We are living in a fast pace world, where we need alternatives for everything to match the steps with time. We don’t much time to take care of ourselves, and so we end up eating unhealthy or fast food. Due to such bad food habits and poor lifestyle, people end up having high cholesterol levels in their body. In medical terms, high cholesterol level is termed as hyperlipidemia. If you are wondering how to lower cholesterol, in this article, you will find every piece of information to get to the right approach towards a healthy body.
Higher cholesterol level brings a risk of stroke and heart attack. You should understand the fact that it’s not just about eating to fill up your tummy. It’s about giving nutritious and healthy food to your body to get positive returns.
Effects of high cholesterol level
LDL or Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol irritate the blood vessels’ lining and stimulate atherosclerosis. It is a term used when arteries get hardened. If you keep searching for ways on how to lower cholesterol, first keep in mind that it is possible through a rise in HDL or High-Density Protein Cholesterol. It mainly means a proper focus on some lifestyle changes and treatment as well.
How to lower cholesterol
Any scientific claim doesn’t support the fact that alternative medicines or supplements can treat high cholesterol levels. However, the same can be used as conjunction amalgamated with other kinds of therapy. Here are some supplements and herbs to lower cholesterol quickly:
Niacin or Vitamin B3:
Doctors prescribe Niacin for lowering cholesterol. Significantly, Niacin is found to lower LDL cholesterol and increase the level of HDL cholesterol in your body. Thus, it will decrease the risks of atherosclerosis.
Side effects: As it is an alternative for people who keep looking for solutions on how to lower cholesterol, it surely has its cons. If you are on a high blood pressure medication, it can enhance the effect and result in indigestion, nausea, gout, gas, or diarrhea. For people suffering from peptic ulcers, Niacin can worsen their situation. It can also cause liver inflammation and increase the blood sugar level. One of the most common side effects of a high dosage of Niacin is hot flashes or skin flushing. When blood vessels widen, skin flushing happens. Therefore, it is advisable to use Niacin only when prescribed by a qualified medical practitioner.
It reduces LDL cholesterol by absorption of the same in your intestines. Soluble Fibre binds easily with cholesterol and makes it easy to be excreted. There are many dietary supplements rich in soluble fiber like:
- Oats, Rye, and Barley
- Legumes found in beans and peas
- Fruits like berries, apples, and prunes
- Fiber-rich vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, carrots, yams, and broccoli.
Plant Stanols and Sterols
Sterols and stanols occur naturally in some plants. Stanols are dietary supplements, and you can add them to orange juice, margarine, and salad dressings. Some research concludes that plant stanols and sterols help in lowering cholesterol.
Sterols, as well as stanols, stimulate the effects of various methods for lowering cholesterol. As compared to people on statin drugs, people consuming either sterols or stanols had further improvement in their wrong cholesterol level, according to some studies.
Some studied have found that extracts of artichoke leaf lower cholesterol levels. It works by limiting the cholesterol synthesis in your body. It also contains Cynarine, a compound which potentially increases bile juice production and speeds the bile juice flow from your gallbladder. Both of them can increase the excretion of cholesterol.
Some other supplements to lower cholesterol
Some other supplements and herbs to lower cholesterol levels quickly include red yeast rice. However, it contains Lovastatin, which occurs in its natural form. Lovastatin is a prescription drug. In some studies, garlic no longer efficient in lowering cholesterol. Other foods and supplements you can see touting are green tea, policosanol, soy, and coenzyme Q10.
Tips to follow with high cholesterol
Usually, the treatment of high cholesterol depends on total cholesterol, HDL, and LDL cholesterol level. Besides, there is a considerable risk of heart diseases due to the following factors:
- Previous history of heart attack
- High BP
- Low level of HDL cholesterol
- Family history of heart diseases in early age
- Men over the age of 45 and women of more than 55 years
How to lower cholesterol by changing lifestyle
Besides the food supplements and herbs to lower cholesterol levels quickly as discussed above, there are some lifestyle habits that you change. Changing daily habits will contribute a lot towards attaining a healthy level of cholesterol in your body. You can consult with your doctor about this and he will surely advise some of the best and must to do changes. Here are some lifestyle changing tips:
Believe it or not, we all have been to that point of procrastination exercising to another day. We don’t even realize when days become months and months turn into years. But it is a must to-do-thing, and you shouldn’t underestimate the power of regular exercise. It will do wonders for your overall health alongside maintaining cholesterol levels. Exercise cuts the bad cholesterol and raises HDL cholesterol in your body. For strengthening of heart and sustaining ideal blood pressure, try to work out for at least two and a half hours and include moderate aerobic such as brisk walking/week. You can also do more laborious exercise for 1 hour and 15 minutes/week, like jogging.
Achieve a healthy weight
Overweight is another cause of heightened levels of bad cholesterol. So if you are also on the verge of getting overweight, it’s time to attain an ideal weight and get slim enough to get the cholesterol levels on track. Do not jump onto a crash diet but try to make changes that you would be able to follow in the long-run.
Intake of good fats
Go with the unsaturated fats that don’t elevate cholesterol levels. Foods such as fish, nuts, vegetable oils, canola, olive oil, avocados, and sunflower oils are highly rich in unsaturated fats. Avoid animal products and processed meats as they contain saturated fat, bad for your cholesterol.
Say no to artificial trans fats:
Before jumping over appealing bakery products and snacks, always check their labels. Foods like pizza, coffee creamer, margarine, refrigerated dough, and vegetable shortenings contain artificial trans-fat, which are harmful to your body. Even if an item claims to have zero trans- fat, it will inevitably provide at least a tiny amount of it in every serving. Do not consume packaged food items without checking their ingredients. If ‘Partially hydrogenated’ is mentioned in their ingredients, it contains trans-fat.
Consume fiber-rich foods
Consume a fiber-rich diet as much as possible. Fruit and nuts, green veggies, beans, whole grains, and peas, etc. are rich in fiber. A fiber-rich diet has manifold benefits for your health. It will blow life in every cell of your body through the results that are visible after a certain period.
Do not drink or overeat the amount of sugar that increases triglyceride levels. High triglyceride levels result in heart diseases. Always make a habit of checking ingredients before consuming any drink and food. On average, a woman should not exceed five teaspoons of sugar/day, and a man should limit added sugar consumption to 9 teaspoons and not more than that.
How to lower cholesterol with different foods
Apart from changing lifestyle habits, the kind of food you’re consuming also plays a vital role in regulating your cholesterol levels. Here, this low cholesterol food list will help you to achieve ideal cholesterol levels and bid goodbye to health problems caused due to it. The first and foremost step on how to lower cholesterol begins with the inclusion of food in your diet that can lower LDL Cholesterol. LDL cholesterol clogs arteries and poses a threat of severe heart diseases in the long run. Here are some of the foods given below:
It is one of the easiest ways to kick out the bad cholesterol. Have an oatmeal bowl for breakfast every day. A single bowl of oatmeal provides 1-2GMs of soluble fiber in your body. Adding a banana or a few strawberries will add another ½ gram of soluble fiber.
Barley and whole grains
Just like oat bran and oatmeal, whole grains and barley contribute significantly to mitigate the risks of heart diseases via the soluble fiber they contain.
Beans are highly abundant with soluble fiber. It takes a little longer for their digestion, which means that you will full for a long time after having a meal. Therefore, beans are the main ingredient of the weight loss diet of people trying to lose some pounds. There are plenty of choices in beans, like kidney beans, navy beans, black-eyed peas, garbanzos, lentils, and many others. You can consume beans in many ways as it is quite a versatile food.
Eggplant and okra
Both of the vegetables are low in calories but high in soluble fiber.
Few studies have shown that including nuts like walnuts, almonds, peanuts, cashews, and many other kinds of nuts is ideal for heart health. A person should eat 2 ounces to lower LDL slightly. Having other additional and essential nutrients, nuts protect your heart in different ways.
Include as many fruits as you can in your diet. The fruits like grapes, apples, citrus fruits, and strawberries contain pectin. It is a kind of soluble fiber that helps to lower LDL cholesterol.
Use different kinds of vegetable oils for cooking and use them as a substitute for butter and lard. Some of the vegetable oils like sunflower oil, canola oil, and safflower oil are best for cooking as well as at your dining table if you are aiming to decrease the LDL cholesterol level.
Foods rich in stanols and sterols
The foods that are rich in either sterols or stanols buck up the ability of your body for the absorption of cholesterol from the food you’re eating. Various companies add them to different food items likes granola bars, margarine, chocolate, and orange juices. You can also find them as food supplements. About 10% of cholesterol levels are lowered with 2GMS of sterol plant or stanol plant every day.
Eat soybeans and the food items made with soybeans such as soy milk and tofu. The soy food items were touted as a useful measure for lowering cholesterol studies show that their effect is very modest. Consumption of 25GMS soy protein lessens LDL cholesterol by 5-6%.
Consuming twice or thrice a week is capable of lowering LDL in two ways:
(i) Replacing meat containing saturated fats that boost LDL
(ii) Delivering omega-3 fats that help to lower LDL
Omega3 reduces triglycerides in your bloodstream and protect the heart through the prevention of abnormal heart rhythms
Fiber supplements cater to soluble fiber. Taking two teaspoons/day of psyllium provides 4GMs soluble fiber to your body. Psyllium is contained in Metamucil and other laxatives.
When it is about investing your hard-earned money, experts advise people to invest in diverse directions instead of putting it all in one place. It brings better returns on your investments. It applies to your eating habits, too, if you are looking for ways on how to lower cholesterol. Adding diverse kinds of foods to decrease LDL will work better in comparison to depending upon one or two food types for getting the desired results.
Everything is crucial to add to your diet. At one point, a diet rich in vegetables and fruits is necessary. On the other hand, it must also include nuts and beans, too, for keeping the cholesterol level in control. It will also keep a check on your blood pressure. It maintains responsiveness and flexibility of the arteries and also suitable for digestive health and bones. Also, it boosts mental health and offers a better vision.