Many people inquire on how to lower their Cholesterol naturally because it helps lower the risk for heart attacks. If you have high cholesterol, you’re also at higher risk for heart disease. However the risk can be managed if you can lower your “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise your “good” HDL cholesterol. Cholesterol itself is a waxy, fat-like substance that is primarily made by the liver, although some comes from the diet. It is an essential component of cell membranes and is used by the body to produce hormones and vitamin D. You just have to make some simple changes to enhance your health.
Here are lifestyle changes you can make to lower cholesterol naturally
Ban Trans Fats
Trans fats raise your LDL, lower your HDL, and increase your risk of developing heart disease and stroke so cut fried foods, baked goods (cakes, pie crusts, frozen pizza, and cookies), and stick margarines from your diet. When reading labels be on the lookout for “partially hydrogenated oil” on packages
You don’t have to lose a lot of weight to lower your cholesterol. If you’re overweight, drop just 10 pounds and you’ll cut your LDL by up to 8%. But to really keep off the pounds, you’ll have to do it over time. A reasonable and safe goal is 1 to 2 pounds a week. Eating plans that allow 1,000 to 1,200 calories a day will help most women lose weight safely. Plans with 1,200 to 1,600 calories a day are good for most men who want to lose weight.
“Exercising at least 2 1/2 hours a week is enough to raise HDL and improve LDL and triglycerides,” says Sarah Samaan, MD, a cardiologist in Plano, TX. If you haven’t been active, start slowly — even 10-minute blocks of activity count. Choose an exercise you enjoy. And buddy up: An exercise partner can help keep you on track.
Revamp your diet with Fiber, Fish, Olive Oil Nd Nuts
Foods like oatmeal, apples, prunes, and beans are high in soluble fiber, which keeps your body from absorbing cholesterol. Research shows that people who ate 5 to 10 more grams of it each day saw a drop in their LDL. Eating more fiber also makes you feel full, so you won’t crave snacks as much.
Try to eat Fish two to four times a week due to the heart healthy omega-3 fats which are heart-healthy, and because it replaces the saturated fats abundant in red meat.
Substituting olive oil for butter could reduce LDL cholesterol by as much as 15%. The “good” fats in olive oil benefit your heart. Choose extra-virgin olive oil. It’s less processed and contains more antioxidants, which help prevent disease.
Most types of Nuts can lower LDL. The reason: They contain sterols, which, like fiber, keep the body from absorbing cholesterol.
Did you know that when you’re stressed, your cholesterol can go through the roof? Relax. Get lost in a good book, meet a friend for coffee, or take to your yoga mat. It’ll help keep your cholesterol in check.
Spice It Up
If you don’t already dust your cappuccino with cinnamon or shake pepper on your pasta, listen up: Spices like garlic, curcumin, ginger, black pepper, coriander, and cinnamon do more than flavor your food, they can also improve cholesterol. Research shows that eating a half to one clove of garlic each day could lower cholesterol up to 9%. Bonus: Adding extra seasoning to your food also reduces your appetite, so it’s easier to drop excess pounds, Steinbaum says.
“Smoking can raise LDL and lower HDL, and quitting often improves those numbers,” Samaan says. In one study, people who stopped smoking saw their “good” cholesterol rise 5% in one year. But if you’re regularly around smokers, take heed: Breathing secondhand smoke every day can also raise levels of bad cholesterol.
Laughter is like medicine: It increases HDL, Steinbaum says. Need to add some comic relief to your life? Check out silly pet videos online, sign up for a joke-a-day email, or watch funny movies.
Revamp your diet with Fiber, Fish, Olive Oil and Nuts to lower Cholestrol
If you’re looking to lower your cholesterol, the key may be simply changing your morning meal. Switching up your breakfast to contain two servings of oats can lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) by 5.3% in only 6 weeks. The key to this cholesterol buster is beta-glucan, a substance inoats that absorbs LDL, which your body then excretes.
2. Red wine
Scientists are giving us yet another reason to drink to our health. It turns out that high-fiber Tempranillo red grapes, used to make red wine like Rioja, may actually have a significant effect on lowering cholesterol levels. A study conducted by the department of metabolism and nutrition at Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain found that when individuals consumed the same grape supplement found in red wine, their LDL levels decreased by 9%. In addition, those who had high cholesterol going into the study saw a 12% drop in LDL. So go ahead and drink a glass for that lowering cholesterol benefit.
3. Salmon & fatty fish
Omega-3 fats are one of the natural health wonders of the world and have been shown to ward off heart disease, dementia, and many other diseases. Now these fatty acids can add yet another health benefit to their repertoire: lowering cholesterol. According to research from Loma Linda University, replacing saturated fats with omega-3s like those found in salmon, sardines, and herring can raise good cholesterol as much as 4%.
If you’re looking for that perfect snack food that lowers cholesterol levels, research shows that you should get cracking! In a study published by theAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who noshed on 1.5 ounces of whole walnuts 6 days a week for 1 month lowered their total cholesterol by 5.4% and LDL cholesterol by 9.3%. Almonds and cashews are other good options. However, while nuts are heart healthy, they’re also high in calories, so practice portion control—1.5 ounces is about a shot glass and a half. Use a shot glass to measure out your portion so you can see exactly how it looks. Or easily squeeze out 2 tablespoons from this organic peanut butter pouch to spread on sandwiches.
While tea has become well known for its cancer-fighting antioxidants, it is also a great defense against LDL cholesterol levels. According to research conducted with the USDA, black tea has been shown to reduce blood lipids by up to 10% in only 3 weeks. These findings were concluded in a larger study of how tea may also help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Beans, beans—they really are good for your heart. Researchers at Arizona State University Polytechnic found that adding ½ cup of beans to soup lowers total cholesterol, including LDL, by up to 8%. The key to this heart-healthy food that lowers cholesterol is its abundance of fiber, which has been shown to slow the rate and amount of absorption of cholesterol in certain foods. Try black, kidney, or pinto beans; each supplies about one-third of your daily fiber needs.
Yes! Chocolate is one of the foods that lowers cholesterol. This powerful antioxidant helps build HDL cholesterol levels. In a 2007 study published in AJCN, participants who were given cocoa powder had a 24% increase in HDL levels over 12 weeks, compared with a 5% increase in the control group. Remember to choose the dark or bittersweet kind. Compared to milk chocolate, it has more than 3 times as many antioxidants, which prevent blood platelets from sticking together and may even keep arteries unclogged.
Switching to a margarine with plant sterols, such as Promise activ or Benecol, could help lower cholesterol. Plant sterols are compounds that reduce cholesterol absorption; a study published in AJCN found that women who had a higher plant sterol–based diet were able to lower total cholesterol by 3.5%.
Aside from adding zing to almost any dish, garlic makes the list of foods that lower cholesterol; it’s also been found to prevent blood clots, reduce blood pressure, and protect against infections. Now research finds that it helps stop artery-clogging plaque at its earliest stage by keeping cholesterol particles from sticking to artery walls. Try for two to four fresh cloves a day of this powerful cholesterol fighting food.
10. Olive oil
Good news: This common cooking ingredient can help your health. Olive oil is full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which lower LDL cholesterol—and have the welcome side effect of trimmingbelly fat. Use it to make your own salad dressings, marinate chicken and fish, or roast vegetables.
This popular green food that lowers cholesterol contains lots of lutein, the sunshine-yellow pigment found in dark green leafy vegetables and egg yolks. Lutein already has a "golden" reputation for guarding against age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. Now research suggests that just ½ cup of a lutein-rich food daily also guards against heart attacks by helping artery walls "shrug off" cholesterol invaders that cause clogging. Look for bags of baby spinach leaves that you can use for salads or pop in the microwave for a quick side dish.
Avocados are a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, a type of fat that may actually help raise HDL cholesterol while lowering LDL. And, more than any other fruit, this delectable food packs cholesterol-smashing beta-sitosterol, a beneficial plant-based fat that reduces the amount of cholesterol absorbed from food. Since avocados are a bit high in calories and fat (300 calories and 30 g fat per avocado), use them in moderation.
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