11 Ways to Lower Cholesterol Naturally

By on February 22, 2013

Do you know your cholesterol levels? If you don't, then you should seriously consider getting a blood test done to determine what it is, since elevated levels of this artery "clogger" can put you at a significantly higher risk of developing heart disease. 11 Ways to Lower Cholesterol Naturally Cardiologists advise that anyone twenty years of age or older should get their cholesterol levels checked at least every five years.

Obviously, a family history of high cholesterol is something you have absolutely no control over. However, there are many other things in life that you can control that will help to lower your levels.

If your overall fasting cholesterol is higher than the desired level of 200 mg/dL (milligrams per decilitre), or your LDL or "bad" cholesterol is too high, a few simple lifestyle changes may be all that is required to lower your values to considerably safer levels. Often, people have substantial reductions in their levels in approximately six weeks. Here are a few natural ways to quickly cut high cholesterol.

  1. Start an Exercise Regime: Get up off the couch! Regular physical activity can aid in lowering bad cholesterol. Exercise can also elevate "good" cholesterol by as much as 10%. Something as simple as regular brisk walking can really help. Try walking at least 30 minutes several times a week. If you are an office worker, try to get up from your desk every hour and walk around the office for five minutes and/or take an exercise class at lunch time. Whatever type of exercise you do, practice it on a regular basis. Some experts suggest every day of the week but realistically five times a week is more attainable. Of course, another added benefit of increasing the amount of exercise you get is weight loss. Bottom line here - Anything is better than nothing! So, get moving!!
  2. Get a Good Night's Sleep: Adequate amounts of good quality sleep are crucial for healing of your body. Good sleep also helps to keep your blood sugars at balanced levels as well as maintains your overall good health including your cholesterol.
  3. Avoid Saturated Fats in Your Diet: Once upon a time, doctors thought the magic cure for lowering cholesterol was to eat fewer eggs as well as less of other cholesterol rich foods. However, it turns out that dietary cholesterol is not the biggest problem. Eggs do not raise cholesterol that much but it appears that saturated fats do. So, you should try to cut back on your consumption of saturated fats. Instead, try eating larger amounts of "heart-smart" fats. That means using olive or canola oil in the place of butter, margarine, vegetable oil, shortening and lard. Also, eat less red meat and try to eat more fish.
  4. Increase the Amount of Fiber in Your Diet: Fruit, vegetables and whole grains are all excellent sources of dietary fiber that lower bad cholesterol. Acting like a sponge of sorts, soluble fiber effectively absorbs cholesterol in the digestive system. Dried beans, barely, oats and psyllium are good sources of soluble fiber.
  5. Eat More Fish or Take Fish Oil Supplements: Fish and fish oil are chock full of omega-3 fatty acids that are proven to significantly lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels. Try eating fish, such as fresh salmon or canned tuna, two to three times per week. The biggest benefit to heart health comes from the omega fatty acids found in fish. However, if you absolutely hate fish, fish oils are considered to be very safe but they can cause bleeding if you are already taking anti-coagulant medications. So, consult your doctor first. Checking with your doctor before starting any natural supplement is always a wise idea.
  6. Switch to Cholesterol Lowering Spreads: Try one of the new margarine-like spreads that have come out on the market recently. They contain stanols which are plant compounds that lower bad cholesterol.
  7. Eat Certain Nuts: Studies have shown that eating nuts, on a regular basis, can reduce bad cholesterol levels by modest amounts. Nuts such as almonds and walnuts appear to be of particular benefit but don't forget that nuts are also high in calories. Therefore, you should limit your consumption to only a handful a day.
  8. Consume Moderate Quantities of Alcohol: If you don't already drink alcohol, it's probably not a good idea to start. If you already do drink, then continue having moderate amounts as alcohol can elevate HDL (good) cholesterol by 10%. Up to one drink a day for women and two a day for men has been recommended by many doctors but moderation is definitely the key word here.
  9. Drink Green Tea: Green tea is a healthily alternative to soda pop and other beverages that have high sugar contents. Research shows that certain compounds in green tea help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol.
  10. Take Supplements to Promote Healthy Cholesterol: The following natural supplements can help manage your cholesterol levels.
    • Two doses of three capsules each per day of a multivitamin containing a minimum of 500 mcg of chromium, 400 mg of lipoic acid and 2 mg of biotin.
    • A maximum of 2000 IU of Vitamin D3. Consult your doctor to see if they recommend taking less than that.
    • Only with a doctor's prescription, high dose Vitamin B3 or niacin can help to raise good (HDL) cholesterol as well as lower bad (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides values.
    • Twice a day, take 1000 mg of omega-3 (EPA/DHA).
    • At each meal, try taking one capsule of broad ranged, balanced concentration plant sterols.
  11. Quit Smoking: Smoking is considered to be a huge risk factor for developing heart disease. It also lowers HDL cholesterols levels. So, seek help to quit smoking sooner rather than later!

Making all, or even some, of these positive changes will go along way to lowering your "bad" cholesterol the natural way. Don't forget to visit your doctor, to get your cholesterol levels checked, to ensure that the lifestyle changes you have adopted are actually making a difference.

Michael Jessimy
Michael Jessimy
Contributing Writer at ExcelLiving.com
Michael Jessimy is head Pharmacist at one of the largest retail chain pharmacies in Guyana. He is also an accomplished amateur level heavyweight bodybuilder, as well as a former National Elocution Champion. Finally, he has taken his passion for fitness to the next level, being a self published author on the Amazon Kindle Platform.

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