How To Lower Cholesterol Naturally
Given that excess cholesterol is linked to diet, it is wholly unsurprising that the most important way you can help your body lower its cholesterol levels is by taking care of what you eat.
Smoking has a harmful effect when it comes to fighting cholesterol, as cigarettes contain a chemical, acrolein, which blocks HDL from transporting cholesterol to the liver.
But one of the other best ways to lower cholesterol naturally is via exercise and lifestyle changes.
A lack of exercise can raise LDL, as can being overweight.
People Most At Risk Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Some people dont have enough vitamin D. This could be because their skin isnt exposed to enough sunlight, or because of health problems or higher needs for vitamin D.
For example, if:
- you dont go outdoors often, for example if you are housebound, in hospital or are disabled and less able to get about
- you wear clothes which cover most of your skin when you go outside
- you have dark skin, for example if youre from an African, African-Caribbean or south Asian background as you need more sunlight to make enough vitamin D
- you wear sunscreen most or all of the time
- you need more vitamin D, babies, young children and pregnant and breastfeeding women need more vitamin D
- you are an older adult, as older people cant make as much vitamin D
- you have a health problem or youre taking certain medications which change the way vitamin D is controlled in the body, such as Crohns disease, coeliac disease, and some types of liver and kidney disease.
- you are very overweight, a there is some evidence to suggest that people who are very over weight are more likely to lack vitamin D
- you eat very few foods that contain vitamin D.
Add These Foods To Lower Ldl Cholesterol
Different foods lower cholesterol in various ways. Some deliver soluble fiber, which binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they get into circulation. Some give you polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL. And some contain plant sterols and stanols, which block the body from absorbing cholesterol.
1. Oats. An easy first step to lowering your cholesterol is having a bowl of oatmeal or cold oat-based cereal like Cheerios for breakfast. It gives you 1 to 2 grams of soluble fiber. Add a banana or some strawberries for another half-gram. Current nutrition guidelines recommend getting 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day, with at least 5 to 10 grams coming from soluble fiber.
2. Barley and other whole grains. Like oats and oat bran, barley and other whole grains can help lower the risk of heart disease, mainly via the soluble fiber they deliver.
3. Beans. Beans are especially rich in soluble fiber. They also take a while for the body to digest, meaning you feel full for longer after a meal. Thats one reason beans are a useful food for folks trying to lose weight. With so many choices from navy and kidney beans to lentils, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, and beyond and so many ways to prepare them, beans are a very versatile food.
4. Eggplant and okra. These two low-calorie vegetables are good sources of soluble fiber.
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Bri Nutrition Odorless Garlic
Garlic has been linked to lower levels of cholesterol in some cases. Because of this, taking garlic as a supplement may help you lower your cholesterol levels.
Each bottle comes with a 60-day supply, and they are incredibly inexpensive, so nothing is keeping you from trying them.
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What To Do Instead: Spice Up Your Diet
No, cooking with garlic wont do a thing for your cholesterol, but it can bestow other health benefits when its part of an overall healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, and lean animal protein. Garlic is a potent antioxidant that can help protect your cells from damage and the spicy cloves have high levels of important nutrients, too, including potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Last, and definitely not least, it tastes good! If youre struggling to get control of your cholesterol, though, talk to your doctor.
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Supplement Myth #: There Are All
Red yeast rice extractknown commonly as RYREcontains the same chemical, monacolin K, that is used in lovastatin, a prescription statin drug that prevents the body from producing cholesterol. As such, says Robert Eckel, M.D., an endocrinologist at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and former president of the American Heart Association, it should be treated as one and only used, if at all, under your doctors supervision. Unlike prescription statins, the amounts of the active ingredient in RYRE products can vary widely between different brands and manufacturers.
Focus On Monounsaturated Fats
As opposed to saturated fats, unsaturated fats have at least one double chemical bond that changes the way your body uses them. Monounsaturated fats have only one double bond.
Some recommend a low fat diet for weight loss, but research is mixed on its effectiveness in controlling blood cholesterol.
One research report acknowledged that lower fat intake is an effective way to reduce blood cholesterol levels. However, researchers were concerned over potential negative effects of low fat diets, such as lowering HDL and increasing triglycerides .
In contrast, research has shown that a diet high in monounsaturated fats, such as the Mediterranean diet, helps reduce levels of harmful LDL and increase levels of healthy HDL .
Monounsaturated fats may also reduce the oxidation of cholesterol, according to research. Oxidized cholesterol can react with free radicals and contribute to clogged arteries. This can lead to atherosclerosis or heart disease .
Overall, monounsaturated fats are healthy because they decrease harmful LDL cholesterol, increase good HDL cholesterol and reduce harmful oxidation (
Monounsaturated fats like those in olive oil, canola oil, tree nuts, and avocados reduce LDL cholesterol, increase HDL cholesterol, and reduce the oxidation that contributes to clogged arteries.
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Genius Heart And Cardiovascular Health Supplement
These supplements contain a variety of ingredients, including grape seed extract and vitamin K2. This pill may help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels and improve your cardiac function and health.
It also contains several other ingredients to improve your heart health, making it an excellent choice for those worried about their heart health.
Putting Together A Low Cholesterol Diet
When it comes to investing money, experts recommend creating a portfolio of diverse investments instead of putting all your eggs in one basket. The same holds true for eating your way to lower cholesterol. Adding several foods to lower cholesterol in different ways should work better than focusing on one or two.
A largely vegetarian “dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods” substantially lowers LDL, triglycerides, and blood pressure. The key dietary components are plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains instead of highly refined ones, and protein mostly from plants. Add margarine enriched with plant sterols oats, barley, psyllium, okra, and eggplant, all rich in soluble fiber soy protein and whole almonds.
Of course, shifting to a cholesterol-lowering diet takes more attention than popping a daily statin. It means expanding the variety of foods you usually put in your shopping cart and getting used to new textures and flavors. But it’s a “natural” way to lower cholesterol, and it avoids the risk of muscle problems and other side effects that plague some people who take statins.
Just as important, a diet that is heavy on fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts is good for the body in ways beyond lowering cholesterol. It keeps blood pressure in check. It helps arteries stay flexible and responsive. It’s good for bones and digestive health, for vision and mental health.
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Vitamin B3 Niacin For Lowering Cholesterol
Niacin works in the liver by affecting the production of blood fats, and it has been well-researched. Several well-designed double-blind, placebo controlled studies have found that niacin can reduce LDL cholesterol by approximately 10 percent and triglycerides by 25 percent while raising HDL cholesterol by 20 percent to 30 percent.
High LDLs lead to atherosclerosis and then cardiovascular disease, warns Nadia Chariff, Health Advisor & Registered Dietitian at Coffeeble. Make no mistake, dietary & lifestyle factors such as high saturated fat intake & lack of exercise definitely play a part! Besides recommending alternative diets & increased activity, I recommend niacin to my patients.
The Link Between Dietary And Blood Cholesterol
The liver produces as much cholesterol as your body needs. It packages cholesterol with fat in whats called very low-density lipoproteins .
As VLDL delivers fat to cells throughout the body, it changes into the more dense LDL, which carries cholesterol wherever it is needed.
The liver also releases HDL, which then carries unused cholesterol back to the liver. This process is called reverse cholesterol transport, and it protects against clogged arteries and other types of heart disease.
Some lipoproteins, especially LDL and VLDL, are prone to damage by free radicals in a process called oxidation. Oxidized LDL and VLDL are even more harmful to heart health .
Although food companies often advertise products as being low in cholesterol, recent research has shown that dietary cholesterol actually has only a small influence on the amount of cholesterol in the body .
This is because the liver changes the amount of cholesterol it makes depending on how much you eat. When your body absorbs more cholesterol from your diet, it makes less in the liver.
Current guidelines by leading U.S. health organizations for lowering risk of heart disease no longer contain specific recommended levels for dietary cholesterol, including the:
- American Heart Association (
- 7 )
The guidelines do recommend moderating cholesterol consumption, but this is more to limit the saturated fat that often accompanies cholesterol in foods than to limit intake of cholesterol itself .
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What Happens If I Incorporated Dietary Changes And My Cholesterol Is Still Not Within Recommended Ranges
If youve made some dietary changes and you still havent seen results, try incorporating phytosterol into your diet. Phytosterol is similar to the bodys cholesterol and can block cholesterol from being absorbed into your body.
Phytosterol can lower your cholesterol by 10% and your LDL by 14%, she says. Aim to get about 2 grams of phytosterol a day. Some common food and dietary supplements include high sterol or stanol esters be sure to read the labels.
Plant Sterols And Stanols
Plant stanols and sterols, such as beta-sitosterol, are naturally-occurring substances found in certain plants. Stanols are also found as dietary supplements. Some are added to margarine, orange juice, and dressings.
Research suggests that plant stanols and sterols may help to lower cholesterol. They are similar in chemical structure and may help block the absorption of cholesterol in 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.
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Now Supplements Cholesterol Pro
If youre worried about your cardiovascular health, this supplement may be a great choice. It contains two ingredients that may be beneficial to your heart health. Plus, it is also soy-free and non-GMO.
It is made in a GMP-quality assured lab, so you can rest assured that the quality is fantastic. They are also packaged in the USA.
Where To Find Vitamin E
As an antioxidant that can help protect cells from damage, vitamin E plays an important role in your overall health.
Many people get enough vitamin E from the foods they eat. Foods high in vitamin E include:
- Vegetable oils
- Fortified cereals and margarine
Palm oil and bran rice oil are especially rich in tocotrienols.
If you dont get enough vitamin E in your diet, you can also take vitamin E supplements. These are commonly found either in liquid or capsule form.
Since vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be stored in your body, its important not to take too much of it. For adults, the recommended dietary allowance is 15 milligrams per day.
Be sure to talk with your doctor before taking any supplements.
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Transport Into The Cell
When a cell requires additional cholesterol , it synthesizes the necessary LDL receptors as well as PCSK9, a proprotein convertase that marks the LDL receptor for degradation. LDL receptors are inserted into the plasma membrane and diffuse freely until they associate with clathrin-coated pits. When LDL receptors bind LDL particles in the bloodstream, the clathrin-coated pits are endocytosed into the cell.
Vesicles containing LDL receptors bound to LDL are delivered to the endosome. In the presence of low pH, such as that found in the endosome, LDL receptors undergo a conformation change, releasing LDL. LDL is then shipped to the lysosome, where cholesterol esters in the LDL are hydrolysed. LDL receptors are typically returned to the plasma membrane, where they repeat this cycle. If LDL receptors bind to PCSK9, however, transport of LDL receptors is redirected to the lysosome, where they are degraded.
Medication May Be Needed
For some people, diet and lifestyle changes are not enough. High blood cholesterol levels often have a genetic component. Some people inherit altered genes that cause high cholesterol and this cannot usually be changed sufficiently by lifestyle or diet.
If you are at risk of coronary heart disease and your LDL cholesterol level doesnt drop after scrupulous attention to diet, your doctor may recommend medications to force your blood LDL levels down. Cell cholesterol levels, however, remain normal, so lowering blood cholesterol has no effect on most cell metabolic processes.
Some people get muscle aches from statins, which are the most commonly used medication to lower blood cholesterol. However, diet and exercise will still be important, even if you are taking medication. Your doctor may also refer you to a specialist who treats cardiovascular disease.
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Other Ways To Lower Cholesterol
If you have high cholesterol, its important to talk to your doctor. They can help you figure out the best way to lower your cholesterol and improve your overall health.
Treatment for high cholesterol varies, but can include:
- Changing your diet, such as eating more fiber and less saturated fat
- Doing more cardiovascular exercise, like running, walking, swimming, or biking
- Avoiding alcohol
- Stopping smoking
Vitamin And Phytonutrient Supplements
You may have heard that antioxidant vitamins counteract the oxidative damage to cells caused by oxygen-containing free-radical molecules that increase your risk for a host of chronic illnesses, from obesity to cardiovascular disease. Part of how they work against heart disease is by helping to lower cholesterol, says Trista Best, MS, RD, a registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements. “Antioxidants are plant compounds that stimulate the immune system and are also responsible for reducing inflammation by preventing clumping of blood platelets,” says Best. “If this damage persists, cholesterol rises, and the sticky substance can adhere to the walls of the arteries.” Best recommends people with high cholesterol try supplementing with antioxidant-specific supplements, such as NOW’s Super Antioxidants.
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Do All Fiber Supplements Lower Cholesterol Levels
Fiber is an important part of any healthy diet. Although fiber is mostly known for improving digestive health, studies have also shown that certain types of fiber can also help lower your cholesterol levels. This can include common brand name fiber supplements like Metamucil and Citrucel.
Can I Use Vitamins To Lower My Cholesterol
The only vitamin that really lowers cholesterol is red yeast rice at 1200 mg twice a day, according to Dr. Cho.
The problem with red yeast rice is that it contains the same chemical compound as lovastatin, which means you would need to have your liver function monitored if you take it, she says. The Food and Drug Administration hasnt approved this supplement for medical use, so talk to your doctor before considering it.
All in all, you can lower your cholesterol naturally. Diet should be the cornerstone of therapy and pills are a supplement, not a substitute, for a good diet. Always talk to your doctor before taking any new supplements.
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Supplements To Lower Cholesterol
Two of the most effective ways of boosting HDL and lowering LDL are exercising and eating a healthy diet. Consuming too much saturated fat and trans fat found in red meat, dairy products, and processed foods can increase your level of unhealthy cholesterol. Consuming too little unsaturated fat found in nuts, seeds, fish, and vegetable oils can do the same.
If your LDL levels are very high or youre at higher risk for heart disease for another reason, your doctor may prescribe a medication to lower your cholesterol. Usually, this medication is a statin drug. If youd like to try a more natural approach or cannot tolerate statins, however, you may wish to consider the many foods and food-derived substances that have been shown to lower cholesterol.
Youll find a dizzying array of cholesterol-lowering supplements for sale some combine several active ingredients and others contain just one. The following are some of the most promising natural supplements that are thought to help lower cholesterol.
Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is so effective at lowering LDL while boosting HDL that its often prescribed by doctors in high doses. Over the counter, youll find low-dose supplements that may also be effective. Niacin can cause facial flushing, and in high doses, it may harm your liver. Check with your doctor before taking a high-dose niacin supplement.
Omega-3 fish oil
Red yeast rice extract