High cholesterol is a bane for many Americans, and it is no wonder that statin drugs which help to lower these levels are some of the most frequently used prescriptions in the country. However, long-term use of them can result in liver damage and furthermore there are natural ways to help lower the cholesterol that do not involve prescription drugs. Five ways to help lower the cholesterol levels are discussed below.
Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for high cholesterol and unfortunately weight is problem for more and more Americans. The good news is that even a modest degree of weight loss — 5 to 10 percent of the body weight – can help lower the cholesterol levels. It can also have a beneficial impact on blood pressure and lower the risk for developing diabetes.
Avoid Bad Fats
Avoiding “bad” fats – i.e., saturated fats and trans fats is another good way to lower cholesterol levels. There are a number of ways to do this. Choosing grilled or baked foods over ones that have been fried and using olive or canola oil instead of butter reduce saturated fats greatly. Trans fats, which appear frequently in processed foods, are best avoided: read the label carefully and do not purchase a food product if it contains hydrogenated oils.
Love the Fiber
Many studies have shown that get around 25g of fiber every day can greatly lower the chances of developing cardiac disease. Whole grains, oats, legumes and citrus fruits are all high in fiber, which can lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels, both unhealthy fats in the blood stream. These lower levels promote heart health.
Two servings of fish per week – especially if it is a fatty fish like salmon – can reduce the risk for cardiac disease by an impressive 30%. Fish like salmon are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which prevent arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat) and lower both cholesterol and blood pressure levels. In short, they go a long way to strengthening and nourishing the heart.
Pursue a Healthy Lifestyle
Apart from the mostly dietary changes listed above, there are other things that will lower cholesterol naturally. One of the most important things is, if currently a smoker, to quit, as this can triple the chance of heart disease. Also, aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise daily – this will not only help with potential weight issues, the exercise itself helps scour the blood vessels and strengthen the heart.
Cholesterol is certainly an area of concern since it is a major risk factor for cardiac disease. Fortunately, people can be empowered to take control of their lives and health with some of the changes mentioned above, often without the use of prescription medications.
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