High cholesterol is normally assumed to be affected mostly by your diet and physical activity, and that is true (sometimes).
But a new study in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease now shows there is another factor that has a much stronger impact on your cholesterol.
And this factor maybe more fun to manage than your diet.
The study authors analyzed the data of 1,054 people collected by Midlife in the U.S.. They were between the ages 34 and 84, with 55% being female.
They compared their psychological wellbeing with their cholesterol levels over a period of 10 years.
The concept of psychological wellbeing they used was not depression or anxiety or the absence of these, but rather a more advanced concept that included:
– personal independence and freedom,
– personal growth,
– healthy relationships,
– the feeling of controlling the environment,
– the feeling of having a purpose in life,
– and self-acceptance.
Interestingly, they found that most adults either enjoyed persistent psychological wellbeing or languished persistently without it over time.
The psychologically comfortable people had higher levels of HDL cholesterol (the good type) and lower levels of triglycerides (fat) than those in poor psychological health.
They did, however, not find any relationship between psychology and LDL cholesterol (the bad type), with both groups scoring roughly the same on it.
This means that psychological wellbeing can help us predict HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
This shows why it is so important to feel like we are in control of our lives, to feel that our lives are meaningful and satisfying, and to like ourselves.
So, if we try to improve those factors, we can improve our cholesterol level at the same time. And who wouldn’t enjoy doing that.