You Can Begin Lowering Cholesterol Naturally Today
Sound like a lot to take on? Dont be intimidated. Bringing down your high cholesterol doesnt have to mean changing your life completely. Rather, start with changing your mindset. Instead of moving away from things, youre moving toward new habits that will help you create a healthier and more enjoyable future.
Now is always the right time to start taking care of your heart health. If you need a little support, lean on friends and family. And dont forget: Your doctor is always there for you with advice, motivation and encouragement so you can reach your goals and live healthier.
Cholesterol And Healthy Eating
What we eat has an impact on our cholesterol levels and can help reduce our risk of disease. Try to eat a wide variety of foods from each of the five food groups. Not only does this help to maintain a healthy and interesting diet, but it provides essential nutrients to the body.
The Heart Foundation recommends:
- Plenty of vegetables, fruits and wholegrains.
- A variety of healthy protein sources , legumes , nuts and seeds. Smaller amounts of eggs and lean poultry can also be included in a heart healthy diet. If choosing red meat, make sure it is lean and limit to 1-3 times a week.
- Unflavoured milk, yoghurt and cheese. Those with high blood cholesterol should choose reduced fat varieties.
- Healthy fat choices nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and their oils for cooking
- Herbs and spices to flavour foods, instead of adding salt.
Also, be mindful on how much you are eating and whether you are filling up on unhealthy foods. Portion sizes have increased over time and many of us are eating more than we need which can lead to obesity and increase our risk of cardiovascular disease.
Ideally, a healthy plate would include servings of ¼ protein, ¼ carbohydrates and ½ vegetables.
Serving size can vary depending on age, gender and specific nutrition needs.
Try Having One Vegetarian Meal Every Week
Dont let the word vegetarian scare you. By choosing a smartly prepared vegetarian meal, youre hitting multiple cholesterol-lowering goals at the same time, like eating healthier fats and getting more soluble fiber. Plus, many vegetarian meals are just as flavorful and filling as their meaty cousins.
Heres one idea for a low-cholesterol recipe: Try a freshly prepared salad with a sesame vinaigrette and some grilled, spiced tofu. For dessert, add some fresh blueberries, strawberries and oats to low-fat vanilla yogurt.
The key here is to build up a routine, like making every Tuesday night vegetarian night. Once that becomes the norm, try expanding to different nights, or add a weekly vegetarian lunch, too. You can also be flexitarian by just eating smaller portions of meat. Over time, these modifications can really add up and pay off.
Read Also: What Kind Of Tea Lowers Cholesterol
What Causes High Cholesterol
Some causes of high blood cholesterol include:
- Low intake of foods containing healthy fats healthy fats tend to increase the good cholesterol.
- High intake of foods containing unhealthy fats such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, butter, coconut oil, palm oil and most deep-fried takeaway foods and commercially baked products . Foods high in trans-fats include most commercially baked products and deep-fried takeaway foods.
- Low intake of foods containing fibre foods that are high in dietary fibre, particularly soluble fibre, can reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol in your blood. Include fibre-containing foods in your diet by choosing vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, nuts and seeds every day.
- Cholesterol in food this has only a small effect on LDL cholesterol -saturated fats and trans-fats in food have a much greater effect.
- You can also eat up to 7 eggs a week as part of a healthy, balanced diet low in saturated and trans-fats, without increasing your risk of heart disease.
Some people will have high cholesterol even if they follow a healthy, balanced diet low in saturated fats and trans-fats. These people may need to take cholesterol-lowering medicine as prescribed by their doctor.
What Are Unsaturated Fats
Unsaturated fats are considered the healthiest fats because they improve cholesterol, help reduce inflammation , and help decrease the overall risk of developing heart disease. The main source of unsaturated fats are plant-based foods. These fats are usually liquid at room temperature. There are two types of unsaturated fat: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
Monounsaturated fats are considered one of the healthiest sources of fat in the diet. These fats should make up most of your daily fat intake. Good sources of monounsaturated fats include:
- Olive, canola and peanut oils.
- Most nuts, nut oils and nut butters .
Good sources of Polyunsaturated Fats include:
- Safflower oil.
- Flax oil and flax seeds.
- Sunflower oil.
- Canola Oil.
Also Check: Is Shrimp Bad For Your Cholesterol
Foods With Added Sterols And Stanols
Sterols and stanols are plant chemicals which are a similar size and shape to cholesterol. They are absorbed from the intestines into the blood stream and block some cholesterol from being absorbed, lowering the cholesterol in your blood.
We get a small amount of sterols from plant-based foods such as vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, but its not enough to lower cholesterol. So, food companies have developed foods with plant sterols or stanols added to them, such as mini yogurt drinks, fat spreads, milk and yogurts.
These fortified foods lower your cholesterol gradually, over a few weeks, and how much depends on the amount you eat. Some experts believe they are the most effective single food for lowering cholesterol.
Who should eat foods with sterols and stanols added?
Sterols and stanols have been thoroughly researched, so they can be added to foods and are safe to eat.
They are suitable for:
- People with high cholesterol theres no real benefit if you dont have high cholesterol.
- Children with inherited high cholesterol such as familial hypercholesterolaemia with support from a doctor or dietitian.
- People taking statins sterols and stanols will help to lower your cholesterol further because they work in a different way to the statin.
They are not suitable for:
Aim for: one to three servings of fortified foods a day. This will give you 1.5 to 3g of stanols and sterols.
Three servings of: OR
Lifestyle Changes To Lower Cholesterol
Heart-healthy lifestyle changes that can help you lower or control your cholesterol include
- Heart-healthy eating. A heart-healthy eating plan limits the amount of saturated and trans fats that you eat. It recommends that you eat and drink only enough calories to stay at a healthy weight and avoid weight gain. It encourages you to choose a variety of nutritious foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. Examples of eating plans that can lower your cholesterol include the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet and the DASH eating plan.
- Weight Management. If you are overweight, losing weight can help lower your LDL cholesterol. This is especially important for people with metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that includes high triglyceride levels, low HDL cholesterol levels, and being overweight with a large waist measurement .
- Physical Activity. Everyone should get regular physical activity .
- Managing stress. Research has shown that chronic stress can sometimes raise your LDL cholesterol and lower your HDL cholesterol.
- Quitting smoking.Quitting smoking can raise your HDL cholesterol. Since HDL helps to remove LDL cholesterol from your arteries, having more HDL can help to lower your LDL cholesterol.
Don’t Miss: High Cholesterol Foods Shrimp
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
Who Should Be Tested
Your GP may recommend that you have your blood cholesterol levels tested if you:
- have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease, stroke or mini-stroke , or peripheral arterial disease
- are over the age of 40 people over 40 should have their estimate of CVD risk reviewed regularly
- have a family history of early cardiovascular disease for example, if your father or brother developed heart disease or had a heart attack or stroke before the age of 55, or if your mother or sister had these conditions before the age of 65
- have a close family member who has a cholesterol-related condition, such as familial hypercholesterolaemia
- are overweight or obese
- have high blood pressure or diabetes
- have another medical condition, such as kidney disease, an underactive thyroid, or an inflamed pancreas these conditions can cause increased levels of cholesterol or triglycerides
Recommended Reading: Are Pork Chops High In Cholesterol
You Can Begin To Reduce Your Bad Ldl Cholesterol Naturally By Making A Few Simple Changes In Your Diet
If your cholesterol is creeping upward, your doctor has probably told you that diet and exercisethe traditional cornerstones of heart healthcould help to bring it down. And if youd prefer to make just one change at a time to lower your cholesterol naturally, you might want to begin with your diet. A major analysis of several controlled trials involving hundreds of men and women found that dietary changes reduced LDL and total cholesterol while exercise alone had no effect on either.
The people in the studies followed a variety of diets, from Mediterranean to low-fat to low-calorie. However, the most effective diets substituted foods with the power to lower cholesterol for those that boost cholesterol. According to Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Brigham and Womens Hospital, eating with your LDL in mind doesnt have to be an exercise in self-deprivation. While you may have to say goodbye to a few snacks and fast foods, you can replace them with others that are equally satisfying. You dont have to follow an all-or-nothing approach. Its really a matter of common sense, she says. She suggests a few ways to start getting your cholesterol under control and keep it normal.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
- Research health conditions
- Prepare for a doctors visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Why Is Too Much Cholesterol In The Blood Bad
Too much cholesterol can build up in your blood vessels. This build-up can narrow vessels and lead to a blockage, preventing blood from getting to certain parts of your body. When this happens in your heart vessels, it is called coronary heart disease and can cause a heart attack. In people with chronic kidney disease , heart disease is very common, and is the number one cause of death in this group. It is suggested that people with CKD have their cholesterol tested every year. Your doctor may want to do them more often if something has changed with your health.
Recommended Reading: Does Feta Cheese Affect Cholesterol
Simple Ways To Naturally Lower Cholesterol Levels
What is cholesterol and how do you lower cholesterol without taking drugs prescribed from your doctor?
Cholesterol, a waxy substance that the body uses to make hormones and other important substances. Its also found in some foods such as eggs, meat, poultry, and whole-milk dairy products.
The level of cholesterol in your blood is called blood cholesterol. If its too high over time, you may develop heart disease or stroke.
We have all heard that having a high cholesterol level can lead to many life-threatening conditions, but did you know that there is good and bad cholesterol?
The good cholesterol is called HDL Cholesterol, while the bad is called LDL Cholesterol.
Who Can I Talk To About Specific Questions I Have To Reduce My Chance For Developing Heart Disease
- Your doctor can order medicines and tests that can lower your chance for developing heart disease.
- Your registered dietitian nutritionist can help you make healthy changes to your diet.
- A pharmacist can answer questions you might have about any medicine the doctor has prescribed for you.
- Other healthcare team members, such as a nurse or psychologist can also help answer questions about making lifestyle changes and other ways to prevent heart disease.
Also Check: Are Egg Beaters Low In Cholesterol
What Are Trans Fatty Acids
Trans fatty acids are formed when a liquid fat is changed into a solid fat through a process called hydrogenation. Many manufacturers use hydrogenated fats in their ingredients because it creates a product with an extended shelf life and better consistency.
Trans fatty acids are especially bad for you. They raise the levels of LDL cholesterol in your blood and lower the levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
There are currently no safe levels of trans fat to consume each day, so avoid them completely or eat them as little as possible.
Many manufacturers have stopped using or greatly reduced the amount of trans fats in their foods. But, check the label and avoid:
Go Low For Heart Health
Cholesterol is an oily, waxy substance thats a building block for many bodily processes. It serves as the backbone for certain hormones and helps repair cells in our tissues.
But theres a catch. Our bodies need only a little bit of cholesterol for these housekeeping activitiesand according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , at least 38 percent of Americans have levels that are too high.
Excess blood levels of a specific type called low-density lipoprotein is especially likely to wreak havoc. The more LDL cholesterol you have floating around in your bloodstream, the greater your risk for a heart attack or stroke.
The link is so strong that just a 10 percent decrease in total cholesterol levels can reduce someones risk for heart disease .
Thats why doctors want you to know how to lower LDL cholesterol and keep it at a healthy level.
Recommended Reading: Why Does Shrimp Have High Cholesterol
You May Like: How Much Cholesterol In Canned Tuna
Your Health Is The Most Important Thing
Its essential for many bodily functions such as cell renewal, transport of substances around your body and the synthesis of hormones. High cholesterol levels, however, can increase your chance of developing heart disease or having a stroke. It does not usually have any symptoms, and many people do not know they have it. Unless youre a child, youve probably heard cautionary tales from your doctor about the dangers of high cholesterol. Your overall cholesterol level is divided into two parts: High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart attacks and coronary heart disease, because it builds up in the arteries, narrowing them. Check out below for information on foods that can help raise good. If your ldl number is too high, there are ways to bring it down. Knowing what to eat if you have high cholesterol is important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. While the numbers may seem confusing to you, understanding them can help you keep your heart healthy. Its more important than your financial situation or your career or anything that you spend time and energy chasing, but its also something thats easy to overlook until a problem develops. Ldl, known as the bad cholesterol, needs to be watched. Whether youre trying to lower your cholesterol or youre trying to prevent it from rising, there are certain foods that you can eat that will help move the process along.
Every year, your doctor likely orders a blood test to see what your cholesterol levels look like.
Foods To Lower Ldl Cholesterol And Raise Hdl Cholesterol
Low-Density Lipoprotein cholesterol, as we all know, if exceeded, can block the artery walls.
And conventionally known as the good cholesterol, HDL does the job of absorbing cholesterol and sending it back to the liver.
Thereafter, the liver flushes it from the body.
Hence, it has all the means and rights to be called healthy cholesterol that combats bad cholesterol aka LDL effectively.
HDL being less than 40 mg/dl for men and below 50 mg/dl for women is a matter of concern.
People with such dropped levels need an immediate HDL boost in their blood.
On the other hand, a high LDL needs to be lowered down ASAP to prevent cardiac arrest.
So, why not fill your plate with an overall nutritious heart-healthy diet?
Lets find out how to lower LDL cholesterol and go through the below-listed food sources that can lower LDL cholesterol and up HDL in the long run.
You May Like: Tahini Cholesterol
Top 23 Tips On How To Increase Good Cholesterol Levels Naturally
1. Lose Weight If You Are Overweight
This is the first home remedy in this list of tips on how to increase good cholesterol levels naturally. Excess weight will adversely affect HDL levels. In fact, if you are overweight, losing a few kilograms of weight will also help to improve your cholesterol level . This means if you lose 3 kilograms of weight or more, you can increase your HDL levels and get rid of low density lipoprotein cholesterol. Combining exercise with healthy eating will help you lose weight. You can lose weight without doing both these principles .
However, to lose weight effectively, you should best perform both of them. You should focus on reducing calorie intake per day and exercise regularly. Just 30 minutes of walking a day also helps to lose weight steadily and safely. In addition, you can learn more about safe and effective weight loss ways to quickly achieve your goals. In the process of losing weight, you need to pay attention to the following:
2. How To Increase Good Cholesterol Exercise Regularly
This is another must-try treatment in this list of tips on how to increase good cholesterol levels naturally. Raise your heart rate at least 5 times a week, at least 30 minutes each time with activities such as basketball, gardening, walking, running, biking or swimming .
3. Eat Healthy Fats
4. Quit Smoking
5. How To Increase Good Cholesterol Drink Alcohol In Moderation
On the other hand, taking a moderate amount of alcohol can increase HDL levels .