Cholesterol is essential for our body’s health, but too much of it can cause serious problems. How can you manage your cholesterol levels in a natural way?
High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease. If you want to lower your cholesterol level, then you should eat foods rich in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
Tips For Managing Cholesterol Levels Naturally
Here are some simple ways to reduce your cholesterol levels naturally.
1. Eat More Fruits And Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. They’re also low in calories, making them ideal weight loss foods. Plus, they taste great and help keep you full longer than most processed food.
If you eat enough fruits and veggies, you should be able to lower your cholesterol naturally. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least five servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables every day.
One serving equals 1 cup of raw produce (such as apples, bananas, broccoli, carrots, celery, cucumbers, green beans, lettuce, oranges, peas, peppers, spinach, tomatoes, and zucchini). One serving equals ½ cup of cooked produce (such as baked potatoes, pasta, rice, soup, stews, etc.).
2. Reduce Red Meat Intake
Red meat contains saturated fat, which raises cholesterol levels. The American Heart Association recommends limiting red meat intake to no more than three times per week.
If you’re not eating any red meat, you should be fine. But if you eat too many processed meats (like hot dogs), then you may need to cut back on them.
Processed meats contain nitrates and nitrites, which cause cancer. So if you’re going to eat processed meats, limit yourself to a moderate quantity.
Also, avoid bacon, sausage, ham, and lunchmeat because these foods contain large amounts of sodium. Instead, opt for turkey, chicken, fish, beans, nuts, seeds, and vegetables.
3. Add Fibre To Your Diet
Fiber helps keep cholesterol levels down naturally. The fibre found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and dairy foods is great for keeping cholesterol levels in check.
4. Avoid Processed Food
Processed foods have lots of added sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats. These ingredients raise cholesterol levels.
Instead, choose fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy oils, and whole grains.
5. Get Some Exercise Everyday
Exercise lowers cholesterol levels by increasing the amount of good HDL cholesterol in your blood. It also reduces bad LDL cholesterol.
The best way to get exercise is through physical activity like walking or jogging. You don’t even need to go to the gym to do this. Just take a brisk walk around the block once or twice a day.
6. Take A Good Sleep Every Night
A lack of sleep can increase your appetite and make it harder to lose weight. In addition, it causes stress that leads to high cholesterol levels.
To prevent this from happening, try getting eight hours of quality sleep every night. This will give you energy throughout the day so you won’t feel tired when you wake up.
7. Cut Down On Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol consumption increases triglycerides, which lead to higher cholesterol levels. If you want to drink alcohol, stick to one glass of wine or beer each day.
8. Use Olive Oil Instead Of Butter
Olive oil is a great alternative to butter because it contains monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) instead of saturated fats (SFA). MUFAs help reduces bad LDL cholesterol and raises HDL cholesterol. They’re also heart-healthy because they lower triglycerides.
9. Eat More Nuts And Seeds
Nuts and seeds are rich sources of healthy fats and protein. They’re also loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals.
And nuts and seeds are also a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol and increases good (HDL) cholesterol. This makes nuts and seeds a smart food choice for anyone who wants to lower their risk of heart disease.
10. Take Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplements
Omega-3 fish oil supplements help reduce triglycerides (a type of fat) in the blood. They’re recommended for anyone who wants to lower their risk of heart disease.
Fish oils contain omega-3 fatty acids, which may be beneficial for lowering triglyceride levels. However, there isn’t enough evidence yet to say whether taking them actually reduces the risk of heart disease. So far, studies show that omega-3s appear safe when taken at normal doses. But some experts recommend limiting intake to 1 gram per day because too much omega-3 can cause bleeding problems.
If you take omega-3 supplements, talk to your doctor before increasing your dose. And remember that most fish oils come from wild salmon, not farm-raised fish.
11. Drink Plenty Of Water
Drinking plenty of water helps keep your body hydrated, which keeps your blood pressure down and reduces your risk of developing heart disease. Your brain needs water to function properly, too. So drinking enough water every day is essential for keeping your mind sharp and your memory intact.
Plus, when you’re dehydrated, your body produces more cholesterol, which increases your chances of getting clogged arteries. Drinking at least eight glasses of water each day can help reduce cholesterol levels and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
12. Have Healthy Breakfast every day
Eating breakfast every day can help boost metabolism and burn calories throughout the day. It’s also important for people who eat irregularly. Eating breakfast gives you the energy to start your day off right.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that eating breakfast daily was associated with reduced total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. The researchers suggest that this could be due to increased satiety after eating breakfast.
13. Get Your Blood Test Done Regularly
Getting your cholesterol level checked regularly is important. It’s the only way to know if you’ve reached your target goal.
Your doctor can check your total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. He or she might also test your LDL cholesterol.
Cholesterol levels vary depending on age, gender, body size, diet, exercise, medications, and other factors. The American Heart Association recommends checking your cholesterol levels annually.
The best ways to manage cholesterol are by making healthy lifestyle choices. Eat a balanced diet, get regular physical activity, and avoid smoking. If you need extra support, ask your doctor about using medication and/or following a low-fat diet plan.
Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.