Lower your bad cholesterol levels naturally without popping pills. Studies have shown that changing your diet and lifestyle may be even more powerful than modern medicines in lowering cholesterol. If you are already taking cholesterol lowering medicine, following these five tips may enhance the drugs effectiveness.
Natural Remedies to Lower Cholesterol:
1. Get Moving! Go bike riding, walk around the neighborhood, lift weights, dance, do yard work, just get moving doing something you enjoy! On an almost daily basis, including moderate intensity activity can reduce cholesterol levels 10-20 percent. It also helps to raise HDL (the “good” cholesterol). Before starting any exercise regime, get your doctor’s permission. Aim for 20 minutes of moderate intensity 4 days per week – build up to one hour six days a week.
2. Eat More Fiber! Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to up your fiber intake. When it comes to lowering cholesterol levels, focus on consuming more soluble fiber – found in oats, fruits, vegetables, beans, and barley. Start your day with a bowl of oatmeal with apple slices and cinnamon for a heart healthy and delicious breakfast!
3. Lose Weight! Studies have shown that losing a little as 5 – 10 pounds can lower total cholesterol levels. If you are not overweight, focus on maintaining your healthy weight. Make small subtle changes – focus on portion control, eat out less often, and increase your exercise.
4. Focus on Healthy Fats! Although fat is high calorie, some fats have been shown to lower bad cholesterol levels. In moderation, eat peanut butter, nuts, olive oil, fish, avocados, and plant foods. Limit or avoid saturated fats found in red meats, butter, and trans fats found in hydrogenated oils.
5. Drink Red Wine! Red wine raises levels of HDL or “good” cholesterol. It is also rich in antioxidants which protect the heart by decreasing inflammation and oxidative stress. Drink in moderation – max 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men. If you don’t drink, you can find the same antioxidants in grape juice, green tea, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Your ultimate goals for cholesterol levels:
Total cholesterol: less than 200 mg/dl
LDL or “bad” cholesterol: 100 mg/dl or less
HDL or “good” cholesterol: 40 mg/dl or higher