Be physically active on a regular basis
Exercise is one of the few things that can increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels. It also keeps the heart in shape (the heart is a muscle that needs a workout too!)
If you are overweight, lose weight
The most dangerous place to store weight is around the tummy, as the fat is close to major organs.
Many people find that when they lose weight, their cholesterol levels also drop.
If you need to lose weight, do it sensibly and s-l-o-w-l-y. Make gradual changes to your diet and lifestyle that will be maintainable in the long run.
Jumping in the deep end and going on a crash diet is often a recipe for disaster. Yes, it often results in quick weight loss. However, if the diet is not maintainable (many aren’t…could you live off meal replacements for the rest of your life?) and that person regains the weight, this often leads to disappointment in oneself.
Shouldn’t we really question the method of weight loss, as opposed to our so-called “willpower?!”
Smoking damages the arteries, which increases the likelihood of cholesterol getting “trapped” inside, advancing the build up of cholesterol in arteries (i.e. atherosclerosis).
Control sugar levels if you’re a diabetic
In general, diabetes tends to be linked with elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, and raised triglyceride levels.
Having good control of diabetes reduces the risk of heart disease.
Dietary tips to lower cholesterol
Choose foods low in saturated fat
Saturated fat is known to raise cholesterol levels, so keep intake as minimal as possible.
Trim fat from meat, peel skin off poultry, use low or no fat dairy products instead of full fat varieties, avoid deep fried foods.
Avoid trans fats
Trans fats are even worse for your health than saturated fats. They raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and decrease levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
Naturally lowering cholesterol definitely must involve keeping trans fat intake to levels as minimal as possible.
Minimise high cholesterol foods
Cholesterol in food can in fact raise cholesterol levels in some people, whilst in others the effect is minimal.
Since it’s very difficult to predict how each individual responds to cholesterol in food, it’s a good idea to keep it to a minimum, especially since foods high in cholesterol tend to also be high in saturated fat.
Include monounsaturated fats and oils
Monounsaturated fats and oils are best used in place of saturated and trans fats. Think olive oil, canola oil, avocados etc.
Include some cholesterol busting superfoods
These superfoods are top of the ladder when it comes to the game of naturally lowering cholesterol.
They have been researched intensely, and have unique and specific properties which assist in naturally lowering cholesterol.
Choose sterol fortified foods
Sterols could probably take the gold medal in the class of superfoods, because they have consistently been shown to have an impressive cholesterol-lowering ability.
Include fish at least twice per week
Fish is one of the few foods that can raise HDL levels. Fish rich in omega 3 fats also play a role in reducing triglycerides.
Reduce or stop drinking alcohol
Alcohol can raise triglycerides and is high in calories, so can contribute to weight gain.
It is not required by the body, despite many people wishing it was some kind of essential nutrient!
Excess alcohol intake can increase the risk of developing cirrhosis of the liver and certain types of cancer.
Increase soluble fibre
To put it simply, soluble fibre binds to cholesterol in the gut, and carries it out of the body with other waste products.
Ideas for naturally lowering cholesterol with a boost of soluble fibre:
- add some legumes to your stew
- have fresh fruit for snacks
- use wholegrain breads
- cook up porridge for a hearty breakfast
- sprinkle psyllium husk into cake and muffin batters
Include a handful of nuts each day
Many people are surprised to hear that nuts can reduce cholesterol levels. They are indeed a splendid way to assist with naturally lowering cholesterol!
The common belief is that they are fattening, and many people think that they raise cholesterol. This is far from the truth. Surprisingly, nut intake has been linked with a lower BMI.
Nuts contain plenty of antioxidants, soluble fibre, plant sterols and other goodies which help with cholesterol crunching. However, they still are high in calories, so don’t overdo it. A handful a day is plenty.
Choose low fat cooking methods
Cooking methods can be just as important as the actual food itself when trying to lower cholesterol naturally. Time and time again, I hear of people who are eating fish; “great” I tell them, “and how do you prepare it?” “Oh, it’s just deep fried from the takeaway store”.
The fact that it’s deep fried takes just about any nutritional value away from eating the fish in the first place!
Another example is in relation to vegetables – people loading their mashed potatoes with butter, or using creamy sauces over bland vegetables. While the vegetables themselves are healthy, the fatty additions aren’t!
Supplement to Lower Cholesterol:
The Manna Cholesterol Support product were formulated to reduce LDL “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL “good cholesterol”. This product proofed to beneficial for inherited cholesterol as well.