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5 Natural Ways to Lower Cholesterol
- Getting more exercise can significantly lower your cholesterol levels
- Taking garlic supplements and looking for foods enriched with plant sterols/stanols is important to lowering cholesterol
- Soluble fiber can help reduce cholesterol by about 5%
- Some types of fats can actually be good for your cholesterol
If you’re cholesterol levels are high but you don’t want to end up taking a prescription for the rest of your life there are others ways to lower cholesterol. Research into alternative methods of controlling LDL cholesterol and sometimes triglycerides has shown some possible options. Below are the top five ways to lower cholesterol.
One of the best ways to start lowering your cholesterol and improving your overall heart health is by increasing your level of activity. Almost any type of activity can reduce your LDL cholesterol levels. Walking the equivalent of 30 minutes per day even at a pace that allows for conversation can reduce your LDL numbers by 8.3% over the course of 18 weeks. To get that benefit, however, you need to make a commitment to be active at least five days a week.
You’ve probably heard that garlic can do wonders for your health before. Now research is showing that it can have a significant impact on cardiovascular health. By reducing blood viscosity and by increasing arterial diameters, garlic can help improve blood circulation which is very important if you currently are having high cholesterol problems and/or have build-up along the walls of your artery. Some studies are showing that garlic can play an important role in preventing cardiovascular disease, as well.
3. Plant Sterols/Stanols
One of the newest wonder ingredients to treat cholesterol and to improve heart health happens to be plant sterols and stanols. These compounds can be found naturally in plants and have begun to be added to many products on the grocery shelves, such as margarine and orange juice. Researchers believe these compounds resemble cholesterol which causes the absorption of consumed cholesterol to be blocked. As a result, you won’t take in as much cholesterol and will have lower numbers. Unfortunately, the research shows that only LDL numbers are impacted. HDL levels are not increased nor are triglyceride levels decreased.
2. Soluble Fiber
We all know that eating more fiber is good for us for lots of reasons, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. However, soluble fiber has been shown to also help reduce LDL cholesterol levels. Basically, if you eat just 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber which is found in bran products, oatmeal, beans, prunes, berries, yams, and other types of produce, you can see a reduction in your numbers of about 5%. That’s not bad considering all of the other health benefits you can receive from eating a sufficient amount of fiber.
1. Monounsaturated Fats
While most fats aren’t going to help your cholesterol levels, monounsaturated fats are not like other types of fats. Research has shown that eating more nuts, olive oil, and avocados is a good way of increasing your HDL while also reducing your LDL and triglyceride numbers. Of course, you still want to watch the calorie content but a handful of almonds occasionally is actually good for you. And don’t forget to eat a couple of servings of baked fish every week – fish is high in omega 3 fatty acids which are another type of heart healthy foods that lower cholesterol.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Cholesterol Management19 Jun 2009|