How to Lower Cholesterol

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Maintaining a good cholesterol level in your blood is very important for your health. A bad cholesterol level may lead to heart disease or stroke. Cholesterol levels can be maintained by assuming good habits like eating a healthy diet, being active, eating a balanced diet, and staying active. Hence, if you suspect that your cholesterol levels are high, you can speak to your doctor and have a checkup. There are various foods that a person can consume to reduce cholesterol levels in the body. Cholesterol levels can be caused by a number of factors such as daily habits, gender, family genetics, and age. But whatever it is, cholesterol levels can still be lowered if the right habits are adopted.

The main cause of high cholesterol levels in individuals is by eating too much saturated fats. In order to counter this, people should eat foods rich in unsaturated fats which helped reduce cholesterol levels.  If the cholesterol level in the blood is maintained, the nerves, cells and hormones will function well. We have explained in detail how a person can reduce cholesterol levels in the blood by consuming certain foods and performing particular practices.

Saturated fats and unsaturated fats

There are usually two main types of fat which are saturated and unsaturated fats. When a person consumes foods with a lot f saturated fats, it can end up increasing the cholesterol levels in your blood. Some of the foods that are high in saturated fats include; sausages, cream, meat pies, fatty cuts of meat, cakes, butter, foods with coconut oil or palm oil, ghee and biscuits.

On the other end, consuming foods that are rich in unsaturated fats will actually assist lower levels of cholesterol in the blood. When creating your diet, ensure you replace foods with saturated fats with those that have a small amount of unsaturated fats. Foods with unsaturated fats include; avocados, nuts, oily fish, vegetable oils, and seeds.

Trans fats

Trans fats can as well increase cholesterol levels in the body. These fats can be found naturally in little portions in some kinds of foods, like animal products, which might be milk, meat or dairy foods. Artificial trans fats can be found in hydrogenated fat, so some processed foods like cakes and biscuits have trans fats.

The ideal amount of trans fats in the body is zero. This is because they are a byproduct of the chemical reaction that changes liquid vegetable oil into solid margarine and prevents liquid vegetable oils from changing to rancid. These fats are bad for the heart and have no any nutritional value. Trans fats raise LDL cholesterol (bad) and triglyceride levels in the body while they lower HDL cholesterol levels (good).

15 foods that lower cholesterol naturally

  1. Salmon and fatty fish

Fish such as salmon, sardines and herring are rich in omega-3 fats. These fats offer various health benefits when taken into the body. Diseases such as dementia, heart disease and several other diseases are cured by a person eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, these fats can help to reduce cholesterol in the body.

  1. Oats

Other amazing foods to include in your diet while fighting cholesterol levels are oats. You can include two servings of oats in your breakfast which will help in lowering bad cholesterol by 5.3% within a period of 6 weeks. This happens because of the beta-glucan found in oats. It absorbs LDL cholesterol, which your body excretes.

  1. Nuts

For people interested in snack foods that lower cholesterol levels, nuts should just be okay with them. A study shows that people who ate 1.5 oz of whole walnuts 6 days in a week for approximately one month, it lowered their total cholesterol by around 5.4% and bad cholesterol by 9.3%. When eating nuts, these should be taken is small amounts as they are high in calories.

  1. Red wine

Drinking isn’t bad when it’s done moderately. Drinking a few bottles of alcohol has been recommended to be good. This is the case with red wine which has high-fiber tempranillo red grapes helps to lower cholesterol levels. Simply take a few glasses of this wine and you will reduce LDL cholesterol levels in your blood.

  1. Chocolate

This is another excellent food that can help a person to maintain and create good cholesterol levels in the blood. Chocolates are powerful antioxidants and taking them will increase 24% of HDL cholesterol in a period of 12 weeks. The best chocolate to eat is the bittersweet type and the dark one. These have more antioxidants than the milk chocolate.

  1. Tea

Currently, tea was discovered to possess cancer fighting antioxidants which has made it to become very famous. Also, tea can be used to battle high LDL cholesterol levels in blood. Drinking black tea has been discovered to reduce blood lipids by 10%, just in 3 weeks. Another role that tea plays is the helping to lower the danger of coronary heart disease.

  1. Rosemary oil

There are several oils on the market that have several benefits. Rosemary oil is one of those oils. The rosemary essential oil helps to lower cholesterol levels in the blood due to its unique and powerful antioxidant properties and it’s cardio-supportive. Use this oil regularly and you will be able to maintain cholesterol levels.

  1. Eggplant

Eating foods that are rich in soluble fiber is very important as they help to lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Eggplant is a low-calorie vegetable that is rich in soluble fiber. Utilize this plant by including it in your diet so that you can keep your cholesterol levels at the required levels.

  1. Beans

Beans can be eaten to lower the cholesterol levels in your blood and as well maintain a healthy heart. Beans are rich in fiber which has been discovered to slow the rate and amount of absorption of cholesterol in certain foods. All you have to do to benefit from either black, ointo or kidney beans.

  1. Olive oil

Olive oil is easy to apply and has a number of health benefits apart from lowering LDL cholesterol. Olive oil is usually applied as a cooking ingredient and is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated aids. These acids are the ones that aid in lowering LDL cholesterol. In addition, olive oil helps in trimming of belly fat. Use this oil to marinate fish and chicken, salad dressings and roast vegetables.

  1. Cypress oil

Another great essential oil to utilize is cypress oil. When cypress oil is consumed, it can help reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. At the same time, cypress oil improves circulation of blood which will make you be healthy. Take the oil in the recommended amounts as too much of it may be harmful to your health.

  1. Garlic

Garlic and onions are one of the most used species around the world. These two ingredients are very useful and play a huge role when it comes to reducing cholesterol levels in the blood. Garlic is able to lower LDL cholesterol because of their sulfur containing compounds which assist cleanse the arteries. Other uses of garlic include; reducing blood pressure, preventing blood clots, and protecting from infections.

  1. Apples and strawberries

Eat different fruits such as grapes, apples, strawberries, and citrus fruits. All these fruits contain a powerful component known as pectin, which is a form of soluble fiber. This fiber lowers the LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. It’s advisable to alternate and eat different fruits instead of focusing just on apples or grapes.

  1. Margarine

Another amazing way to fight high cholesterol intake in your body is by consuming margarine. There are different kinds of margarine on the market. Choose margarine with plant sterols, which can be Benecol or Promise activ. Plant sterols are compounds that lower cholesterol absorption. A study has suggested that women who eat food rich in higher plant sterol were capable of lowering total cholesterol by at least 3.5%.

  1. Herbs

Since the days of our ancestors, herbs were used to cure various ailments and are still being utilized to date. There are various herbs that can be consumed to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. You can spice up the herbs by adding turmeric or basil to food. These have antioxidants that are cardio-protective and assist reduce cholesterol levels naturally in the body.

  1. Vegetable oils

Vegetables oil have been used for long to lower high cholesterol levels in blood. Different liquid oils can be used such as sunflower, canola, safflower, instead of using butter, or lard to cook food. These oils re natural and will help reduce your cholesterol levels unlike the commercial oils that are not pure.

  1. Avocado

This is considered as one of the best foods to fight high cholesterol levels in the blood. This is because they are packed with monounsaturated fats, which aid raise HDL cholesterol while at the same time lower LDL cholesterol. Another thing that makes them to be more effective in lowering cholesterol levels is that they have cholesterol-smashing beta-sitosterol. This compound is a beneficial fat that lowers the amount of cholesterol absorbed from food. But, since avocados are somehow high in calories and fat, they should be consumed in moderation.

  1. Soya foods

Consider eating soya foods such as soya nuts, soya meat and soya desserts. Soya foods are naturally low in saturated fats, this helps them to lower cholesterol. In addition, they are made up of special proteins that influence how the body regulates cholesterols too. Eating soya will help a person reduce about 6%.

  1. Spinach

Spinach is a wonderful food to eat as it is made up of lutein, which is the sunshine-yellow pigment found in dark green leafy vegetables and egg yolks. Lutein already has a status for protection against age-related macular degeneration, a well known leading cause of blindness. Moreover, studies indicate that a half cup of lutein-rich food helps to protect from heart attacks through assisting artery walls resist cholesterol invaders that lead to clogging.

  1. Lavender oil

This is a wonderful essential oil that has been used for various health benefits. Reducing cholesterol levels in the blood is one of them. This has become possible because lavender oil can be applied to lower emotional stress which in turn reduces cholesterol levels.

Other methods for lowering cholesterol are:

  1. Start to exercise

One of the best ways to raise HDL cholesterol is by carrying out exercises.  A study has discovered that people with a heart attack can lower their death risk by 25% if they exercise than just the usual care. Thus, a person who exercises with burst training and weight training will boost human growth hormone (HGH), which will in turn improve HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol.

  1. Come up with a target

To effectively lower cholesterol levels in the blood, one should work with a target so that they don’t eat or engage in activities that increase cholesterol. Other things to consider is your family history and whether you have a cardiovascular disease or not. Things like obesity, blood pressure and smoking should be looked closely when fighting to lower cholesterol.

  1. Seek medication

When you have tried some the methods suggested and eaten foods that reduce cholesterol without any impact in the long run, you can decide to seek medical attention or use supplements like statins.

  1. Relax

Being stressed leads to high levels of cholesterol. So, when you notice that you are stressed, get something that will keep you engaged so that you don’t end up raising cholesterol levels. Take a book and read, watch a movie, meet a friend for coffee or walk your dog outside. This will assist to maintain your cholesterol level as you will stay relaxed.

  1. Laugh more

As the saying goes, ‘’laughter is a medicine’’, this is very true when it comes to controlling your cholesterol levels. When you laugh more, you will be able to increase your HDL cholesterol level. Meet out with funny friends, watch some hilarious videos or join a funny group online. Laughing daily will help keep your HDL cholesterol and maintain the right cholesterol levels.

  1. Stop smoking

When you smoke a lot, this can raise LDL cholesterol and at the same time lower HDL cholesterol. And when you stop smoking totally, these numbers will increase and stay healthy. Also, breathing secondhand smoke on a daily basis can as well raise levels of LDL cholesterol.

  1. Drink moderately

Drinking too much will lead to a raise in LDL in the body. A study has found out that drinking little will lower cholesterol levels in the body. Red wine has been discovered to be of great importance when it comes to raising HDL cholesterol. Take a few glasses of red wine to raise good cholesterol.

Foods that raise cholesterol levels

There are foods that should be avoided completely because they contain bad cholesterol as much as possible:

  • Alcohol – alcohol activates the liver to produce more cholesterol. This in turn raises cholesterol levels and inflammation as well. Taking one glass of red wine per day may be cardioprotective, but it shouldn’t exceed this.
  • Caffeine – taking too much caffeine can be dangerous to your health as it raises cholesterol levels in the body. Simply don’t take more than 2 cups of tea or coffee per day.
  • Sugar and refined carbohydrates – these two trigger the liver to produce more cholesterol levels and increase inflammation too.
  • Smoking – smoking also leads to increased cholesterol in the body. In addition, smoking is a huge risk factor for coronary heart disease.
  • Trans fat – these are not good for your health as they increases LDL cholesterol, inflammation and as well raises the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Hydrogenated fats – studies show that vegetable oils are pro-inflammatory and thus may raise cholesterol levels in the body.

 

Bottom Line

Cholesterol levels in the blood should be maintained as when they are very high, this might lead to a number of diseases. There are different ways through which high cholesterol can be lowered. But before you assume one of the ways, it’s important to speak to your doctor and get further guidance. Things like alcohol and sugar lead to increase of cholesterol in the blood while eating certain foods that are rich in unsaturated fats lead to development of lower cholesterol. Eating a healthy diet and exercising will enable you maintain a healthy level of cholesterol in your body which is good for your overall health.

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