Cholesterol provides cells with essential cushion and gives it flexibility. Cholesterol plays an important role in the formation of hormones. But too much cholesterol can lead to heart problems while too little can affect the cells of your body and disrupt the hormonal function. Cholesterol does not dissolve in water. Riding on lipoproteins, it can get transported via blood from one part of the body to the other. But when it gets clogged in arteries or any other limbs, the body gets affected. Hence, lowering the level of the cholesterol is of utmost importance.
So, which one is good and which one bad?
Researchers found that lipoprotein of low density, commonly known as LDL, transports cholesterol to different parts of the body where cholesterol piles up and narrows down passages to impact natural flow. Whereas, high-density lipoprotein or HDL is good as it takes back excess cholesterol to the liver for further processing and clears pathways.
Mostly triggered by a sedentary lifestyle, cholesterol levels can be kept in check timely. And all that can be done naturally.
How to Lower Your Cholesterol Levels Naturally
Certain things, if followed while eating, can lower your cholesterol levels. And, if they are coupled with better lifestyle-regime, the results can be astounding. Here are some tips that can help you bring back the much-needed balance in your health to enhance well-being.
1. Increase Your Intake of Monounsaturated Fats
Foods containing saturated fats are bad for health. But monounsaturated fats with one double bond can improve your well-being. People often follow a low-fat diet to keep their weight in check. It lowers their LDL for sure but also lowers their HDL. However, a diet, high in monounsaturated fats, can improve your health condition. It reduces LDL, level but not HDL, and as a plus, it curbs the oxidation of lipoprotein to lower tension in clogged arteries.
If you are wondering which foods you should consume to reduce your cholesterol levels, then we have some options for you. You can have a plateful of avocados or tree nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and cashews, along with olives, olive oil, and canola oil.
2. Opt for Polyunsaturated Fats
Polyunsaturated fats contain multiple bonds that help in lowering the LDL. But their effects do not stop there. Polyunsaturated fats also help the body to fight against metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. The latter happens when people make a shift from a carbohydrate-based diet to a polyunsaturated fat-based diet. The reduction in glucose levels and fasting levels can corroborate the fact. To lower your cholesterol levels naturally, consume foods that are high in Omega-3 fatty acid. Your heart can benefit the most.
3. Include Soluble Fibre in Your Diet
Soluble fibre is sourced from plants and dissolve in water but it’s hard for humans to digest it. But some bacteria in the intestine, known as probiotics, can benefit from it and assist in the reduction of LDL and VLDL. Both, soluble and insoluble fibres are good for a healthy life. If you want to lower your cholesterol levels by eating healthy foods, you can have lots of beans, peas, lentils, oats, fruit, and whole grains.
4. Indulge in Exercise
Apart from making changes in your diet, you will also need to exercise to lower your cholesterol levels. Even a low-intensity exercise like walking can reduce LDL and boost HDL. The more the intensity of your workout, the better the results. Any type of activity such as aerobics, yoga, walking, or jumping jacks can do wonders for your health by reducing LDL level.
5. Focus on Your Weight
To keep your cholesterol levels in check, you will have to focus on your weight. You will need to lose some weight to live a healthy life. If you can keep your weight in check, the way your body produces and absorbs cholesterol will improve.
6. Quit Smoking
Smoking dampens the prospect of immune cells returning LDL by increasing the chance of clogged arteries. By quitting smoking, your HDL cholesterol levels will improve. Within a few months of quitting, your blood circulation and lung functioning will also improve. It will also reduce the risk of heart disease. Giving up one unhealthy habit can improve your quality of life, so give up smoking now.
7. Drink Alcohol in Moderate Amounts
It is best to give up alcohol completely for the sake of your health, but if you find it hard to give up alcohol, drink it in moderation. Intake of alcohol in moderate amount can lower your cholesterol levels. Ethanol in alcohol can boost the production of HDL which is good for health. But that doesn’t mean that people who don’t drink alcohol should start drinking it. Similarly, for those who drink it, should not increase their intake, as it can affect their liver health.
8. Try Plant Sterols and Stanols
If you are thinking of changing your diet plan, consider having plant sterols and stanols. These components, in composition, are quite similar to cholesterol but do not clog the arteries, and get absorbed in the body quite easily. Consumption of stanol can lower LDL by about 15%. If you want to lower your cholesterol by consuming food, stanols and sterols can be good options which can be found in certain vegetable oils and butter substitutes.
9. Take Supplements
Supplements such as Psyllium, Coenzyme Q10, and fish oil enriched with Omega-3 fatty acid, if consumed daily, can lower the chances of LDL production and propel HDL output. This can curb heart risk. Supplements make it easier to reduce cholesterol by food consumption.
10. Follow a Low-Salt Diet
Consumption of sodium should not be more than 2300 mg per day. If you can keep your salt intake in check, your health can improve. It has no direct effect on cholesterol level but it improves the performance of the heart, thereby by reducing the risk of heart diseases.
A healthy life starts at home. And lowering your cholesterol levels is the first step towards a healthy life can be the first step. So, incorporate all the points in your new regime and see the difference for yourself – both in your heart and in your life.