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How to lower cholesterol naturally

Lowering cholesterol naturally is a great way to help prevent heart disease. It may seem like there are only two options for doing so: medication or supplements. There's actually a third option you should consider first: diet and exercise. Following the recommendations below, you can naturally lower your cholesterol — without resorting to drugs or taking expensive supplements.

Maintain a healthy weight.

For those who have high cholesterol or have had it in the past, maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important steps to take. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of developing high cholesterol, and maintaining a healthy weight can help lower your LDL levels.

In addition to lowering cholesterol levels, being at a healthy weight can improve your overall health. It may also help you prevent other health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis—all things that are linked with high cholesterol as well. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine are also important for maintaining a healthy weight (and therefore lowering LDL). If you need help improving your diet or getting active, talk with your doctor about ways they can help!

Eat heart-healthy foods.

  • Eat foods that are low in saturated fat.

  • Eat more foods high in fiber.

  • Eat more foods high in unsaturated fat.

  • Eat more foods high in polyunsaturated fat.

  • Eat more foods high in monounsaturated fat.

Avoid foods high in trans fats.

Trans fats are not good for your heart. They can raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol, which is why they're often referred to as "bad fats." Trans fats aren't found in nature; they're made by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils so that they become solid at room temperature (for example, margarine).

Avoid foods high in trans fats:

  • Fried foods

  • Chips, crackers, cookies and other baked goods made with partially hydrogenated oils

  • Packaged snacks like microwave popcorn

  • Margarines or spreads such as stick butter

There's more than one way to lower your LDL cholesterol levels. One option is taking a statin drug for the rest of your life. But another option is simply avoiding certain foods that adversely affect your overall health—and one of them is eliminating trans fats from your diet!

Exercise regularly.

Exercise is good for your heart and can lower cholesterol. Exercise also has other cardiovascular benefits, such as lowering blood pressure and helping you lose weight. Additionally, research suggests that regular exercise may help reduce stress levels and improve sleep quality. These effects of exercise can help you feel happier throughout the day.

Limit alcohol.

Many people are unaware that alcohol can raise blood cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease. A glass of red wine a day is good for you, but the benefits do not extend to excessive drinking. It is important to note that different types of alcohol have different effects on cholesterol levels. Beer and liquor tend to have high concentrations of saturated fat, which raises LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels by increasing LDL particle size. Red wine has been shown in clinical studies to lower bad cholesterol and increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol because it contains polyphenols that inhibit an enzyme called phospholipase A2, which breaks down HDL particles in your body. Another important factor in determining how much alcohol is safe for your health is how quickly it's metabolized by your body—the higher its concentration in blood, the higher its effect on heart health will be over time. The easiest way to calculate this is with this formula: Your body weight divided by two multiplied by three equals 100 percent minus 5 percent multiplied by 1 gram per kilogram per hour (g/kg/h), which equals mg/dL per hour consumed under normal conditions without loading up before drinking heavily or eating poorly beforehand (which would result).

Cholesterol is necessary for your body's functioning, but it can become dangerous if too much builds up in your blood. If you're concerned about high cholesterol levels, talk to your doctor about treatment options or lifestyle changes that may lower them naturally.

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