Five Simple And Effective Ways To Reduce Cholesterol – backed by science

Protecting your heart from diseases - such as cholesterol

Protect your heart and health by lowering your cholesterol levels

These days, it doesn’t matter how young or old we are; cholesterol can creep up on us at any stage.
I was surprised when my cholesterol levels elevated, despite having an extremely healthy plant-based diet and daily exercise.
Throughout our lifetime, we must constantly question our doctor and keep tabs on our overall health. Everyday stress can and will impact cholesterol levels, too — but on a much larger scale.
Cholesterol is like inflammation, silently brewing inside your body, usually without too many inherent symptoms. High and untreated cholesterol levels can lead to heart disease, the leading cause of death and stroke.
In the US, 28 million adults from 20 or older have high cholesterol levels.
A small part of high cholesterol can be traced back to genetics & age, but using the specific lifestyle changes below can help you drastically reduce your chance of elevated cholesterol.
Not all cholesterol is terrible because we need it for our metabolism and good health. When we have an excessive amount brought about by improper eating, genetics, smoking, being overweight and sedentary, we must do something about it immediately.
That excessive cholesterol circulates in the blood, putting us at risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and heart attack.
Although health professionals say that checking every five years if you are at low risk, I urge you to check yearly.
Higher cholesterol levels can come up without warning, and it’s best to pinpoint that change early rather than later.

One: You must always keep your weight within a healthy range
Keeping your weight in check is one of the most important ways to lower bad cholesterol.
Eating a balanced diet of whole foods, vegetables, fruits and pulses — while also eliminating processed foods will assist you in achieving a healthy weight.
Weight loss of even 5–10 per cent will allow the successful lowering of total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides. The benefits are much more significant if you lose more than 10 per cent.
Just focus on eating healthy rather than trying to deprive yourself. As you do this and increase your activity, those weight loss goals will become much easier to achieve.
Being healthy is a lifestyle habit that you should implement on a day-to-day basis.

Two: You must be physically active as much as possible
Exercise is not only good for the heart — but our whole body. It helps us keep our weight under control, which leads to lowering cholesterol levels.
It’s recommended we all exercise for 150 minutes every week to lower our cholesterol levels.
One study on 20 overweight women showed that resistance exercise reduced harmful LDL levels. These women exercised three days per week for only 15 minutes. As you can tell from this research piece, it doesn’t take much activity to start seeing some good results.
Aim to do aerobic and resistance training and get the heart rate up to 75%. During resistance training, go for 50% maximum effort.
Do as much walking as possible on days you aren’t training intensely. Even low-impact exercise like walking can increase good cholesterol.

Three: You must only eat good quality fats — like omega three
Polyunsaturated fats help to reduce your risk of metabolic disease and type two diabetes.
Research also shows that polyunsaturated fats help to reduce LDL cholesterol and decrease your risk of heart disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids are heart-healthy and primarily found in seafood or fish oil supplements. There are also a few plant-based alternatives (chia seeds)
Eat more of the following seafood to lower bad cholesterol
  • Salmon
  • Deep sea tuna
  • Mackerel

Four: You must eat more soluble fibre
Soluble fibre is fantastic for increasing the good bacteria in our intestines, and good bacteria can help to reduce LDL levels.
Whole grains can decrease both LDL cholesterol and keep good cholesterol in check.
Soluble fibre also works well if you need medicated assistance to lower your cholesterol.
The benefits of soluble fibre intake may help you live longer, too, since it helps your body combat many other diseases. By consuming both soluble and insoluble fibre daily, you lower your risk of death by over 17 years by almost 15 per cent!
Eat more of the following foods
  • oats
  • flaxseeds
  • pears
  • Brussel sprouts
  • lentils and beans

Five: Go easy on the alcohol
There is conflicting research on the benefits and pitfalls of alcohol and cholesterol levels. Some research indicates that alcohol in moderation helps to increase good cholesterol.
But, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the AHA challenge this with disagreement.
AHA doesn’t endorse drinking wine or any other alcoholic beverage to lower cholesterol or improve health; there is no credible evidence that alcohol can do this.
Cholesterol increases with hefty alcohol consumption, and the problem is that you can damage your heart with too much alcohol and won’t initially get any warning symptoms.
Too much alcohol can harm your liver, and you may become dependent on it if it makes you feel good to a certain extent. Moderate drinking of about two drinks per day for men and one for women is probably the limit.

Key take away
Keeping your diet healthy and your body active for life is the key to lowering cholesterol levels.
Over time, high levels of LDF create free radical damage, contributing to heart disease. HDL, on the other hand, helps to protect our hearts against diseases by carrying that harmful cholesterol away from the vessels and back to the liver for expelling.
It’s best to keep your cholesterols balanced; changing some simple lifestyle habits will get you there.
Eat well, exercise and avoid the habits which are harmful to your health.

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