Cholesterol busters: Natural treatments for high cholesterol

May 16, 2019

If you have been to the doctor lately and found out that your cholesterol is not so good, then you definitely need to take action. If the level is not too elevated or you do not have a genetic component, you can try lifestyle modifications before starting medicine.

High cholesterol is important because it increases the risk of heart disease. The bad cholesterol, LDL carries cholesterol throughout the body and LDL cholesterol builds up in your arteries. The good cholesterol, HDL picks up excess cholesterol from the arterial wall and takes it to the liver.

So what do you do? Before going directly to medical treatment, lifestyle changes are essential to improve your cholesterol level. The old adage diet and exercise cures all is true. Here are some suggestions:

1. Eat more high-fiber foods– Foods high in dietary fiber reduce cholesterol absorption. High fiber foods include oat/bran, bananas, apples, pears, beans, and Brussel sprouts. Try oatmeal with bananas for breakfast.

2. Add good fats/ decrease bad fat– Try to decrease high saturated fat and omit trans fat from your diet. These types of fats will definitely raise your total cholesterol level. High saturated fat foods include red meat, processed meats and some dairy products(butter and cheese). Trans fats are listed usually as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Stay away from this fat. Good fats are monosaturated fats found in olive oil, avocados, almonds and walnuts.

3. Stop smoking– In addition to the increased risk of several types of cancer, cigarette smoking damages the walls of your blood vessels, making them likely to accumulate fatty deposits.

4. Exercise – Exercise has many benefits. But related to cardiovascular disease, exercise increases the good cholesterol, HDL and decreases LDL, the bad cholesterol. Exercise alone won’t guarantee a low cholesterol level. Genetics, weight, age and other medical conditions also play a part.

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