How to Lower Cholesterol Naturally
There are tons of natural remedies for lowering cholesterol levels, often promising quick results with next to no effort required on your part.
But while it’s true that there are tons of options to keep cholesterol levels in check,
it can be as simple as swapping out a few foods in your diet for healthier options, switching up your workout routine, or adding a supplement or two into the mix.
Ready to get started? Let’s look at 28 simple methods for lowering cholesterol and how it can impact your health.
The lipid profile blood test reports the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the bloodstream. Healthcare organizations have established a set range for total, bad LDL, and good HDL as well as triglycerides,
When looking for lowering it naturally, the essential thing to consider is the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol, which should be around 2:1.
Here are the recommended ranges to help maintain optimal levels:
|Below 200 mg/dL||Desirable|
|200-239 mg/dL||Borderline high|
|240 mg/dL and above||High|
|Below 70 mg/dL||Ideal for people at very high risk of heart disease|
|Below 100 mg/dL||Ideal for people at risk of heart disease|
|100-129 mg/dL||Near ideal|
|130-159 mg/dL||Borderline high|
|190 mg/dL and above||Very high|
|Below 40 mg/dL (men),
Below 50 mg/dL (women)
|60 mg/dL and above||Best|
|Below 100 mg/dL||Optimal|
|Below 150 mg/dL||Normal|
|150-199 mg/dL||Borderline high|
|500 mg/dL and above||Very high|
Dangers of High Cholesterol
It is a naturally occurring substance made by the liver and required by the body to function and keep healthy cells, nerves, and hormones.
Although your body needs cholesterol, excess of it can build up and form a fatty plaque on the arteries’ walls, decreasing blood flow to vital areas of the body.
If plaque continues to build long-term, it can significantly increase the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
So what causes high cholesterol? Believe it or not, the answer goes way beyond a high cholesterol diet.
While cholesterol is usually kept in balance, an unhealthy diet high in hydrogenated fats and refined carbohydrates can disrupt this delicate balance, leading to increased levels.
This imbalance is manifested in elevated LDL (bad cholesterol) and low HDL (good cholesterol), which increases the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Other causes can include physical inactivity, diabetes, stress, and hypothyroidism.
But keep in mind that not all cholesterol is created equally.
LDL cholesterol, also known as the “bad one,” in the form that can build up on the artery walls and increase your risk of heart disease.
On the other hand, the HDL version is often deemed “good cholesterol” since it circulates throughout the bloodstream, extracting harmful cholesterol from the arteries to enhance heart health.
How can you cut down on your LDL levels down while increasing HDL cholesterol to keep your heart in tip-top shape?
Here are some simple ways to lower LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol to promote better heart health.
How to Lower Cholesterol Naturally
Foods to Eat
There’s no need to follow a low cholesterol diet to stay within the healthy LDL range.
Directly incorporating a few servings of foods that lower cholesterol in your diet per day can help decrease cholesterol levels and triglycerides to optimize the health of your heart.
Here are a few of the top cholesterol-lowering foods that you may want to consider stocking up on:
1.Olive Oil Loaded with heart-healthy unsaturated fats, extra-virgin olive oil has been shown to drop harmful LDL levels to enhance heart health.
Vegetables are among the top nutrient-dense foods, meaning they’re high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber to support heart health, yet low in calories.
Not surprisingly, studies have found that eating more vegetables is linked to lower LDL levels in men and women.
Nuts are high in fiber and healthy fats, making them an excellent dietary addition if you’re looking for lower cholesterol.
A review of 25 studies showed that eating more healthy nuts was associated with lower total and LDL levels and decreased triglycerides.
Nutritious seed varieties such as flaxseeds have been shown to reduce both total and LDL levels to keep your heart healthy.
Fatty fish like salmon is filled with good omega-3 fatty acids that can decrease cholesterol levels and relieve inflammation to enhance heart health.
Due to the presence of a potent compound known as “curcumin.” Turmeric has been shown to minimize levels of total and LDL cholesterol in the blood.
Worldwide known for its plethora of health-boosting properties, a study shows that garlic may as well benefit cholesterol levels.
One review of 39 studies reported that consuming garlic regularly for at least two months can lower cholesterol levels to reduce heart disease risk.
This well-known plant is high in fiber, potassium, and antioxidants and can help promote better heart health.
One animal study showed that okra extract effectively decreased cholesterol and blood sugar levels in obese mice.
9.Beans and Legumes
Adding legumes to your diet can have a significant impact on heart health.
Studies show that a diet rich in vegetables such as lentils, beans, and peas is linked to lower cholesterol levels in the blood.
This delicious tuber contains several health-promoting proteins and compounds that have been shown to decrease cholesterol in animal models.
Abundant in antioxidants and catechins, green tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can supplement to your routine.
Studies show that consuming green tea can decrease levels of total and LDL cholesterol.
Incorporating a few servings of this nutritious citrus fruit into your daily diet could have a significant impact on heart health.
One study found that consuming fiber extracted from persimmon fruit was effective at lowering cholesterol levels in adults.
Avocados are rich in fiber, potassium, and healthy fats, all of which can help keep chol under control.
Not only have avocados been shown to increase levels of good HDL chol, but they can also reduce total and bad LDL chol.
14.Gluten-Free Whole Grains
Whole grains have been associated with lower levels of chol and improved heart health.
But because gluten can be highly inflammatory, it’s best to opt for gluten-free whole grains instead, such as buckwheat, quinoa, and brown rice.
Foods to Avoid
Cleaning up your diet is one of the most effective ways to reduce your LDL levels and enhance heart health.
But there’s no reason to nix high chol foods from your diet altogether;
there is chol in eggs, red meat, dairy products, and other foods that can be included in moderation as part of a healthy diet.
Instead, focus on nixing these top four foods to avoid from your diet as a simple method for how to lower cholesterol:
1. Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates
Added sugar and refined carbs from ultra-processed foods can throw off your cholesterol ratio by decreasing proper chol levels in the blood.
Although a glass of red wine per day can be beneficial for heart health, heavy drinking can negatively affect cholesterol levels.
Maintain alcohol consumption in moderation by sticking to 1–2 servings per day to optimize heart health.
Overdoing it on caffeinated beverages like coffee, soda, or energy drinks may cause an increase in cholesterol levels for some people.
Limit coffee and tea to 1–2 cups daily to keep cholesterol in check.
4. Trans Fats
Often found in processed foods and pre-packaged baked goods, trans fats can increase LDL cholesterol, decrease HDL chol, and boost coronary heart disease risk.
It’s best to remove these unhealthy fats from your diet altogether by minimizing your processed food intake.
While changing your diet is an effective way of reducing chol levels, adding a couple of cholesterol-lowering supplements can increase the effects much more.
These are some of the supplements you can try using to get started:
1. Fish Oil (1,000-2,000 milligrams daily)
Packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil can be especially beneficial if fish doesn’t always make it into your weekly dinner rotation.
Fish oil effectively increases HDL cholesterol levels in the blood to clear out LDL from the arteries.
2. CoQ10 (200-300 milligrams daily)
Coenzyme Q10 is a coenzyme that is useful in lowering cholesterol levels.
It works by removing excess chol and preventing atherosclerosis from keeping your arteries clear.
3. Niacin (1,500 milligrams daily)
Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is commonly used in the treatment of high chol.
Niacin has been shown to reduce triglycerides and lower LDL cholesterol levels while also increasing beneficial HDL cholesterol levels.
4. Red Yeast Rice (1,200 milligrams twice daily)
Derived from white rice that has undergone fermentation, one analysis of 13 studies showed that red yeast rice effectively decreased triglycerides and LDL cholesterol.
5. Garlic (500 milligrams daily)
In addition to adding garlic to your diet, you may also want to consider adding a garlic extract to your natural medicine cabinet as well
. Aged garlic extract, in particular, has been shown to have cholesterol-lowering properties in both human and animal studies.
Certain essential oils may also influence cholesterol levels.
For best results, add a few drops of these powerful oils to your diffuser to take advantage of the unique health benefits that they have to offer:
1. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil has been shown to decrease stress and cortisol levels, which can be especially beneficial for heart health.
2. Cypress Oil
Like lavender oil, cypress essential oil has also been shown to reduce stress to boost heart health.
It is also often used to promote blood circulation and help lower cholesterol levels too.
3. Rosemary Oil
Thanks to its antioxidant properties, animal studies show rosemary oil can reduce blood lipid levels and stabilize blood sugar.
When it comes to lowering chol levels, getting in plenty of physical activity is just as essential as making modifications to your diet.
Here are two types of exercise that can make a significant impact on heart health:
1. Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercise, or cardio workouts, is a form of exercise that helps strengthen your heart and lungs.
And besides keeping you trim, studies show that aerobic exercise can also help lower cholesterol levels.
Walking, running, and cycling are just a few easy ways to get in your daily dose of cardio.
2. Resistance Training
Resistance training is a physical activity method that forces your muscles to contract, building endurance and strength.
One research also shows that resistance training could positively affect heart health and decrease total and LDL chol.
Weight lifting and bodyweight exercises like squats or lunges are some examples of resistance training you can add to your routine.
Although these are all effective methods for lowering chol levels, keep in mind that they should be combined and paired with other healthy habits to maximize their effectiveness.
The chol-lowering effects of a healthy diet, for example, can be amplified when coupled with regular exercise and a set sleep schedule.
Be sure to consult with your doctor before beginning any form of supplementation, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are currently taking any medications.
Additionally, it’s essential to always work with a trusted healthcare practitioner to determine the best treatment course for you.
- When it comes to lowering cholesterol, using a mix of diet and lifestyle modifications can be most effective.
- Switching out unhealthy foods for heart-healthy options, squeezing in more exercise, and trying out a few cholesterol-lowering supplements and essential oils can all keep levels down to enhance heart health.
- Take it slow and try making a few small changes each week to help lower cholesterol levels and optimize your overall health.
- As always, be sure to consult with your doctor if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking any medications to find the best course of treatment for you.