How To Lower Your Cholesterol In 6 Simple Steps?
A quick study on how to lower cholesterol leads to dozens of natural remedies based on research and legends.
However, controlling your cholesterol levels does not require the use of health pills, medications or serums. In most cases, just a few lifestyle changes can help keep your heart healthy and strong.
But what is cholesterol and how does it affect your health? Here’s everything you need to know about cholesterol, including how you can lower your cholesterol levels by making some small changes to your shopping list and schedule.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found throughout the body. Your body needs small amounts of cholesterol to produce hormones, synthesize vitamin D, and support cell membranes. However, high cholesterol levels can actually be harmful to your health. Cholesterol can slowly begin to build up in your blood vessels, restricting blood flow and increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke.
How to lower your cholesterol
In most cases, a few simple changes in your daily life can be a simple strategy to lower your cholesterol. Here are some natural remedies for high cholesterol that can also support heart health and reduce the risk of chronic disease
- Stock up on fruits and vegetables
There are many reasons to make sure you eat fruits and vegetables, but keeping your cholesterol levels low is just the tip of the iceberg. Fruits and vegetables are packed with fiber, antioxidants and other nutrients that are essential for optimal heart health. They also contain many important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and folic acid.
Some studies have shown that eating more fruits and vegetables can help lower cholesterol. For example, one study analyzed the diets of 4,466 people and found that eating more fruits and vegetables was associated with lower LDL cholesterol levels. According to the study, people who ate four or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day had significantly lower cholesterol levels than those who ate two or fewer servings per day.
- Include more healthy fats in your diet
Since the low-fat food craze of the 1980s, dietary fat has been stigmatized as unhealthy and artery-clogging. But in reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. While it’s not recommended to start filling up on fried foods, bacon and butter, there are plenty of heart-healthy fats that can help control cholesterol.
For example, coconut oil has been shown to increase beneficial levels of HDL cholesterol, which helps remove excess bad cholesterol from the arteries (5). Similarly, studies have shown that adding olive oil to the diet can help lower bad LDL cholesterol levels and raise good cholesterol levels for heart health.
In addition to coconut oil and olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds and fatty fish are other sources of heart-healthy fats. Need some inspiration to increase your fat intake? Try incorporating heart-healthy fats into your daily diet with a healthy avocado smoothie or maple maple nut banana granola.
- Reduce your sugar intake
Reducing your sugar intake is one of the easiest ways to naturally lower LDL and keep your cholesterol levels normal. In addition, sugary foods such as cookies, cakes, sodas and juices are a great way to improve overall health because they contribute very little to the diet other than extra calories and carbohydrates.
A high-carbohydrate diet not only lowers levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol, but may also be associated with an increased risk of heart disease (8, 9).
Whole fruits, dark chocolate and berries are simple options to satisfy your sweet tooth and help reduce sugar cravings. For starters, soda, kombucha and iced tea are easy alternatives to sugary sodas and juices.
- Eat more fiber
If you want to lower your cholesterol fast, the best way to do so is to increase your fiber intake. Fiber is found in foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and moves slowly through the body without being digested, helping to promote digestive health, control blood sugar, and lose weight.
Studies have also shown that eating more fiber can help control cholesterol levels. For example, one study showed that consuming at least 22 grams of fiber per day significantly lowered total and LDL cholesterol levels (11). In another study, increasing fiber intake to 30 grams per day resulted in a 10% increase in “good” HDL cholesterol (12).
The best way to get more fiber in your diet is to choose high-fiber side dishes and snacks to eat throughout the day. Whole fruits and vegetables with hummus, chia seed pudding and trail mixes are all healthy, fiber-rich snack options. You can also add salads and sautéed veggie sides to your meals to effortlessly increase your fiber intake.
- Use herbs and spices
Looking for an easy way to lower bad cholesterol? Fill your pantry with healthy herbs and spices. These superstar spices can lower your fat levels while adding flavor to your favorite dishes.
For example, eating garlic regularly can help lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (12). Turmeric can also improve LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, improving heart health (13). Ginger, cardamom and cinnamon are other herbs and spices that have been shown to lower cholesterol levels (14, 15, 16).
Try making this cherry cardamom muesli for a healthy and nutritious breakfast with cinnamon and cardamom. Serve this chickpea curry with turmeric rice to increase your garlic and turmeric intake, along with a healthy blend of other herbs and spices.
- Go to the gym
In addition to making simple changes to your diet, you may also want to consider changing your exercise program. Resistance exercises, such as weight lifting and strength training, are particularly useful options for lowering cholesterol. In fact, one study showed significant reductions in both total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol after 14 weeks of resistance training (17).
Aerobic exercise, also known as aerobic exercise, is also good for your heart health. In fact, a review of 25 papers found that aerobic exercise increased good HDL cholesterol levels, especially in people with high total cholesterol (18). Aerobic exercise also promotes weight loss, which helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels (19).
Ideally, you should aim for 20 to 40 minutes of aerobic exercise per day, or 150 to 300 minutes per week. Combine this with resistance training at least two days a week for maximum effect and lower cholesterol.
Create a daily routine
There are many simple and effective ways to lower cholesterol and improve heart health. Filling your plate with whole foods, incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine, and limiting your intake of sugar and processed junk foods can help improve your cholesterol levels and keep you healthy.