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How To Lower Cholesterol In 2 Weeks

How Long Does It Take Cholesterol To Go Down

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People who need to use medications such as statins to lower their cholesterol should see their cholesterol levels fall quickly. These medications may work in a matter of weeks, and they generally work to a larger degree than lifestyle changes.

However, because diet affects the levels of cholesterol in the body, doctors commonly recommend that people make changes to their diet and lifestyle in addition to taking medications.

Making simple changes to the diet and lifestyle can help reduce cholesterol. These changes vary depending on how strictly a person adheres to their diet. Other factors, such as exercise and reaching a moderate body weight, also play a role.

Some dietary changes may cause minor reductions in cholesterol in as little as

Cholesterol is a waxy, fatty substance that the liver produces. In the body, cholesterol plays a roll in cell function and the breakdown of some types of fatty acids. The body can create all the cholesterol it needs.

Dietary cholesterol is the other source of cholesterol, coming from the foods a person eats. Cholesterol appears in animal foods, such as meat, egg yolk, and full fat dairy products.

Regularly eating these foods adds more cholesterol to the body and raises the levels of cholesterol in the blood.

Additionally, some fats and oils may stimulate the liver to make more cholesterol, potentially increasing the levels even more.

Dietary and lifestyle changes and medications can all help lower blood cholesterol levels.

How To Lower Cholesterol In Seven Days According To A Nutritionist

Consider this your day-by-day guide to getting your cholesterol levels down and your health a kickstart in seven days.

Photo: iStock

Consider this your day-by-day guide to getting your cholesterol levels down and your health a kickstart in seven days.

Changing something as important as your cholesterol might seem an insurmountable task. Here, nutritionist Lisa Guy gives seven day-by-day tips to help you on your way.

Monday

Increase your fruit and vegie intake. They are rich in important nutrients, low in saturated fats and are cholesterol-free. They are also rich in fibre, which has a cholesterol-lowering effect. Aim to have at least five serves a day, and to eat a variety of different coloured fruits and vegies each day.

Tuesday

Reduce your intake of unhealthy fats. Saturated and trans fats raise blood cholesterol levels. Trans fats are the worst, so limit your intake of processed and fast foods. Choose low-fat dairy products, healthy oils such as olive oil, and flaxseed oil instead of butter. Trim fat from meat and skin from poultry.

Wednesday

Cook with olive oil, a source of healthy monounsaturated fats. It has a higher oxidation threshold than most monounsaturated oils and remains stable at higher temperatures, so is more resistant to hydrogenation and the formation of trans fats. Monounsaturated fats help to lower total cholesterol levels.

Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

Lower Cholesterol To Prevent Heart Attack And Stroke

If you need to lower your cholesterol, you can take steps each day that will help. First, if you’re taking a cholesterol-lowering drug, remember to stick to your daily medication schedule. If you can then pick up some heart-healthy habits, you may see your numbers start to improve in only a matter of weeks, says Chauncey Crandall, MD, a cardiologist at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center and Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Lowering your cholesterol not only reduces your risk for heart disease, but also helps prevent heart attack and stroke. So what are you waiting for? Heres a weeks worth of tips one a day that will have you seeing better numbers in no time.

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Eat Mostly Low Sat Fat Foods

Reducing the amount of saturated fat in your diet can do wonders for your cholesterol levels. Aim to mostly eat foods that contain less than 1.5g saturated fat per 100g.

Important note:- Most oily fish, nuts and oils contain more than 1.5g of saturated fat, but these are ok to include in a cholesterol-lowering diet because they contain a higher proportion of healthy unsaturated fats.

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Check With Your Doctor

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But these dietary changes may well remove the need for many people to take medicine, and lower their dependence on them for many others. Still, people should not stop using statins without consulting a doctor. To find a diet coach to help work on your cholesterol, check with a cardiologist or a dietician at an academic hospital. In general, cutting back on saturated fat, and increasing fiber and soy products will help improve a persons cholesterol.

Apart from not spending my, and my employers, money on drugs, there has been another side benefit of all this: My kids actually like a lot of these dishes.

My 16-year-old daughter regularly makes steelcut oatmeal for breakfast and enjoys split pea/carrot soup with tarragon, nutmeg and barley. And my 14-year-old sons special request for dinner this past Saturday wasnt Slow-Roasted Hen any longer, but grilled salmon with honey-mustard marinade.

You cant get that with a pill.

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Focus On Fruits Vegetables Whole Grains And Beans

Our typical American diet is now abbreviated as SAD by scientists nationwide because its full of foods that do sad things to both hearts and waistlines. Hyperprocessed foods like potato chips and French fries. Sugar-saturated drinks. And fatty, artery-clogging meats and full-fat dairy foods like cheese.

We dont have to become complete vegetarians to get our cholesterol levels into healthy ranges, studies on the Pritikin Program have found, but clearly, the more vegetables, fruits, potatoes, and other naturally-fiber-rich plant foods we eat, the healthier well be.

Plant foods high in soluble fiber are especially beneficial in lowering total and LDL bad cholesterol levels. Good sources include beans , yams, oats , barley, and berries.

For simple tips on bringing more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans into your life, here is a 5-day sample healthy meal plan from the doctors and dietitians at Pritikin Longevity Center.

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.

Cycling

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.

Swimming

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.

Yoga

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:

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How Much Fiber Should You Take

Fiber that comes from whole foods is called dietary fiber. Fiber that’s sold in supplements, or added to fortified foods, is called functional fiber. The Institute of Medicine has set an adequate intake for total fiber, which includes all sources. Getting this amount of fiber should be enough to stay healthy. Doctors may recommend higher doses of fiber.

Category

And some sources of insoluble fiber are:

  • Cereal brans
  • Whole-wheat breads, wheat cereals, and wheat bran
  • Vegetables like carrots, cabbage, beets, and cauliflower

Some foods, like nuts, contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.

One Fatty Meal Produces Cholesterol Remnants

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HDL and LDL arent the only cholesterols affected by fatty meals. Right after a high-fat meal, whether saturated or unsaturated, there is increased production of particles known as cholesterol-rich remnants. One of these remnants, VLDL, is produced by the liver. Another, chylomicrons, is produced by the small intestine. Theyre not LDL cholesterol, but like LDL, they burrow into the artery wall.

I like to refer to some of these remnants as silent but deadly because by the time we have a fasting blood test, their dirty work is done and theyre gone, and therefore undetected by the standard fasting blood lipid test, states Gomer.

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Monday: Switch Your Snack To Walnuts

Eating nuts is one of the great and easy ways to lower cholesterol, and almost any type of nut will do. An analysis of 25 trials published in May 2010 in JAMA Internal Medicine found that eating an average of 67 g of nuts a day can lower your cholesterol significantly, bringing total cholesterol down by about 5 percent and LDL cholesterol by 7 percent.

To get the most cholesterol-fighting power, walnuts are a top choice, says Harvey Kramer, MD, a cardiologist at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut. Almonds, pistachios, and peanuts are also top choices for lower cholesterol levels. Snacking on a handful of walnuts is a great way to lower cholesterol, but you do have to be a little careful because, like other nuts, walnuts are high in calories, Dr. Kramer says.

Start A Healthy Plan And Make A Delicious Recipe

One of the best ways to reduce or prevent high cholesterol is to cut back on the foods that cause it. Those include trans fats, often listed as partially hydrogenated oil on cookie and cracker packages, and saturated fats, found mostly in meat, cheese and butter. To replace those foods, eat more high-fiber plant foods and heart-healthy fats the foods known to lower cholesterol. We list seven of these superfoods below. If overhauling your entire diet sounds too hard, try making just one change per week to make healthy changes that stick.

Week 1: Opt for oats for breakfastOats just might be the perfect way to start your day. They energize you, keep you regular and have more soluble fiber the kind that kicks out bad LDL cholesterol than any other grain. You dont even have to cook them see below for the easiest recipe ever. Other good grain choices are oat bran, barley and whole grains in general.

Week 2: Add an apple a dayApples are high in pectin, another type of soluble fiber that lowers LDL cholesterol. Strawberries, blueberries, grapes and oranges also pack loads of pectin and other nutrients that give them their vibrant colors, so load up.

Week 4: Have a handful of nutsSnacking on a small handful of walnuts, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts or pistachios every day can lower bad cholesterol by about 5 percent, studies show. The unsaturated fats in nuts are good for your heart too, unlike the saturated or trans fats in salami, cheese and many crackers.

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Increase Your Physical Activity

Physical activity increases levels of HDL cholesterol the good cholesterol that removes LDL cholesterol from the blood. Vigorous aerobic exercise is best.

If you havent been exercising much lately, gradually build up to the recommended amount of physical activity:

  • People aged 18-64 years should do 30 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week.
  • People aged 65 years and over should aim for a total of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days .

Moderate-intensity exercise is a level that increases your heart rate and breathing but allows you to keep talking. Vigorous intensity exercise makes your heart rate higher and makes you breathe more heavily.

Resistance training and muscle-toning exercises can increase HDL cholesterol. Aim to do this twice a week.

Friday: Enjoy A Blueberry Yogurt Parfait Dessert

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I consider blueberries one of my superfoods, says Crandall, who eats them any chance he gets. All berries contain antioxidants, but certain berries contain more fiber. One serving size of blueberries contains 5 g another reason they’re a good choice to help lower cholesterol fast.

You can eat blueberries dried, and you can cook with them, too. If theyre not in season, you can buy packs of frozen blueberries just be careful to use them as soon as they thaw out, so they’re still firm. An excellent way to enjoy blueberries is to layer them with fat-free or low-fat yogurt for a tasty parfait as a desert.

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What Are Pcsk9 Inhibitors

PCSK9 inhibitors are a new class of LDL cholesterol-lowering medications, delivered by self-injection, typically every two weeks, Martin says.

PCSK9 inhibitors prevent the livers LDL receptors, which regulate and clear cholesterol from the bloodstream, from degrading. So, like statins, they increase availability of LDL receptors to lower LDL. But in trials, the new PCSK9 inhibitors do it better.

Enjoy Lots Of Fruits And Vegetables

Eating fruits and vegetables is an easy way to lower LDL cholesterol levels.

Studies show that adults who consume at least four servings of fruits and vegetables each day have roughly 6% lower LDL cholesterol levels than people who eat fewer than two servings per day .

Fruits and vegetables also contain high numbers of antioxidants, which prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and forming plaques in your arteries .

Together, these cholesterol-lowering and antioxidant effects can reduce your risk of heart disease.

Research has found that people who eat the most fruits and vegetables have a 17% lower risk of developing heart disease over 10 years compared to those who eat the fewest .

Summary Eating at least four servings of fruits and vegetables daily can lower LDL cholesterol levels and reduce LDL oxidation, which may reduce your risk of heart disease.

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Treatment For High Cholesterol

Making lifestyle changes, especially changing some of the foods you eat, and regular physical activity, are very important to help reduce high LDL cholesterol.

You may also need to take cholesterol-lowering medicines to help manage your cholesterol and reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Talk to your doctor about finding the most appropriate treatment for you.

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How Can Foods Help Lower Cholesterol

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People can often reduce their cholesterol levels dramatically by changing the foods they eat. Diets high in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterolfound in meat, dairy products, and eggsraise cholesterol levels, which increases heart attack risk. Foods high in saturated fat are especially dangerous because they can trigger the body to produce extra cholesterol.

Plants do the opposite. They are very low in saturated fat and free of cholesterol. Plants are also rich in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol. Soluble fiber slows the absorption of cholesterol and reduces the amount of cholesterol the liver produces. Oatmeal, barley, beans, and some fruits and vegetables are all good sources of soluble fiber.

It is important to continue to work closely with your health care provider to monitor your health and manage medications, even as you make dietary changes.

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Exercise On Most Days

Engaging in moderate exercise can help raise your HDL cholesterol while boosting your overall cardiovascular health. If youre fairly sedentary now, start with small amounts, working your way up to 30 minutes of exercise five times each week. If you prefer more vigorous aerobic exercise, 20 minutes three times a week will suffice.

Eat Plenty Of Good Fat

Healthy fat, known as unsaturated fat, is liquid at room temperature. The two main types of unsaturated fat are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Theyre very similar, and both types can help lower LDL, increase HDL, decrease inflammation, stabilize heart rhythms, and more.

Monounsaturated fat

Monounsaturated fats have just one carbon-to-carbon double bond in their molecular structure. They help lower LDL cholesterol and improve the health of your cells. Monounsaturated fat is found in nuts, avocados, sesame seeds, and olive, canola, corn, and safflower oils.

Polyunsaturated fat

Polyunsaturated fats have more than one double bond in their molecular structure. Theyre essential for blood clotting and building cell membranes, and since your body doesnt make polyunsaturated fats, you have to consume them in your food.

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat found in fatty fish like salmon and sardines. Omega-3 fatty acids can lower triglyceride levels and increase HDL cholesterol, and theyre essential for brain function and cell growth. Non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, and seaweed.

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Can You Lower Cholesterol With Exercise

Exercising is a reliable way to lower your cholesterol fast. Theres no single-best exercise for lowering your cholesterol, but the two main categories of exercise that do the trick are cardio and strength training. Both are also key components in managing diabetes, lowering blood pressure, and reducing your risk for heart disease, cancer, and many other health problems.

Increase Plant Protein Sources

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Introducing variety into the diet may help people manage some risk factors for heart disease.

Many people get their protein mainly from animal sources. However, it may help for them to include plant protein sources in their diet too.

A number of vegetable foods that contain substantial amounts of protein include:

Adding plant-based proteins to the diet can help the body meet its protein needs without adding cholesterol.

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