16 Ways To Lower Cholesterol Naturally
Cholesterol is a substance produced by the liver that supports essential bodily functions. It is also present in various food items. Take note that we have the so-called ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol. If the level of the latter is higher than the former, though, it can lead to health issues and complications, which you need to avoid at all costs.
While there are medications or supplements that you can take to improve your cholesterol levels, there are also many things, mainly lifestyle changes, that you can do, such as:
Reduce Saturated Fats
Are you into red meat or full-fat daily products? If you are, then you better think twice now because these can increase the levels of Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL), which is regarded as bad cholesterol. Instead, you should go for monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, which you can get from olive oil, canola oil, olives, and avocados.
Stay Away From Trans Fats
When you are shopping for food, you must pay close attention to the labels, especially when it comes to cookies, cakes, and crackers. If you see ‘partially hydrogenated vegetable oil’, stay away from them because they can increase your overall cholesterol level.
Eat More Foods With Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids also play a vital role in managing your cholesterol levels. So instead of eating red meat, go for fatty fish like salmon and mackerel. Walnuts and flaxseeds are excellent sources of omega-3 as well.
Incorporate Whey Protein Into Your Diet
According to studies, whey protein is beneficial when it comes to lowering cholesterol levels as well as blood pressure. Therefore, this is something that you should incorporate into your daily diet too. You can find them in various dairy products.
Increase Soluble Fiber
Aside from supporting your digestive and heart health, soluble fiber also helps in reducing LDL cholesterol. With this, you should increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and beans.
Opt for Whole Grains
We all know that whole grains are rich in fiber, and this will definitely help curb LDL cholesterol. With this in mind, you should start your day eating a healthy breakfast, preferably one that consists of oatmeals, apples, and prunes.
Add Nuts to Your Diet
Instead of snacking on chips and other junk foods, eat some nuts, which are also known to be of great help when it comes to lowering the levels of bad cholesterol. However, since nuts are also high in calories, you should watch the portion.
Did you know that spices like cinnamon, garlic, ginger, black pepper, and curcumin can also lower cholesterol? Not to mention that they can make your food really tasty.
Be Smart When Eating Carbs
Some carbs are useful, while others are not. Therefore, you have to be really careful with where you get them from. Stay away from white bread and rice. Go for brown rice, quinoa, wheat bread, and other whole grains instead. These food items can help control your blood sugar as well as your cholesterol level.
Indulge in Healthy Drinks
Managing your cholesterol levels is not all about the foods that you eat daily but also the beverages that you drink. Opt for those that are high in antioxidants. Tea or pomegranate juice would be good.
Find Some Time to Relax
Not too many people are aware that being exposed to stress is another factor that causes cholesterol levels to increase. So to avoid this, you should find time to relax. Go on vacation. Chill out with your friends. Or perhaps read a book or do any of your hobbies.
Another way to deal with stress is to laugh more. This may sound silly, but it’s effective. Experts say that laughing helps increases HDL. After all, laughter is the best medicine.
Increase Your Physical Activities
According to a cardiologist, being active or exercising 2 to 3 times a week is quite effective in raising HDL and reducing LDL levels. It’s also an excellent way to keep your heart healthy.
We all know how dangerous smoking cigarettes is, so if you are a smoker, it’s time for you to quit. Doing so will not only help manage your cholesterol levels but will also spare you from developing serious health conditions.
Alcoholic beverages contain ethanol, which is useful in increasing HDL as long as done in moderation. Excessive drinking, on the other hand, is detrimental to your health. Bottom line is, you should drink moderately.
Shed the Extra Pounds
Keeping a healthy weight as well as eating a balanced diet has positive effects on how your body produces good cholesterol. It is then important that you shed extra pounds. This will also save you from the complications that come with obesity.