If your recent blood test report shows cholesterol levels above 200 mg / dL, it’s time to seriously think about reducing the body’s cholesterol levels. How, though? Because cholesterol interferes with your arteries leading to heart attacks and strokes. This is justification enough to take steps to reduce high cholesterol.
How can cholesterol be reduced? Simply, you’re going to have to change some of your dietary habits and move your body not only to lose excess weight, but also to stay physically active. You need to stop smoking as well! Reading all these remedies to reduce cholesterol seems so simple, but you and I know it’s not that easy! But it’s also not that hard!
Note that nothing is impossible! So let’s learn how all this can be done to reduce elevated blood cholesterol levels. Any treatments you take, bear in mind that one of the two things they should do is either decrease LDL (low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol) or raise HDL (high-density lipoprotein or good cholesterol) in your blood.
How To Reduce High Cholesterol
1. Do Not Smoke
It’s hard, but you’ve got to! If you want to increase your healthy HDL cholesterol levels, you have to stop smoking because smoking decreases HDL cholesterol levels which present a high risk of heart disease. If you quit smoking, your blood pressure drops within 20 minutes. Within a year, the risk of heart disease is reduced by 50 percent compared to a smoker’s risk.
2. Lose Weight/Exercise
Daily exercise can help you to balance your cholesterol level amazingly. Everyone should exercise, whether obese or not. If you are overweight, even losing 5-10% of fat can help lower LDL or bad cholesterol to a considerable degree. In fact, more HDL that is good cholesterol is formed by physically active people that keeps their heart healthy.
You don’t necessarily have to hit the gym and work out for hours, even moderate exercises including a 30-40 minute brisk walk are also enough.
3. The Green Tea
Green tea is good for your levels of cholesterol. Don’t forget to include green tea in your list of regular drinks. In addition, this healthy alternative can be used to substitute sodas and other sugary or carbonated drinks. A study in Brazil found that people who consumed green tea extract capsules significantly reduced their total cholesterol.
4. Healthier Monounsaturated Fats
There have been many studies that say monounsaturated fats not only lower LDL cholesterol but also help to increase the levels of good HDL cholesterol in our blood. So use the safer olive oil instead of any vegetable oil next time you use an oil for salad dressings or for marinating chicken and fish as well as for roasting vegetables.
Some of the natural sources of monounsaturated fats like Avocado can actually help to elevate the good HDL cholesterol while reducing LDL due to its beta-sitosterol component, a plant-based plant that reduces the amount of cholesterol that can be absorbed from food. Avocados are high in calories, though, just like nuts, so you should have them in moderation.
5. Foods With Plant Sterols
In plants there is a substance called sterols or stanols. These may block your body’s cholesterol absorption. So it’s a good idea to have fortified orange juices, margarine and yogurt drinks with plant sterols. Only 2 gm per day of plant sterol can reduce LDL cholesterol by more than 10%.
6. Fish And Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Fish has the best omega-3 fatty acid quality that is known to lower LDL, the bad cholesterol. American Heart Institute recommends that you have at least two portions of fish in a week, but if you like you can have more. However, when cooking your fish, be careful not to add saturated fats.
Instead of frying or adding butter or vegetable oil, grill or bake your fish. If you are unable to have fish, you may also have a supplement to fish oil, but first consult your doctor. Soybeans, canola, flaxseeds, and walnut are some of the other sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
7. Eat More Fiber Rich Foods
Research has shown that it is fibers, particularly soluble fibers, that lower LDL levels of bad cholesterol. These fibers bind to cholesterol-containing intestinal bile acids and drive them out of your body. You can lower your bad cholesterol by up to 10%, with as little as 10-15 gm of soluble fiber a day.
Dried beans, peas, wheat, and psyllium products are major sources of soluble fibers. One of the fiber types called pectin not only lowers high cholesterol levels, but also slows down your digestive process from overeating.