How to Lower Cholesterol

How to Lower Cholesterol Through Diet

One of the interesting facts that most people do not know about cholesterol is that not all cholesterol is bad for us; on the contrary, the right cholesterol is very beneficial to us. Cholesterol can be categorized into two groups and that is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol. High-density lipoprotein is the good cholesterol that helps your system reduce LDL. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the bad cholesterol that can have serious side effects on your health [1]. When you aim at lowering cholesterol it is the LDL cholesterol that you aim at reducing.

There are various ways that you could lower the LDL in your body to live a healthy life. These may include changing your dietary habits, exercise, and use of supplements.

How to Lower Cholesterol through Diet

When we are vigilant with the things we eat then we are likely to lower the bad cholesterol in our bodies in the most natural way. This is one of the best methods because it does not have any negative implications on your health.

Eating Healthy Fats

Dairy products and red meat contain a large percentage of saturated fat which elevates the cholesterol and LDL in general. Vegetable oils contain fats that are easily soluble and breakable and are more recommended. However, coconut and palm oils contain a high level of saturated fats. Healthy diet tips ssuggest that we should get less than 7% of our daily calories from saturated fats [2]. Olive oil and canola oil are some of the friendly options that will help you lower the level of cholesterol.

Fruits and vegetables

Most fruits and vegetables have a low content of saturated fat which makes them efficient when you want to lower cholesterol. How to lower cholesterol may involve reducing the level of cholesterol intake first. Fruits and vegetables also contain soluble fiber which reduce the cholesterol levels. Prunes, sweet potatoes, apples, strawberry, and broccoli are some of the foods that are rich in soluble fiber.

Plant sterols

Plants have naturally occurring substances known as sterols. 1 to 2 grams of sterols in daily consumptions can help you reduce the level of LDL up to 7-10% in a period of three weeks in your system [3]. Sterols can be found in a wide array of vegetable oils, seeds, and fruits. Sterols function through restricting the absorption of cholesterol in the gut. The amount of cholesterol lowered depends directly on the amount of sterols that you eat. However, they may not be recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Barley and Oats

Barley and oats contain a substance that is known as beta glucan which is a soluble fiber. Glucan functions by forming a gel around the gut which prevents cholesterol from being absorbed in the system. 3g of beta glucan in a day is a recommended amount to individuals seeking how to lower cholesterol [4]. This can have a significant impact on lowering cholesterol.

Red Wine

Yes! It is scientifically proven that Tempranillo red grapes which are in fact rich in fiber and used to make red wine have a significant impact on lowering cholesterol levels. How to lower cholesterol just got better with this discovery. The contents in red wine can drop the LDL cholesterol up to 12%. However, drink only a glass of red wine – too much can make it harmful rather than helpful.

Tea

Tea has been on the limelight for various health benefits and reducing LDL is yet another one. Tea contains antioxidants which are responsible for fighting the elevated levels of LDL in our systems. Black tea can reduce the blood lipids to 10% in a period of three weeks. These are one of the easiest ways on how to lower cholesterol levels in our system.

How to Lower Cholesterol through Lifestyle Changes

There are some lifestyle habits that we adapt that raise the level of LDL in our system. The most effective ways  to lower cholesterol in our system is through eliminating lifestyle habits that make us vulnerable.

Quit Smoking and Moderate Alcohol Consumption

Smoking is directly linked with LDL increase in your system. This means that you are likely to suffer various diseases that are associated with high levels of LDL and the smoke will also act as a trigger to heart-related diseases. Within one year of quitting smoking, you reduce your vulnerability by half.

Also excessive drinking of alcohol undermines your efforts to lower the cholesterol in your system. Moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with increased level of HDL which are useful when it comes to lowering LDL.

Lose Some Pounds

Body weight is related to the cholesterol levels in your body. When you lose some weight it will likely help you lower the cholesterol amount in your system. Most of the people who are suffering from obesity are found to also have high LDL rates. This makes them vulnerable to a number of life threatening diseases [5].

Workout Routines

Regular workout routines can help you increase the level of HDL in your body. Also, it helps you in losing body weight which is also an efficient method of lowering cholesterol in your body. Intensive exercise burns fat in the body eliminating the bad cholesterol from your system.

How to Lower Cholesterol through Medication

When the cholesterol level is very high, your doctor may prescribe some medication to help you lower cholesterol fast. Most of this medication also lowers another type of blood fat known as triglycerides. Some of the key components in these medications are found naturally but they are concentrated in medication for quicker results. Some of these medications include statins, fibrates, niacin, and PCSk9 inhibitors [6]. These drugs have several side effects on your health and they also have a variety of contradictions.

There are various ways you can reduce the levels of cholesterol in your body but the natural way is most recommended. However, when you are at risk of life-threatening diseases you can seek drugs to help you with the process. Changing our lifestyle is the key to having a healthy buildup of good cholesterol in our bodies.

References:

[1] “American Heart Association,” [Online]. Available: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/AboutCholesterol/Good-vs-Bad-Cholesterol_UCM_305561_Article.jsp#.WFzmsFzGDIU. [Accessed 23 12 2016].
[2] “Mayo Clinic,” [Online]. Available: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/reduce-cholesterol/art-20045935. [Accessed 23 12 2016].
[3] “Heart UK,” [Online]. Available: https://heartuk.org.uk/cholesterol-and-diet/six-super-foods-for-lower-cholesterol. [Accessed 23 12 2016].
[4] “ProAtiv,” [Online]. Available: http://www.floraproactiv.co.uk/article/detail/1055595/how-to-lower-cholesterol-levels. [Accessed 23 12 2016].
[5] S. Lewis, “HealthGrades,” [Online]. Available: http://healthguides.healthgrades.com/how-obesity-affects-your-health/the-effects-of-obesity-on-cholesterol-levels. [Accessed 23 12 2016].
[6] “WebMD,” [Online]. Available: http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/guide/cholesterol-lowering-medication#1. [Accessed 23 12 2016].
Anthony Alayon
 

Anthony Alayon is a Certified Personal Trainer & Certified Sports Nutritionist with the ISSA. He’s written for Natural Muscle Magazine, Bliss Magazine, Bodybuilding.com, About.com (A New York Times Company), Labrada.com, and several other popular fitness websites. He’s taught thousands how to eat better, and build the physique they could only dream of (including numerous pro athletes). Today, he’s here to share his knowledge and experience with you!

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