heart or blood vessels.

Carrying too much cholesterol in the blood, so much so that it causes heart disease, is likely to cause the following:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain throughout the body
  • Feeling faint
  • Feeling sick (nausea).

The NHS did pointed out that there are numerous interventions you can do to prevent high cholesterol turning into heart disease.

For instance, it’s imperative to give up smoking for good – even if it’s a habit you only indulge in occasionally.

Furthermore, it’s extremely helpful to be physically active as this directly helps to lower cholesterol levels.

The national health body recommends that people engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week.

In order for the activity to count as exercise, you will need to make sure to get your heart rate increasing.

To make things more simple, 150 minutes of weekly exercise can be broken down into 30 minutes of daily exercise, five times per week.

However, as exercise is so key in benefitting your health, the more you do, the better your health outcomes are likely to be.

To help reduce cholesterol levels it’s also important to pay attention to what you eat.

It’s best to avoid foods high in saturated fats, such as:

  • Meat pies
  • Sausages and fatty cuts of meat
  • Butter, ghee and lard
  • Cream
  • Hard cheeses
  • Cakes and biscuits
  • Foods containing coconut or palm oil.

Instead, it’s much better for your health to focus on foods that contain unsaturated fats, such as:

  • Oily fish – such as mackerel and salmon
  • Nuts – such as almonds and cashews
  • Seeds – such as sunflower and pumpkin seeds
  • Avocados

Vegetable oils and spreads – such as rapeseed or vegetable oil, sunflower, Olive, corn and walnut oils.

“Reducing the total amount of fat in your diet can also help reduce your risk of heart disease,” added the NHS.

Simply swapping cooking techniques could help a lot; for example, swap roasting or frying with grilling. Alternatives can include:

  • Steaming
  • Poaching
  • Boiling
  • Microwaving.

Eating foods high in fibre will also help you to lower your cholesterol levels.

This includes eating wholemeal bread, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and potatoes with their skins on.

Moreover, beans, peas, lentils, nuts and seeds will also add to a healthy diet.

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