Article
14 November 2019
Article
14 November 2019

How to improve your biomarker measures?

The 16 biomarkers included in the My Nightingale results form the basis of your metabolic health. Here’s how you can improve them.

Biomarkers are the blood-based health markers that give you intricate details about your wellbeing. To give you a deep dive into your metabolic health, the My Nightingale app includes 16 different biomarkers. Often, a bunch of biomarkers are linked to each other and together affect one specific aspect of health. Nevertheless, it is important to know how you can improve each of these biomarkers individually with lifestyle changes so that you can always stay healthy.

Total Cholesterol

Keeping your cholesterol levels under check is important for your heart’s health. If your total cholesterol is high, studies show that by adjusting your diet alone you can reduce it by 5-10%. So, replace animal-based fats (dairy, meat products) and refined carbohydrates (sugary drinks, sweets, white bread) with plant-based fats (plant oils, nuts), fatty fish and whole grains. Of course, you can see better results if you combine it with exercise. It doesn’t have to be long and hard sessions. Research shows, just 20 to 40 mins a day of endurance sports (brisk walking, jogging, cycling or swimming) is enough to improve your blood lipid profile.

LDL-cholesterol

LDL-C, or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, is often referred to as the bad cholesterol. Excess of it can clog your arteries and thus not good for your heart. Although exercise and weight management help in reducing LDL-C, science says, diet is the most effective way to control your bad cholesterol levels. A high-fibre diet, especially oats, which are a rich source of β-glucan is known for its LDL-cholesterol-lowering properties. So, make sure to include a small portion of oats to your everyday meals. Also, replace animal-based fats and refined carbohydrates with plant-based fats and whole grains.

HDL-cholesterol

HDL-C, or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, is also called the good cholesterol. That’s because HDL, the lipoprotein, helps in removing unnecessary cholesterol from your body, thereby reducing your risk of heart disease. Physical activity, diet and being overweight are the major factors that affect HDL-C levels. Smoking also has a huge effect on your good cholesterol levels. Research shows, including a few minutes of endurance activities (jogging, cycling, swimming) in your regular routine can help increase your HDL-C levels. Also, adopt a fibre-rich diet to increase your good cholesterol levels.

VLDL-cholesterol

VLDL-C, or very low-density cholesterol, are also bad cholesterol and not good for your heart’s health. To lower your VLDL-C levels, adopt diets that combine a lot of fruits, vegetables, nuts, wholegrain, fish and vegetable oils. Take inspirations from the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet or the Nordic diet. Also, studies show, including 20 minutes of exercise in your daily to-do list can lower your VLDL-C levels.

Triglycerides

Like cholesterol, triglycerides are also fats that are not good for your health. Medical studies show, exercise and weight loss, especially losing abdominal fat, helps in lowering triglyceride levels. Also, excess of refined carbohydrates, sugar and alcohol are big contributors to spiking your triglycerides count. Of course, you can still enjoy all of the above things...just in moderation.

ApoB

ApoB, or Apolipoprotein B, as you might have guessed is a protein that helps bad cholesterol molecules (LDL- and VLDL-cholesterol) circulate via your blood. Since ApoBs are attached to LDL-C and VLDL-C, in order to lower your ApoB levels follow the same advice as for LDL-cholesterol and VLDL-cholesterol.

ApoA1

ApoA1, or Apolipoprotein A1, is a protein that helps good cholesterol molecules (HDL-cholesterol) circulate via your blood. Since ApoA1s are attached to HDL-Cs, in order to lower your ApoA1 levels follow the same advice as given for HDL-cholesterol.

Glucose

Blood glucose is simply the amount of glucose in your bloodstream. And glucose is needed to produce energy in your body that comes from what you eat and drink. To maintain your blood glucose levels, medical science says, weight management is crucial. If your glucose levels are high, research shows that vigorous physical activity of around 100 minutes per week lowers blood glucose. Also, switching to a high-fibre diet, especially cereal fibre with moderate fat content, or a low glycemic index diet can help normalise your blood glucose. For instance, vegetables, legumes, fruits and oats are all high-fibre food that ranks low on the glycemic index.

Omega-3% and Omega-6%

Omega-3% and Omega-6% tells you how much of your total fatty acid count is omega-3 and omega-6, respectively. These two fats should be part of your diet to maintain heart health. That’s because studies show omega-rich food and supplements intake could lower cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. The recommended way to include more omega-3 and 6 in your diet is to reduce saturated fats from your diet and replace them with these two polyunsaturated fats. For instance, you can try switching from red meat to oily fish as research says having at least two meals per week that include fatty fish can boost your omega levels. Other omega-rich foods include flax seeds and walnuts, vegetable oils and margarine.

MUFA% and SFA%

MUFA% and SFA% tells you how much of your total fatty acid count is monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and saturated fatty acids (SFA). While you should keep an eye on the SFAs in your food, MUFAs are actually good when they are part of your diet—olive oil, avocados, peanuts, fish and such. That’s because it’s not the MUFAs in your food that add to your bad fats count, it’s the SFAs. The medically recommended way to reduce your SFA intake is to replace them with omega-3 or omega-6 rich food. So, instead of butter and other animal fats, switch to plant-based oils like olive oil and canola oil. Also, trying to eat less meat and include more fish in your food.

GlycA

Glycoprotein acetylation, or GlycA, is an indicator of low-grade inflammation, that predicts future risk of diabetes, heart, kidney and liver problems. Like glucose, weight management is crucial to reduce your GlycA levels. Maintain your weight if your GlycA levels are high. Studies show, exercising at least 150 minutes per week can help. You can divide this, for example, into three sessions of endurance activities (brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming) of about one hour each.

Read more about what’s included in the My Nightingale results →

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