9 Tips To Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally And Prevent Heart Disease
May 11, 2018 10:54 By Fabiosa
Do you know what high cholesterol does to your body? Excess cholesterol forms plaque on the walls of your arteries, clogging them and reducing blood flow. That may lead to all sorts of problems throughout your body, including heart disease, peripheral artery disease, vascular dementia, and higher risk of a heart attack and stroke. Those people whose cholesterol is too high have to take cholesterol-lowering medicines. But anyone, regardless of their cholesterol numbers, can lower it with changes in diet and lifestyle.
9 ways to reduce your levels of cholesterol
Below, we list a few tips on how to lower your cholesterol naturally and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke:
1. Maintain a healthy weight
Keeping your weight within a normal range can help keep your blood cholesterol at bay, as diet and exercise you need to stay fit also reduce your levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol and increase HDL ("good") cholesterol.
2. Stay active
Regular exercise reduces LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol, and also elevates your HDL cholesterol to some extent. Choose the types of exercise you actually enjoy to stay motivated. Simply moving a lot throughout the day also counts as additional exercise.
3. Refrain from eating foods containing trans fats
Trans fats are the worst kind of fats. They increase your "bad" cholesterol while also lowering your "good" cholesterol, and they make you gain unwanted pounds pretty fast. Trans fats are found in many processed foods, including commercially produced cakes and cookies, and fast food. If you see partially hydrogenated oil on the list of a product's ingredients, it's best to put it back on the shelf - partially, hydrogenated oil is the synonym of trans fat.
4. Include sources of omega-3s in your diet
Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their cholesterol-lowering ability. Add various nuts and seeds to your diet, and consider taking an omega-3 supplement.
5. Use olive oil in cooking
Olive oil is one of the healthiest vegetable oils you can think of. It's a great source of monounsaturated fats, which are known to lower the levels of LDL cholesterol. To get the most from olive oil, pick "extra virgin" one, which is the least processed variety.
6. Snack on nuts
Nuts are another good source of cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fats. The best nut for your heart and vessels is walnut, and other good options include almonds, hazelnuts, and cashews. Just limit yourself to a handful of nuts per day, as they are healthful but high in calories.
7. Up your fiber intake
Soluble fiber helps rid your body of excess LDL cholesterol. Good sources of fiber are whole grains (such as oats and brown rice), beans, crunchy vegetables, nuts, and berries. Increase your fiber intake gradually, as too much fiber may lead to abdominal cramps, bloating, and gas.
8. Drink black tea
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Black tea has been shown to bring down the levels of bad cholesterol. Just don't add sugar to your tea, as it defeats the purpose. To add taste to the drink, put some berries or slices of citrus fruits in it. Also, tea may be dehydrating, so match each cup of tea you have over the day with a glass of plain water.
9. Don't smoke
Smoking can facilitate cholesterol plaque buildup and make your arteries less elastic. Those who quit smoking see their cholesterol levels improve in a matter of months. So, don't smoke as well as avoid secondhand smoke.
This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.