11 Tips for Lowering Cholesterol Levels


Cut Smoking

Smoking is discouraged as it tends to reduce the High Density Level (HDL) cholesterol in the blood. HDL is part of the good cholesterol as it enhances the development of healthy cholesterol. By lowering the level of HDL, smoking increases your susceptibility to heart diseases. Doctors such as James Beckerman, a cardiologist in private practice in Portland, Oregon discourages smoking in his patients as it has been reported to increase blood clots in the body.

If you smoke, consider quitting for improvement in general health.

Reduce intake of trans fats and saturated fats

Foods filled with dietary cholesterol include shellfish and organ meat. Foods packed with saturated fats include coconut oil, palm oil, low-fat and full-fat dairy products, fatty flesh products such as red meat and butter among others. If you come across foods with partially hydrogenated fat, then those are trans fats.

In her book Tell Me What to Eat If I Have Heart Disease, Nutritionist Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, advices that those trying to lower their cholesterol levels should strive to take their saturated fats some notches down.

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Drink more water

Drinking enough water helps to maintain body fitness and improve the general state of health. Drinking sufficient water daily is helpful in reducing weight and in the break down of fat cells responsible for holding cholesterol levels in the body. Water also helps in metabolizing fats and powering the kidneys to function better.

Consumption of alcohol, on the other hand, is greatly discouraged. In case of alcohol consumption, moderation should be exercised. American Heart Association caution against excessive alcohol consumption as it raises the level of cholesterol in the blood.

Replace alcohol consumption with pure water instead to control the bad cholesterol.

Get enough quality sleep

Good quality sleep is essential when trying to lower the cholesterol level in the body. Sleep has the ability to improve the general health of an individual by maintaining a balanced blood sugar and healing the body. According to research by the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine in Baltimore, sleep plays a vital role when making lifestyle changes to lower cholesterol levels.

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Consume a lot of fiber-rich foods

Foods rich in fiber have been proven by extensive research to reduce the level of cholesterol in the body especially those filled with naturally soluble fiber. Foods such as garbanzo beans, black beans, pinto beans, sweet potatoes, yams, peas, barley, oat bran and oats are excellent sources of naturally soluble fiber. Fruits and vegetables are also rich in soluble fiber.

To lower your cholesterol level significantly, consider vegetables such as eggplant, okra, beets and carrots and also fruits such as berries and citrus. Whole grains are also very effective in lowering cholesterol levels as they are packed with cholesterol-lowering dietary and heart-healthy fiber.

The CSIRO Healthy Heart Program advocates for an increased intake of fiber in the diet as it has the implication of reducing the cholesterol level by 15 percent from results of their studies.

Consume protein-rich plant foods

Animal proteins are richer in cholesterol content compared to plant proteins. Try to replace animal proteins such as meat and eggs with plant proteins such as soybeans, white beans, red beans, pinto beans, peas, and lentils. Plant proteins are not only protein-packed, but they are also healthier than animal proteins and, therefore, effective in reducing the cholesterol levels produced by meat.

In his book, UltraMetabolism, Dr. Mark Hyman, the director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine insists that legume consumption helps in lowering the overall cholesterol level, cancer risk, insulin levels, blood sugar and LDL cholesterol.

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Drink green tea

Research indicates that green tea is very effective in lowering cholesterol level. Furthermore, it is a healthier alternative to the consumption of sugary beverages and soft drinks. Extensive studies conducted on both humans and animals has revealed that green tea is packed with compounds that have the capability to reduce the LDL cholesterol in the blood.

According to a small study conducted in Brazil, it was found that people who took green tea extract capsules experienced total cholesterol reduction.

Eat nuts

Substantial reduction of cholesterol can be achieved by regular consumption of nuts and seeds. Some of the most beneficial nuts include almonds and Walnuts. However, modesty should be exercised to only a handful of nuts daily since nuts are high in calories.

Studies from the Center for Cholesterol Management in Los Angeles indicates that nuts and seeds have the capability of significantly lowering the LDL cholesterol levels. That research also recommends moderate consumption of unsalted, dry roasted and raw nuts.

Go fish

There are a lot of scientific evidence to support the efficiency of fish and fish oils in lowering the cholesterol level in the body. Fish contains cholesterol-lowering omega-3 fatty acids that are considered to be very safe and efficient in controlling the level of cholesterol. Nutrition Research Specialists at the Pritikin Longevity Center recommend eating fish at least twice or thrice a week.

The greatest benefits of fish in lowering cholesterol levels are linked to omega-3s, richly found in fish like Salmon and canned tuna.

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Stay physically active

Physical inactivity is a leading cause of many health risks and diseases. Lower cholesterol levels can be achieved by focusing on smaller activity sessions. Regular exercises are effective in increasing HDL, controlling blood pressure and checking your weight. The benefits of exercise can be achieved even with moderate exercise such as brisk walking.

Research from Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C., recommends a 45 minutes’ walk after supper. The key recommendation is regularity. Exercise not only reduces the bad cholesterol, but it also increases your good cholesterol significantly.

Control weight as much as possible

Other than regular exercise, ensure that you lose the excess weight to lower you total cholesterol levels. Maintaining optimum weight is beneficial as it not only improves your cholesterol profile, but it also prevents diseases that are prevalent in the industrialized societies such as diverse types of cancer, gout, strokes, heart attacks, blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

Recent research links high cholesterol levels to modern lifestyles. As such, it is imperative to make lifestyle changes to reduce weight naturally and through a healthy plan.

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