Cholesterol is a naturally occurring substance that is made by the liver and is required by the body for proper functions of the nerves, hormones, and cells. Cholesterol travels in the lipids of the blood stream and can build up in the walls of arteries, as a result, decrease the flow of the blood to vital areas of the body.
A high cholesterol level increases the risk of heart disease and heart attacks. To avoid this, research has shown that you have to do away with LDL(bad cholesterol). Most of us can reduce cholesterol quickly without the need for medication by using simple lifestyle adjustments.
Below are natural ways to lower cholesterol:
Limit your intake of foods with saturated fats, dietary cholesterol, and trans fat. The foods that have a lot of saturated fats include red meat, butter, low-fat dairy products, coconut oil and palm oil. These kinds of foods are usually not heart-healthy, but you can eat them in small amounts. For a healthy choice, you need to take less than 7% of daily calories from saturated fats. You need to take lean meat instead of fatty red meat.
Trans fat is created by adding hydrogen to a liquid fat so as to solidify it. If you see hydrogenated fat in the list of ingredients on the food label, the food has trans fat. There is evidence implicating trans fat in heart disease (read this abstract). This is because they increase LDL and lower the good cholesterol. These foods include cookies, crackers, and cakes.
Eat foods rich in omega 3-fatty acids. Omega 3-fatty acids have been shown to protect against heart disease. The source includes cold-water fish like sardines, trout, mackerel, salmon etc.
Choose protein-rich plants. Common legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils are foods full of nutritional riches and are very healthy. They act as an alternative to meat. Legumes help to lower total cholesterol and LDL levels, blood sugar and insulin levels due to their soluble fiber.
Lose weight. You don’t need to lose a lot of weight so as to lower your cholesterol levels. If you are overweight , you need to drop 10 pounds and this helps you to cut your LDL by 8%. You also need to evaluate your eating plans and habit.
For women to effectively lose weight they need to eat 1000 to 1200 calories a day while men need 1200 to 1600 calories a day for them to lose weight. You can then look for a program review to incorporate more activities into your daily routine like walking to the office and using stairs instead of using elevators.
Exercise. Through exercise, you get to improve cholesterol. You need to exercise at least 2 1/2 hours a week so as to raise HDL and lower LDL. If you have not been active, start slowly even for 10 minutes doing blocks of activities. Choose the exercise you enjoy like riding, swimming, sports etc and you can choose a partner to help keep you on the truck.
Quit smoking. Smoking raises LDL and lowers HDL and quitting improves those numbers. Studies show that people who quit smoking raise their HDL by 5% in one year. Also, you need to avoid being around regular smokers.