After all the bad things we hear about it, it's time to learn how to lower cholesterol. And it is especially important to know that we can do it naturally.
There are two ways that cholesterol is produced:
- Naturally by our body
- Because of diet
There is very little we can do to fix the first cause, but there is lots that we can do to lower cholesterol levels through diet, exercise and lifestyle.
Surely a proper diet for high cholesterol may be useful in the treatment of the problem. We know that an important part of cholesterol in the blood comes from food (especially foods of animal origin), and dietary preferences can influence a lot of levels that we read from the blood tests.
The diet for high cholesterol, along with behavioral norms that imply real changes in lifestyle, is the first therapeutic approach for patients with high cholesterol even before working with drug treatment.
One of the goals of a high cholesterol diet is obviously to lower the levels of total cholesterol, but also to balance the levels of good and bad cholesterol, in order to reduce the bad and promote the good one.
How to Lower Cholesterol with Diet? Recommended Foods
Here are some general guidelines that should be followed as part of a diet for high cholesterol:
- Use vegetable toppings: extra virgin olive oil, or corn, soya, peanut or sunflower oils. In any case, it is important not to exaggerate with seasonings and foods such as fried foods, sauces or oil
- Eat low fat cereal: pasta is okay, better if topped with tomato sauce or vegetable sauce. A proper diet for cholesterol shouldn't contain stuffed pasta (ravioli etc.). Prefer bread to the other baked goods, that in general are often high in fat
- Lean meats in moderation: you can have meat 2-3 times a week, but always choosing lean meats. Alternatively, increase the consumption of fish
- Eggs: not more than 2 per week
- Increase fiber intake: increase the consumption of fresh and cooked vegetables, fruits, legumes and cereals
- Milk and dairy skimmed or partially skimmed: have cheese once a week, they are usually rich in fats
- Limit the intake of sweets
- Reduce the consumption of alcohol
Other Ways to Lower Cholesterol Naturally
Even if I hadn't told you about diet, I am sure that you knew that it played an important role in the battle against cholesterol. After all, diet is the first thing to fix for most of the health problems.
But other than that, how to lower cholesterol? Are there other ways? Of course yes, otherwise the article would be finished!
People with high cholesterol should also intervene with lifestyle changes such as:
- Exercise: especially those who need to lose weight should do physical activity for weight loss (there are plenty of articles on how to lose weight in this website). Numerous studies have shown that regular physical activity is able to reduce the risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease. Cardio exercises are recommended, like running, swimming, biking etc.
- In general, lose weight if you are overweight
- Quit smoking
How to Lower Cholesterol By Reducing the Absorption
Let's now talk about the last way that answers the question how to lower cholesterol.
Nature also comes in handy when the levels of cholesterol in the blood are high, and still pharmacological intervention is not necessary.
Among the main natural ingredients, useful for the control of blood lipids, are:
- extracts of rice
- fish oil
- fatty acids (omega -3)
and several medicinal plants such as:
- artichoke dandelion
There are now numerous studies demonstrating that these substances promote physiological functions and prevent cardiovascular risk factors of atherosclerotic disease.
Very important on how to lower cholesterol is also the role of dietary fiber, and especially if soluble. Numerous experimental and clinical studies have established a negative correlation between cardiovascular diseases and decreased intake of dietary fiber.
Soluble fiber form, in the gut, solutions that decrease the absorption of certain macronutrients (carbohydrates and lipids), reducing the levels of cholesterol in the blood and decreasing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
I know several people with high level of HDL, and unfortunately very few know how to lower cholesterol naturally. Controlling the diet and the lifestyle seems too hard these days, and drugs are usually preferred.
The truth is, though, that we wouldn't need any drugs if we followed a proper diet and lifestyle.
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