Ways to Naturally Lower your Cholesterol

  • It’s time to get started! Has your doctor ever mentioned the term hypercholesterolemia? If so, you probably either suffer or are at risk for having high cholesterol. When you reach this point of your life, you know changing your diet and way of life is key to lowering your cholesterol and fighting potential heart disease. By simply altering your diet, and adding exercise to your everyday routine, one can lower their cholesterol and have peace of mind knowing they are in good heart health.
  • The truth behind cholesterol There are many misconceptions about cholesterol. Most people believe you don’t need any cholesterol, period. This is completely untrue as the human body needs small amounts of good cholesterol, known as HDL, in order to function properly. The cholesterol we need to worry about is known as LDL (bad cholesterol), which usually comes from high volumes of saturated fat that leads to plaque along the arteries. To put it simply, you want to raise your HDL cholesterol and lower your LDL by putting yourself on a healthy eating plan.
  • Portion Control The United States is known as one of the fattest countries in the world. It is no secret that we as a society tend to overeat. Studies have shown that we eat about twice as much as we should for each meal. This trend naturally leads to obesity and high cholesterol. So what can you do to fix this? The answer lies in portion control. Instead of eating to your heart’s content, eat a serving of meat or fish that fits in the palm of your hand. It may not seem like a lot, but eat slowly, and it will fill you up.
  • Heart Health And Fish A well balanced heart healthy diet has fish on the menu two to three times per week. Why, you ask? Fish is somewhat of a super-food. Not only is it extremely low in saturated fat, but it’s loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids that are proven to help lower high cholesterol by slowing the growth of plaque in your arteries. Fish also helps lower triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood that can lead to heart disease at a very early age.
  • Fruits And Vegetables You need 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day in order to lower your bad cholesterol. The key ingredient in these fruits and vegetables are the antioxidants that help protect against potential heart disease.
  • Unsaturated Fats Just as we need some cholesterol in our body, we also require some fat in our daily diet. To be specific, the human body should get about 30% of the required fats from our daily calorie intake. But the type of fat you are taking in matters. The best possible fat is known as unsaturated fat because it lowers LDL and raises HDL. But be warned, even good fats have calories, so remember to exercise portion control in your meals.
  • Nuts Hungry for a healthy snack? A handful of nuts have been proven to help lower cholesterol. The nut family is loaded with monounsaturated fats that lower bad cholesterol, while leaving good cholesterol alone. Research has actually shown that people who eat a handful of nuts a day are far less likely to develop heart disease down the line.
  • Whole Grains Starting your morning with whole grain cereal or a bowl of oatmeal can have benefits that will stick with you throughout the day. The complex carbs and fiber in whole grain make you feel fuller for long periods of time, making you less tempted to overeat at lunch and dinner.
  • Beans, Not Bread! It’s no secret we need carbohydrates for energy, but some carbs do more harm than good. Whole grains, such as brown rice and popcorn, have high levels of fiber and raise sugar levels less than foods that are full of saturated fat. On the opposite spectrum of the carbohydrate world, foods like bread, potatoes, and pasta can raise your sugar levels quickly, making you feel hungrier, while at the same time putting you at risk for things such as diabetes. Eating the right kind of carbohydrates goes a long way in lowering your cholesterol and keeping a clean bill of health.
  • Exercise! Exercise! Exercise! The importance of exercise is often overlooked. Have you ever heard the expression "use it or lose it"? It's true! If you don't use your body, you will surely lose it. Your muscles will become flabby and weak. Your heart and lungs won't function efficiently. And your joints will be stiff and easily injured. Inactivity is as much of a health risk as overeating. So what can you do? As little as 20 minutes of vigorous exercise a few times a week can significantly lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. Although daily exercise is your best bet, fitting a workout into your busy schedule can be difficult. Try to incorporate workouts into your everyday routines. Examples: swimming, parking further back in the parking lot so more walking is required, walking your dog, or even doing some gardening.
  • Consider Joining A Gym If you like having an intense workout where your focus is solely on working out, give the gym a try. The gym offers weights, cardio equipment, organized classes, and an atmosphere that can’t be found anywhere else. You can also get the benefit of a personal trainer. The trainer will teach you how to use gym equipment and work out properly so you can get in a better shape and at the same time avoid injury.
  • Consult Your Physician Always consult your physician when dealing with lowering your cholesterol. There are a number of strategies he or she may propose, but they will always give you your best option. Options range from specific diet, exercise, and medication regiments. Although you should try to avoid medications and lower your cholesterol naturally, sometimes you do not have a choice.
  • Practice Healthy Restaurant Eating If you are on a healthy diet trying to lower your cholesterol, don’t blow it when going out to eat. Almost every restaurant will have healthy options that are both enjoyable and good for your health. When eating out at a restaurant, try to choose broiled, baked, and steamed options, while avoiding fried ones. Meals that are fried are extremely high in saturated fat. Also remember to practice portion control, as restaurants tend offer huge portions.
  • Read Nutrition Labels When at the grocery store, always peek at the nutrition label before buying the product. You will be able to check serving size and control your calorie intake.
  • Don’t Stress Out Stress raises your blood pressure, which leads to heart problems and higher cholesterol. Try relaxing, and focus on positive energy. Studies have shown that people who are less stressed tend to have better cholesterol. Meditation, deep breathing, and yoga are all good ways to help reduce stress.