21 Simple steps for lowering LDL cholesterol levels naturally
I wish that I could tell you that lowering LDL cholesterol was as simple as popping a pill into your mouth and in no time at all your LDL cholesterol would lower itself to a normal level which is 100 mg/dl if you don’t have any health issues.
Natural remedies do work to lower cholesterol however there is a lot that you can do yourself, for example change the foods that you eat, swap less healthy food for something that will be of greater benefit to your health, incorporate exercise into your life as much as possible.
Normal cholesterol range
A blood lipid profile will determine your HDL (good cholesterol) LDL (bad cholesterol) and your triglycerides levels these three measurements are added together to get your total cholesterol.
This is a cholesterol levels chart
As I stated earlier unless you have a health issue your LDL cholesterol level should be less than 100 mg/dl however if you have a history of heart disease this level would be more concerning. If your reading is between 130-159 mg/dl that is considered borderline HIGH. A reading of 160-189 mg/dl is a HIGH reading, above 190 MG/DL is very high. If you study the chart people with established heart disease or diabetes shouldn’t have a total cholesterol of more than 180 mg/dl or a total LDL cholesterol of no more than 100 mg/dl.
How is cholesterol produced?
Cholesterol is produced by your liver for the normal functioning of cells, hormones and nerves, so we need it but too much of it in the blood stream means that it has to go somewhere so what happens it sticks to the arterial wall and over time it hardens and forms what is called plaque build-up plaque is made up of LDL (bad) cholesterol calcium and other body fats.
Over time this fatty build-up will make the arteries harden and your heart will have difficulty pumping enough oxygen rich blood to meet your body’s needs. The danger is that some of this plaque may rupture and break off, it can go to your heart, in which case you may suffer a heart attack, or it can go to your brain and cause a stroke.
What causes high cholesterol?
There are several factors that cause high cholesterol, it runs in families, other factors include
- A diet that includes saturated fats and trans fats so eating food like biscuits and chocolate bars can raise the cholesterol levels, other foods like red meat or full fat dairy products can elevate your cholesterol.
- Overweight or obese: You need to ne under 30 BMI body mass index to reduce your risk of high cholesterol
- A lack of exercise: Regular exercise does help with the HDL or “good” cholesterol on the other hand eating too much and not exercising increases the LDL or “bad” cholesterol
- Diabetes: Somebody with diabetes will have higher blood sugar readings that increase LDL “bad” cholesterol levels, it can also damage the lining of the arteries.
- Cigarette smoking: Causes damage to the lining of the blood vessels making it more likely that fat will accumulate, some studies have shown that smoking is linked to lowering the “good” HDL cholesterol
Good cholesterol v bad cholesterol
It is thought that HDL “good” cholesterol keeps LDL “bad” cholesterol under control, we know that “bad” cholesterol is responsible for plaque build-up on the artery walls leading to a greater risk of a heart attack or stroke, so how can we keep or reduce our levels of LDL cholesterol and keep our hearts in the best shape possible?
Let’s look at 21 simple steps to lower your cholesterol naturally and have an impact on your health.
1. Nuts have long been associated with lowering LDL and triglycerides eat almonds and walnuts for healthier LDL levels
2. Seeds are another great way to reduce LDL levels try flax seeds
3. Fish that contain omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon can help to reduce LDL levels
4. Hope you use garlic, it’s beneficial even for total cholesterol levels.
5. Okra plant, it’s high in antioxidants and fibre.
6. Turmeric with curcumin has powerful cholesterol lowering properties and anti- inflammatory properties
7. Sweet potatoes, contains many health benefits shown to reduce bad cholesterol
8. Legumes and beans such as peas, lentils and beans, studies have shown links to lower cholesterol
9. Avocados are high in healthy fats, potassium and fibre
10. Persimmon A nutritious citrus fruit studies have shown it to be effective at lowering cholesterol.
11. Green tea is a very healthy way to reduce your cholesterol as shown in studies.
12. Red yeast rice fermented white rice take 1,200 mgs daily proven to reduce cholesterol
13. Whole grains (gluten free) try buckwheat, brown rice or quinoa.
14. Co Enzyme Q10 as we age our bodies can become depleted of this important enzyme that lowers cholesterol and breaks down plaque build-up
15. Fish oil: take 1,000 to 2,000 mgs per day full of healthy omega 3 fatty acids very beneficial at lowering bad cholesterol and elevating good cholesterol.
16. Olive oil: replace fatty oils with olive oil
17. Food that has plant sterols for example margarines made from plant sterols and orange juice can be effective in reducing LDL cholesterol
18. Whey protein, dairy products are made from whey protein, studies have shown that whey protein in supplement form may help to lower total cholesterol, LDL and high blood pressure.
19. Exercise- I can’t stress how important exercise is to your effort to lower your LDL not only is it important but necessary, if you don’t exercise regularly it’s time to start. You will feel the benefit of it both mentally and physically, try to join a walking club or ask a friend to join you.
20. Niacin in supplement form is known as B3, it has been shown to decrease triglyceride and LDL levels while increasing HDL “good” cholesterol levels.
21. Essential oils are an alternative method to reduce LDL cholesterol read more available in
- Rosemary Cypress
Foods to avoid LIST
So now you have a list of healthy options to reduce your LDL cholesterol combined with exercise should help you to get the results you desire, ok so now to the stuff that you need to avoid
I’m a big believer in everything in moderation, we are only human after all so if we stray a bit that’s ok if we start back at the new plan to reduce bad cholesterol.
1. Cut out sugar and processed foods
2. Reduce or cut alcohol out altogether, it raises cholesterol levels
3. Limit your caffeine intake to two cups per day it raises cholesterol levels in some people
4. Cut soda drinks out
5. Red meat but only one a week is recommended
6. Don’t eat snacks,bars or biscuits (cookies) (once a week treat only)
This new regime to lower cholesterol won’t be easy but with a little planning around food and exercise it is possible to get your numbers down. Some of the foods recommended will work for some people but may not work for others.
By using a new diet of healthy options along with regular exercise and good quality sleep you can get your cholesterol down and reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Cholesterol lowering supplements can also help or the essential oils could be an option for you in tandem with some of the food recommendations.