High cholesterol is a major risk factor in the development of heart disease, stroke, and other health issues. It is important to know your numbers and to take steps to lower your cholesterol if necessary. Fortunately, there are several natural ways to reduce cholesterol without the need for medications. In this article, we will explore the best natural ways to lower cholesterol in 2023.
Eat a Healthy Diet
The foundation of any cholesterol-lowering plan should be healthy eating. Eating a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can help to lower cholesterol naturally. It is also important to limit saturated fat and trans fat, which can raise cholesterol levels. Eating a healthy diet can also help you maintain a healthy weight, which is important for overall cardiovascular health.
Regular exercise can help to reduce cholesterol levels and improve overall cardiovascular health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as walking or swimming, five days a week. Exercise can help to lower LDL cholesterol, raise HDL cholesterol, and reduce triglycerides. It can also help to maintain a healthy weight, which is important for reducing cholesterol.
Stress can lead to an increase in cholesterol levels, so it is important to find ways to manage stress. Stress-reducing activities such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can be helpful. Developing healthy coping mechanisms and finding ways to relax can also help to reduce stress levels. In addition, getting enough sleep is important for reducing stress and maintaining overall health.
Smoking can increase LDL cholesterol and reduce HDL cholesterol, so quitting smoking is an important part of any cholesterol-lowering plan. Quitting can be difficult, but there are many resources available to help. Talk to your doctor about medications or other treatments that can help you quit for good.
Eat Foods High in Omega-3s
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for good health and can help to lower cholesterol levels. Foods such as salmon, tuna, walnuts, and chia seeds are all high in omega-3s. Eating these foods regularly can help to reduce triglyceride levels, which can help to lower cholesterol.
Eat Foods High in Soluble Fiber
Soluble fiber can help to reduce cholesterol levels by binding with cholesterol and carrying it out of the body. Foods such as oatmeal, beans, apples, and oranges are all high in soluble fiber. Aim to get at least 25-30 grams of soluble fiber per day to help reduce cholesterol.
Add Plant Sterols to Your Diet
Plant sterols are compounds that can help to block the absorption of cholesterol in the body. Foods such as nuts, grains, and legumes are all naturally high in plant sterols. Some foods, such as orange juice and margarine, are also fortified with plant sterols. Eating these foods regularly can help to reduce cholesterol levels.
Certain supplements, such as niacin, fish oil, and policosanol, can also help to lower cholesterol levels. It is important to discuss any supplements with your doctor before taking them, as some can interact with certain medications or have side effects. Supplements should also not be used as a substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise.
High cholesterol is a major risk factor in the development of heart disease, so it is important to take steps to lower it if necessary. Fortunately, there are several natural ways to reduce cholesterol, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, reducing stress, quitting smoking, eating foods high in omega-3s and soluble fiber, adding plant sterols, and taking supplements. Making lifestyle changes can help to reduce cholesterol levels and improve overall cardiovascular health.