Ways To Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally
- To lower your cholesterol naturally, you can improve your diet, get more physical activity, lose weight, quit smoking, and limit alcohol.
- If you’re not able to effectively lower your cholesterol with natural treatments, you can also talk to your doctor about medications like statins.
- This article was medically reviewed by John Osborne, MD, PhD, and the Director of Cardiology for Dallas-based State of the Heart Cardiology.
- This article is part of Insider’s guide to High Cholesterol.
There are a few different measurements for cholesterol. You’ll actually want higher levels of high density lipoprotein the good cholesterol and lower levels of low density lipoprotein , triglycerides, and total cholesterol.
That’s because HDL helps get rid of LDL cholesterol and can lower your overall levels. Here’s what healthy cholesterol levels should look like:
If your cholesterol is too high, there are many lifestyle changes your doctor will recommend before or alongside medication. Here’s how to lower your cholesterol naturally.
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.
Home Remedy For Lower Cholesterol #15 Exercise
Although exercise is very good for many reasons, promoting circulation and strengthening the body, it’s not a magic bullet when it comes to cholesterol.
Cleveland Clinic states that Exercise has the greatest effect on triglycerides and HDL, the good cholesterol . Exercise does not have much impact on LDL unless combined with dietary changes and weight loss. Start out slowly and gradually increase your activity levels.
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Home Remedy For Lower Cholesterol #4 Add Some Vitamin K2 To Your Diet
In the book Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox, the author explains how vitamin K2 packs a one-two punch when it comes to heart disease.
While K2 can lower serum cholesterol, more importantly, K2 reduces atherosclerois, i.e. plaque accumulation in the arteries. This plaque is the deposits of calcium, fatty substances and scar tissue that together cause hardening of the arteries.
With plaque build up, the arteries either clog up and reduce or stop blood flow entirely, or get fragile and have a blow out. Vitamin K2 is not the same as vitamin K1, which is abundant in leafy greens and great for bone building.
Vitamin K2 works in concert with calcium and vitamin D, making sure the calcium gets where it’s needed in your bones, not your muscles and arteries.
In addition, vitamin K2 can remove calcium buildup in the arteries after it has formed and help restore arterial flexibility.
The best source of vitamin K2 is natto, a fermented soybean concoction with a stringy, slimy texture.
Other sources of vitamin K2 include goose liver pate, hard cheeses , soft cheeses , egg yolk, butter and chicken liver.
Most people in the US are low in vitamin K2, although regular cheese eaters tend to far better than the general population. You can also buy a K2 supplement made from natto.
Lower Your Cholesterol Whether You’re Eating Breakfast Lunch Dinner Dessert Or Even A Snack
Did you know cholesterol in food only plays a small part in increasing our bodies cholesterol levels? But what we eat has a big role to play in managing our cholesterol and heart health.Consistently poor eating habits, combined with a lack of physical activity can lead to unhealthy weight gain, which can also raise levels of unhealthy cholesterol levels and lower levels of HDL cholesterol which can negatively affect your heart health.
High-density lipoprotein is often called the good cholesterol because it helps to remove other forms of cholesterol from your bloodstream and helps to keep cholesterol from building up in the arteries. Low-density lipoprotein is often called the bad cholesterol because it is the main source of cholesterol build-up and blockage in the arteries.
Time and time again we hear that balance is the key to health. There are some foods that can improve LDL cholesterol levels and eating these foods in moderate amounts can help keep us fighting fit. Foods containing healthier fats or soluble fibre are great examples of this. So with this in mind, here are some delicious ideas that can help you eat your way to a healthier heart.
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Eat A Variety Of Healthy Proteins
The best choices of protein are fish and seafood, legumes , nuts and seeds. You can eat smaller amounts of eggs and lean poultry but limit red meat to 1-3 times a week.
Flavour foods with herbs and spices rather than salt, and avoid processed foods as these contain a lot of salt too. Salt can lead to high blood pressure, which can increase your risk of heart disease.
How To Lower Cholesterol With Phytosterols
Many people ask if there is a perfect method to lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Apparently the correct answer will be a combination of several things together: nutrition, healthy lifestyle, medications and nutritional supplements that help lower cholesterol levels, for example those that contain phytosterols which are natural ingredients derived from plants.
Many people who have high cholesterol levels take statins which are drugs often prescribed by doctors to help lower cholesterol levels in the blood. While they are effective, they can cause side effects, such as muscle aches, abdominal pain, nausea and/or vomiting, dizziness, difficulty to sleep, diarrhea or constipation and more.
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Plant Sterols And Stanols
Plant stanols and sterols are naturally-occurring substances found in certain plants. Stanols are also found as dietary supplements or are added to margarine, orange juice, and dressings.
Research suggests that plant stanols and sterols may help to lower cholesterol. They are similar in structure to cholesterol and may help block the absorption of cholesterol from the intestines. The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends you take in 2 grams of plant sterols and stanols each day.
The FDA allows an approved health claim on phytosterols stating, “Foods containing at least 0.65 gram per serving of vegetable oil plant sterol esters, eaten twice a day with meals for a daily total intake of at least 1.3 grams, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.”
Stanols and sterols appear to enhance the effects of other methods to lower cholesterol. In studies, people taking statin drugs to lower cholesterol had an additional improvement in their cholesterol levels with stanols/sterols.
Myth #: Cholesterol From Animal Products Such As Red Meat Eggs And Full Fat Milk Is Bad For You:
This is just a theory and has never been proven. The problem with it is the numbers dont add up. For instance, an Eskimos diet consists of 70% animal meat, fat and cholesterol yet they have very low cholesterol levels, low triglyceride levels, and very low rates of heart disease, cancer and stroke.
Then in the May edition of The Denver Post back in 1996, there was an article about a longevity study in which researchers interviewed 415 people over the age of a hundred . The idea was to try and find out if there was one overwhelming factor all of these people had in common that may have contributed to their longevity.
And there was in fact one overwhelming thing that researchers discovered…
All 415 people ate red meat every day! There wasnt one vegetarian in the group. Now, if red meat really is so bad for you and eating it clogs up your arteries and causes heart disease then all of these people should have been dead long ago! 1
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Home Remedy For Lower Cholesterol #9 An Apple A Day Really May Keep The Doctor Away
My grandmother Catherine always loved to say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. It turns out she was probably right.
A 2011 study by researchers from Florida State University found that older women who ate apples every day reduced LDL cholesterol levels by 23% within six months and increased HDL cholesterol levels by 4%.
The apple eating women also lost an average of 3.3 pounds.
How To Lower Cholesterol Naturally In 28 Simple Steps
There are tons of natural remedies out there for how to lower cholesterol levels, often promising quick results with next to no effort required on your part. But while its true that there are tons of options to keep cholesterol levels in check, it can actually be as simple as swapping out a few foods in your diet for healthier options, switching up your workout routine or adding a supplement or two into the mix.
Ready to get started? Lets take a look at 28 simple methods for how to lower cholesterol and how it can impact your health.
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How To Incorporate More Walking Into Your Routine And Lower Cholesterol
- Make exercise part of your normal routine. Ditch the car, and walk, cycle, or take public transport, when you can.
- If you need to drive, park further away and walk a bit further to your final destination.
- Dont sit at the computer for hours on end get up once an hour and move, for example, go up and down the stairs 10 times.
- Have meetings standing up. When you take phone calls, stand up and walk up and down instead of sitting still.
- Walk in your lunch break dont just sit at your desk or on the sofa.
- Take 2 or 3 short walks per day, maybe 10 minutes before breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Join up with a friend for a walk, or maybe join a walking group. Make walking fun.
- Sign up for a walking charitable event and get in training.
- Walk a dog.
- Get a pedometer and aim for a minimum of 10,000 steps per day.
Increase Your Fiber Intake
Fiber is a type of indigestible material found in many of the plant sources we eat. Although it might not be as digestible as protein or carbohydrates , fiber still plays an extremely important role in maintaining your health. As food travels through your gastrointestinal system, fiber grabs on to cholesterol. Instead of being absorbed into your bloodstream, cholesterol passes harmlessly through your system alongside fiber. Adding more sources of fiber to your diet can be an effective way of lowering your cholesterol.
Fiber is divided into two categories: soluble and insoluble. While insoluble fiber is not as beneficial for removing cholesterol as soluble fiber is, insoluble fiber is still important for improving blood sugar and aids in reducing colon cancer. You can find this type of fiber in foods like whole-wheat bread, beans, potatoes, and cauliflower. Soluble fiber does a great job of lowering cholesterol. You can find soluble fiber in oats, barley, peas, apples, carrots, and citrus fruit. Adding more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans to your diet will help increase your fiber intake.
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Fish Oil Supplements With Omega
Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in fish and fish oils. Salmon, tuna, lake trout, herring, sardines, and other fatty fish are especially rich sources.
Experts have long believed that omega-3 fatty acids in fish help reduce the risk of getting heart disease. Other nutrients in fish, or a combination of those nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids, may help protect your heart. Eating one or two servings of fatty fish a week may lower your chances of having a heart attack.
If you have heart disease, you may also benefit from taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements or eating other foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. For example, walnuts, canola oil, and soybeans are good sources. Evidence is stronger for the benefits of eating fish with omega-3 fatty acids than taking supplements or eating other foods.
The Most Dangerous Cholesterol
We need a certain amount of LDL to take cholesterol to the cell membrane. Of cholesterol lipoproteins, it is the small dense LDLs that promote atherosclerosis. Small dense lipoproteins penetrate faster, stay longer in the arteries, and are more susceptible to oxidation than the large LDL particles.7
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How To Add Fibre To Your Diet
Foods that are high in fibre are listed below. Try and incorporate as much as you can of these in your daily diet
- Whole grains found in cereal, brown bread, brown rice and brown pasta . Also, in oats, barley, and rye.
- Fruits including pears, strawberries, apples, bananas, mangoes, and raspberries.
- Vegetables including carrots, beetroot, broccoli, and sprouts.
- Legumes including lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, and baked beans.
- Nuts and seeds including almonds, cashews, pistachios, and chia seeds.
- Potatoes with their jackets on. Most dietary fibre is found in the skin of fruits and vegetables.
You can eat more fibre by
- Choosing healthy whole grains in cereal, bread, and pasta.
- Opting for healthy snacks such as an apple or a pear instead of a pack of biscuits.
- Adding vegetables to our cooking wherever possible adding vegetables to soups and casseroles, keep some in the freezer so you dont run out. Use lentils and beans to thicken dishes too.
- Wash vegetables but leave the skins on when possible.
- Make dips with chickpeas such as humus and eat with raw vegetable sticks.
- Eat nuts as a snack or add chopped nuts to yoghurt and fruit as a dessert.
Reduce Consumption Of Red Meat
LDL cholesterol is also known as the bad cholesterol because it collects in the walls of your blood vessels and is known to clog your arteries. An essential part of any low LDL cholesterol diet is to reduce the amount of meat you eat as it increases LDL cholesterol. Trendy and popular diets, such as the keto diet, encourage dieters to eat significantly high-fat meals that include red meat. However, adopting a diet that consumes high amounts of red meat and other animal products, has been linked to much higher cholesterol and a variety of other health problems so it is always important to consult your physician before adopting these kinds of diets.
Most animal products, such as turkey and pork, cause some increase in cholesterol. However, red meat has a significant impact on increasing cholesterol. While reducing your intake of beef and pork, try substituting for fish or poultry in your recipes. A simple swap like chicken fajitas instead of beef fajitas can have a big impact on your overall cholesterol.
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Try The Mediterranean Diet
One of the best ways to decrease levels of LDL cholesterol is through your diet! A common diet that is recommended when trying to lower LDL cholesterol is the Mediterranean diet.
The Mediterranean diet is a diet that is high in fat due to the lower consumption of sugar and meat.
Foods like nuts, olive oil, fruits, and vegetables are at their highest levels when eating a Mediterranean diet which means youre less likely to have an increased cholesterol level.
People who eat this way also tend to lose weight over time because they are not consuming as many calories from sugars or fats since they get most of those essential nutrients through foods rich in protein and fiber.
Eating more healthy fats by including avocados with every meal will lower your risk for heart disease along with lowering LDL cholesterol levels! Avocado lovers can rejoice knowing that guacamole isnt just tasty, but its good for them too!
Mediterranean diets are commonly consumed in some of the healthiest places in the world called the Blue Zones.
Here is the typical Mediterranean diet pyramid:
Natural Ways To Lower Cholesterol
1. Chicory.Often thought of as a weed, the extensive root systems of chicory can be made into a beverage that closely resembles coffee. When consumed in this way or as a supplement, it works to fight off high levels of cholesterol by ramping up the bodys natural metabolism to regulate cholesterol levels.
2. Ginger.One of the key qualities of ginger is that it helps to control nausea in people very effectively, reducing the symptoms of motion sickness and other nausea-causing issues. It also helps to reduce overall cholesterol levels while making your food taste awesome too. When brewed as a tea, you can get a double dose of healing action because it will help fight off a sore throat. Whether you add it to your diet as a supplement or just throw in some ginger powder to your meals, youll get the cholesterol busting qualities that you want.
3. Green Tea Extract.What youre looking for in the green tea that you consume is a substance that has a long name: epigallocatechingallate. It is found in all teas, but it is in its highest concentrations in green tea of the extract that you can take as a supplement. It is an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce high levels of bad cholesterol without really affecting your good cholesterol, and as an added bonus, green tea also helps to boost your metabolism up so that you can burn more calories throughout the day.
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Eat Less Saturated Fat
You can lower your cholesterol by eating less saturated fat. Saturated fat is found in the following
- Saturated fats are those fats that are often solid at room temperature. They are present in butter, lard, ghee, cheese, cream, and other full-fat dairy products.
- Processed foods often contain large amounts of saturated fats called trans fats. Examples include pies, pastries, biscuits, and ice cream.
- Red meat contains high levels of saturated fats, including bacon, salami, and sausage.
- Coconut oil, and palm oil are high in saturated fat.
- Fried food, fast food, and prepared microwave meals often contain high levels of saturated fat.
Swap these foods for healthy unsaturated fats for example, foods cooked in vegetable oil such as olive oil, or sunflower oil. Unsaturated fats are also found in nuts, seeds, and fish.