Tactics To Reduce Cholesterol Quickly
For most of us, there’s really no need to pack our medicine cabinets with pills to reduce cholesterol levels. Natural, lifestyle-based strategies have proven extraordinarily effective in reducing cholesterol quickly and permanently.
Get the top 5 food and fitness tips recommended by the doctors, dietitians, exercise experts, and other faculty at the Pritikin Longevity Center. Pritikin has been helping people lower cholesterol levels since 1975.
Did you know that for every 10% drop in your cholesterol level, your heart attack risk drops by 20% to 30%? Theres more good news: Most of us can reduce cholesterol quickly, and without the need for medications. Simple lifestyle strategies can be very powerful.
Thats what several studies on thousands following the Pritikin Program of diet and exercise have found. Within three weeks, people were able to lower their cholesterol levels on average 23%, which translates into a 46% to 69% drop in heart attack risk.1
How To Reduce Triglycerides: Exercise Exercise Exercise
If youre carrying around a little extra weight, get moving! To get in shape and lower your triglycerides at the same time, start a regular workout routine.
The goal should be 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week. When you exercise, be sure to break a sweat and get your heart pumping. With this routine you can cut your triglycerides by 20% to 30%.
New to exercise? Wondering where to start?
- Sign up for a dance class.
- Go for a swim.
- Find time each day for a brisk walk.
- Lift light-weight dumbbells
How To Build Up Good Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in your blood. It helps to build healthy cells but too much of it can lead to fatty deposits in your bloodstream. According to the Mayo Clinic, high cholesterol can increase your risk for heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. There are no symptoms of high cholesterol and no way to know you have it except through a blood test.
There are many ways to reduce your low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level, also commonly referred to as the “bad” cholesterol. One of the best ways to fight high cholesterol is to start engaging in aerobic activity for 15 minutes every day. If you’re not already active, you can start by:
- Bike riding.
If you have a gym membership or gym equipment at home, you can also hop on at a low speed or light resistance for 15 minutes.
It’s important to stay consistent to see results. Triglycerides are present within the cholesterol profile and are used for energy. When you exercise, triglycerides are burned and your levels are lowered. According to the Cleveland Clinic, with regular cardiovascular exercise, your triglyceride levels can decrease an average of 24%. Exercise and a healthy diet has also been proven to increase your high-density lipoproteins , or “good” cholesterol.
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Stick To This Exercise Plan
If you’re not currently active and have a diet that leaves much to be desired, you may reap the most benefits from your new exercise habit. Dr. Roger Blumenthal, MD from Johns Hopkins University states, “We’ve found that the people who benefit the most are those who had the worst diet and exercise habits to begin with. Some of those people reduce their LDL by 10-15% and increase their HDL by 20%.”
Once you’ve committed to your daily 15-minute exercise routine, step it up a notch. Walk a little faster, add another mile to your bike ride, or turn up the knob on your exercise machine. Increasing the intensity of your exercise or the time you dedicate to it allows for more dramatic results.
This technique works best when coupled with a healthy lifestyle and a diet full of fruits and vegetables. It’s also important to follow your doctor’s advice and instructions for your personal health. Go take a walk and fight back against your high cholesterol! And to get through life at your healthiest, don’t miss these First Signs You Have a Serious Illness.
Aerobic Exercise And Hdl
Many studies have focused on the relationship between aerobic exercise and HDL-C, and have found that HDL-C levels are more sensitive to aerobic exercise than both LDL-C and TG. Furthermore, all studies focusing on the effects of exercise on HDL-C seemed to consistently indicate that there was an increase in HDL-C more or less, no matter in human or in rats . However, people usually improve their lifestyles as they do aerobic exercise, which can lead to interference with the results. To avoid this problem, Kodama et al. performed a meta-analysis of 25 randomized controlled trials. People only exercised, that is, without medications or dietary therapy. Still, they found HDL-C increased by 2.53 mg/dL when aerobic exercise was 5.3 MET .
Table 1 Several studies about effects of aerobic exercise on HDL-C, LDL-C and TG in human
The main function of HDL-C is to participant the RCT process. Králová Lesná et al. found that exercise could increase cholesterol efflux by 1.8% after 9 weeks training. Besides RCT, HDL-C possesses other functions such as clear lipid peroxide transport. Välimäki IA et al. and Tiainen et al. found that exercise could increase oxidized HDL and oxHDL/HDL and decrease oxLDL at the same time. So, exercise can affect the HDL-C function including RCT process and lipid peroxide transport clearing. And the function of anti-inflammation or anti-oxidation needs further research.
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How To Lower Triglycerides And Cholesterol Naturally
Your genes, diet, and lifestyle all affect your triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Some people naturally produce more triglycerides and cholesterol than others. This is based on their genetics and family history. Still, these levels are just part of your overall lipid levels, and lifestyle changes are one of the best ways to keep your numbers within a healthy range.
What Lifestyle Changes Can I Make To Help Improve My Cholesterol Levels
Exercise regularly. Exercise can raise HDL cholesterol levels. It can also reduce levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides . Try to work out for 30 minutes, 4 to 6 times a week. Your workout should be moderate to vigorous . Make sure you talk to your doctor before starting an exercise plan.
Lose weight if youre overweight. Being overweight can raise your cholesterol levels. Losing weight, even just 5 or 10 pounds, can lower your total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.
Quit smoking. Smoking lowers your HDL cholesterol. Even exposure to second-hand smoke can affect your HDL level. Talk to your doctor about developing a plan to help you stop smoking.
Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat. They add flavor and variety to your diet. They are also the best source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals for your body. Aim for 5 cups of fruits and vegetables every day. This should not include potatoes, corn, or rice. These count as carbohydrates.
Pick good fats over bad fats. Fat is part of a healthy diet, but there are bad fats and good fats. Bad fats include saturated and trans fats. They are found in foods such as butter, coconut and palm oil, saturated or partially hydrogenated vegetable fats such as shortening and margarine, animal fats in meats, and fats in whole milk dairy products.
Get more fiber in your diet. Add good sources of fiber to your meals. Examples include:
- Fruits and vegetables
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How Can I Lower My Cholesterol With Medicines
As well as making lifestyle changes, some people will need to take cholesterol-lowering medicines to reduce their risk of heart and blood vessel disease, known as cardiovascular disease. The medicines most commonly used are called statins.
Your doctor will consider all your risk factors for cardiovascular disease before suggesting medication not just your cholesterol and lipid results. If youve already had a heart attack or stroke, taking statins can substantially lower your risk of having another one.
Statins work by slowing the amount of cholesterol made in your liver. In response, your liver uses the cholesterol already in your blood to make up for the deficit. This lowers the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood.
If statins alone do not lower your cholesterol enough, you may need additional medicines.
Contact your doctor if your medicines are causing any side effects.
Bike To Work Or Just For Fun
Cycling expends about the same energy as jogging, but its easier on your joints. Thats an important thing for many people as they age. Hips and knees are vulnerable to arthritis, and we all do need to watch out for them. If youre starting to feel some pain in these joints, it may be best to choose cycling over running.
If its possible to bike to work, try it. Studies have shown some positive benefits. Scientists reported in the that people who biked to work were less likely to develop high cholesterol than those who didnt.
A second study published in found that cycling reduces risk of heart disease. A group of adults between the ages of 5065 who regularly spent time biking had 1118 fewer heart attacks over the period of 20 years than those who didnt.
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How Your Healthcare Provider Can Help
Your healthcare provider can help you get your triglyceride levels under control by ruling out possible causes like medications, thyroid issues, unmanaged diabetes and liver or kidney disease. They can then formulate an effective management plan with you. This might include medication and lifestyle changes like losing weight and eating smaller portions.
As mentioned before, a healthy, fiber-rich diet can help in the matter. Exercising regularly can also play a huge part in managing triglyceride levels. By cleaning up your existing routine, you could see changes in your triglyceride levels within a few months.
This article was adapted from Cleveland Clinic Heart Advisor.
Strike A Few Yoga Poses
After all this talk about aerobic exercise and lifting weights, it may seem odd that yoga would show up on the list. After all, yoga is mostly stretching, right?
Studies show, however, that yoga may reduce risk of heart disease. In some cases, it may directly affect cholesterol levels.
Researchers reported in the Indian Heart Journal that a three-month yoga program helped reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. It also improved HDL cholesterol levels in diabetics. The participants practiced for about one hour a day.
In a large study review published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, those who regularly practiced yoga showed significant improvement in LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and blood pressure over those who didnt exercise.
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What Are Ldl/hdl And Total/hdl Ranges And Ratios
The total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio is a number helpful in estimating the risk of developing atherosclerosis. The number is obtained by dividing total cholesterol by HDL cholesterol. .
High total cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol increases the ratio and is undesirable. Conversely, high HDL cholesterol and low total cholesterol lowers the ratio and is desirable. Ideally, one should strive for ratios of 2 or 3 .
Pathologies Linked To High Triglycerides
When it comes to the consequences of high triglycerides, special attention should be paid. This condition can be followed by various cardiovascular diseases, even potentially fatal: the reference is in particular toheart attack and tostroke, which can be favored by the deterioration of the health of the arteries and other blood vessels.
The effects on blood pressure should also not be underestimated , to the development of the condition known as fat liver, to the manifestation of high levels of glycemia even on an empty stomach and also with the increase in the values of bad LDL cholesterol.
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Consider The Bigger Picture
Certain health issues can affect your triglyceride level. Type 2 diabetes, for instance, is a risk factor for high triglycerides. So are thyroid issues and kidney diseases like uremia.
If youre concerned about your triglycerides, it makes sense to see your doctor for a head-to-toe checkup to see if any underlying causes could potentially be at play.
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Weight Training And Cholesterol
After your last annual physical, your doctor warned that your cholesterol is too high. If it stays this way, your risk of heart attack or stroke rises. Doctorâs orders are to get more exercise, among other lifestyle changes.
Maybe you really loathe running 5 evenings a week but enjoy lifting weights at the gym. Can dedicated weight training reduce your high cholesterol by itself?
Medical research has gone back and forth over the years about whether weight workouts and other forms of resistance training lower âbadâ cholesterol at the same time they increase âgoodâ cholesterol .
Lately that pendulum has swung toward weight training having a positive impact on cholesterol. But for best results, you should combine it with aerobic exercise like running, swimming, and cycling. And not all weight workouts are the same when it comes to your cholesterol intensity, style, and frequency matter.
So if youâre counting on pumping iron to attack your cholesterol issue, be realistic from the start. Be a workout strategist.
All about cholesterol
You should know that your total cholesterol is a combination of three types of cholesterol:
- LDL cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein, also known as âbadâ cholesterol
- HDL cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein, often called âgoodâ cholesterol
- Triglycerides, which are fats in your blood that come from foods
How exercise helps
When it comes to weight training or any other form of exercise, ask yourself:
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Normal Cholesterol With High Triglycerides What Is That
When measuring total cholesterol levels, low-density lipoprotein , high-density lipoprotein , and triglycerides are used in the measurement.
For adults, standard cholesterol levels are:
- Less than 200 mg/dL is desirable
- Between 200 â 239 mg/dL is considered borderline
- Over 240 mg/dL is considered high
Healthy Fats Can Help Lower Cholesterol
Replace unhealthy fats, such as saturated and trans fats, with monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. To eat more omega-3 fats, include fatty fish, flaxseed or ground flax, and walnuts in your eating plan. The oils that contain omega-3 fats are olive and canola oils. The ADA recommends eating two servings of omega-3-rich fish per week as part of a heart-healthy diet. The oils high in omega-6 fats are corn, soybean, and sunflower oils.
Eat less of these unhealthful fats:
Saturated fat: The biggest food contributor to elevated LDL cholesterol is saturated fat. To remedy the cause-and-effect relationship between saturated fat and LDL, the ADA recommends limiting saturated-fat intake to less than 7 percent of your daily calories. So if youre trying to eat no more than 2,000 calories a day, that would mean eating no more than 140 calories from saturated fat daily, or 15 grams of saturated fat.
Trans fat: The ADA also recommends avoiding foods that contain trans fat. Although many restaurants and manufacturers advertise products as having zero trans fat, if the ingredients include shortening, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, or hydrogenated vegetable oil, the food likely contains trans fat. Labels are not required to list trans fat if the total is less than 0.5 grams per serving. Eating multiple servings of such foods means trans-fat intake can add up.
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The Best Exercises To Lower Cholesterol
Brisk walks or jogging
Theres no need to hit the treadmill at full speed. In fact, if youre not used to running, are overweight or have issues with your joints, it could do more harm to your body than good.
Start with an easy walk around the block, then a longer walk, then a slow jog. Not only will you be lowering your cholesterol, but youll be lowering your blood pressure, too.
You didnt have to think about cholesterol levels as a kid, and maybe thats because you were staying active by riding your bike around town with friends and family. Get back in touch with your inner child and hop back on a bike to lower cholesterol.
Cycling/biking can burn just as many calories as jogging, but its easier on your knees. All you have to do is find an appropriately-sized and comfortable bike and ride off into the healthy cholesterol level sunset.
If walking, running and biking are proving to be too much on your body, swimming can solve your cholesterol problems just as effectively.
When you take a few laps in the pool, youre working your entire body, and youre doing so in a way that can feel therapeutic. Swimming is great for overall heart health and part of that is lowering your cholesterol.
The best news for someone who isnt so keen on cardio is that yoga, too, is good. However, to get cardiovascular benefits, you need to increase your heart rate. Yoga is also great for:
What Kind And How Much Exercise Will Help Lower Ldl Cholesterol
Even regular mild aerobic exercise the kind that gets your heart rate up can make a huge difference in lipid levels.
A meta-analysis of 11 studies published in November 2018 in the journal BioMed Research International found that after 8 to 24 weeks of low- or moderate-intensity exercise for 30 to 40 minutes a day, participants had lower LDL cholesterol levels in some studies, as well as lower LDL subfractions in others.
To improve cholesterol levels, as well as lower your blood pressure and overall risk for heart attack and stroke, the American Heart Association recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. This works out to be about 20 minutes of exercise every day, or 30 minutes of exercise five days a week. You can mix up moderate and vigorous activity if that makes it easier for you to stick to a workout schedule. And if youre a bit rusty, its completely fine to start slow, at 15 minutes a day or so of moderate-intensity exercise, and work your way up from there.
Some examples of moderate-intensity exercise:
- Walking briskly
- Playing tennis
- Jumping rope
- Aerobic dancing
There are also tons of instructor-led workout classes you can do from home for free. If youre new to exercise or coming back after a long break, the Cleveland Clinic warns that you may have to drop down to a slightly lower level of activity and work your way back up.
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