In this article, we will outline some of the most effective ways to lower cholesterol level. Increased cholesterol level can cause heart diseases by blocking arteries and even cause strokes. It even alleviates the chances of a heart attack. By lowering the bad cholesterol (LDL) and increasing the good cholesterol (HDL), one can reduce the risk of heart diseases. It is not too tough to cut down your cholesterol levels. You just have to make some simple lifestyle changes to get your cholesterol level back on track. It will take 4-6 weeks of time to bring back your cholesterol level to a safer level. There are numerous strategies available which you can follow to lower cholesterol level. You can choose any of the approaches given here to attain the desired cholesterol level.
Tips to Lower Cholesterol Level (LDL):
1) Eliminate Trans Fat to Cut Your Cholesterol Level
Trans fat is very bad for your heart. It increases the LDL, i.e., bad cholesterol and lowers down the HDL, i.e., good cholesterol in your body. This results in clogging of arteries which in turn increases the risk of heart diseases and strokes.
It needs a lot of determination to abandon the sources of trans fat as it is found in all the fried foods, stick margarines and baked foods like cookies, cakes, etc. Partially hydrogenated oils and butter are actually trans fat and you should avoid using them for your cooking purposes. Coconut oil, palm oil, egg yolks, shellfish, red meat, full-fat and low-fat dairy products have trans fat in them. Limit your intake of these foods which are full of saturated fats.
2) Increase Physical Activity to Lower Cholesterol
Exercise can help you lower bad cholesterol. Being physically active helps you shed few extra pounds efficiently and effectively. Exercise for around 150 minutes a week.
Though, it looks like a tough task in the beginning but losing some weight from your body can be an effective way to reduce bad cholesterol. Consider:
- A brisk walk of 30-40 minutes can burn around 100-200 calories.
- Along with walking, you can take up running and jogging. It will help promote weight loss. Your stamina will get improved in the process.
- Aerobics and rope-jumping are also beneficial. These are quite simple to perform and you can do it easily to lower cholesterol level.
- Bicycling is also a good exercise. It is good for people of all age groups.
- Swimming is another good option that you can take up. It is a good exercise for whole body and can keep you fit and healthy.
3) Heart-Friendly Foods to Lower Cholesterol:
- Vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals. Eating plenty of vegetables can help you in lowering cholesterol level. Vegetables like carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, asparagus, avocado and green leafy vegetables should be preferred.
- Proteins should be included in your diet. It is the building block of muscles and helps in regulating metabolism. Moreover, protein is not stored as fat by the body. Salmon, chicken, soy beans, black beans, kidney beans, lentils, legumes etc. are rich in proteins and can lower bad cholesterol level. 15 grams of Soya foods can cut upto 9 % of bad cholesterol level from your body.
- Sprouted seeds can work wonders for you. Seeds like flaxseeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds are high in fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. They help in increasing HDL and reducing triglycerides.
- Ginger, cumin, black pepper, cinnamon and garlic should be included in your diet and in a good proportion. Ginger makes the blood vessels wider. Garlic helps in lowering down insulin level of blood, stop clogging of arteries and prevents heart diseases.
- You can have green tea and black tea as a healthy drink option. These teas are loaded with antioxidants and keep LDL cholesterol level in control.
- Olive oil can lower LDL cholesterol level. It is rich in MUFAs (monounsaturated fats) and can help reduce belly fat too.
- Chocolate can help in lowering down bad cholesterol levels. Cocoa powder is the main ingredient of chocolate and it can increase HDL levels by 24 %. It prevents arteries from clogging up due to deposition of plaque.
- Fiber is very good for your health. It can reduce cholesterol levels, helps in lowering blood sugar levels, cut the risk of colon cancer and prevent hemorrhoids. It can help you prevent heart disease, hypertension and stroke. Fiber-rich foods like apple, beans, oatmeal and prunes are good for cutting down bad cholesterol.
4) Avoid Sugar and Grains to Reduce Cholesterol
Sugar affects your metabolic rate badly. It can lead to accumulation of fat in your body. So, in order to reduce cholesterol levels just cut down the sugar consumption. Ice-cream, pastries, cookies, etc. are full of calories which can increase the LDL cholesterol in your body.
Sugar-sweetened drinks are more dangerous for your body. Soft drinks and packaged fruit juices contain huge amount of sugar which leads to fat accumulation in your body. Similarly, grains like refined wheat flour, rice, pasta, bread, etc. should be avoided. These foods can only make you fatty.
5) Quit Smoking to Reduce Cholesterol
If you smoke, then you should think of quitting it for lowering your LDL cholesterol level. Smoking can reduce your good cholesterol level. This can result in various heart diseases.
Furthermore, smoking creates irritation in your blood vessels and makes it more prone to get clogged up. Those persons who have quit smoking can find upto 5 % increase in formation of good cholesterol in their body.
6) Drink Alcohol in Moderation to Lower Cholesterol
Drinking alcohol in moderate amount can be beneficial for lowering bad cholesterol. It will increase the level of good cholesterol, i.e., HDL. But if you don’t drink alcohol then it is not necessary for you to start drinking alcohol just to lowering down the cholesterol levels.
Women can take one drink per day and for men, the limit is two drinks per day. Keep in mind that drinking too much alcohol can lead to heart failure, high blood pressure and stroke. Indeed, it is a simple way to lower cholesterol level.