How do you lower your cholesterol without medicine?
That’s a very good question and I’m going to give you the answer because it is possible to reduce your cholesterol without taking any drugs, but it does require knowledge, patience and a willingness to lower your cholesterol without medicine.
There are ways to lower your cholesterol without medicine and they involve, diet, weight management, physical activity, quitting smoking, alcohol moderation and perhaps adding a cholesterol lowering supplement to your diet.
The alternative to lowering cholesterol is usually prescription medicine in the form of statin drugs, interestingly when you read reports about the side effects of statin drugs for example stomach upset, cramps, muscle pain and tiredness it isn’t surprising that people search answers to the question how do you lower cholesterol without medicine.
Is cholesterol good for us?
Believe it or not cholesterol is produced by our bodies almost 80% in fact is produced by your liver, why? Because cholesterol is needed to do many important functions in our bodies, did you know that cholesterol is responsible for making new cells in our bodies, why is this important?
As human tissue becomes damaged, we need to make more of it and that’s where cholesterol is so valuable, it’s a building block for human tissue, it also helps to produce sex hormones and assists in the production of bile in your liver.
Cholesterol is a waxy like substance produced in the liver, it’s something that our bodies can’t do without, cholesterol can also be gotten from the foods that you eat, foods like meat and dairy products, plants don’t contain cholesterol so apart from your body making most of what you need your only other source is dairy or meat.
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Good v Bad Cholesterol
I’m sure you have often heard people talk about good and bad cholesterol, so what is the difference? Obviously, we would like to have more of the good cholesterol than the bad cholesterol the good cholesterol is known as HDL or high-density lipoprotein and the bad cholesterol is LDL of low-density lipoprotein. Another type of bad cholesterol that you don’t hear a lot about is very low-density lipoprotein or VLDL.
Let’s focus on the bad cholesterol because according to the American Heart Association bad cholesterol is dangerous for your heart health because it can lead to an accumulation of plaque build-up that sticks to the walls of your blood vessels. The danger is that the plaque build-up will slow the blood flow to your heart and may cause you to have a heart attack or if the blood flow to your brain is affected it could lead to a stroke.
Basically, what happens when the blood flow is impeded by the plaque some of the plaque may break off forming a blood clot, this is serious because the blood clot may carry to your heart or your brain with serious consequences.
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It is recommended that those over the age of 20 plus should have their cholesterol checked at least once every 5 years, men 45-65 every 1-2 years and women 55-65 every 1-2 years, the most important numbers to look for are your LDL low density lipoprotein it should be less than 100 milligrams per deciliter.
Triglycerides are another important measurement to watch out for your triglycerides should be 150 milligrams per deciliter or less.
Why do your numbers matter?
High cholesterol is the biggest factor in plaque build-up in the arteries, it must be kept under control especially if there is a history of heart disease in your family. I know this only too well, my cholesterol was very high in my mid-forties coupled with bad family history of heart disease death meant that I had a 95% blockage in my left ventricle artery, (that’s the main artery) when I had my heart attack.
I was extremely lucky to survive. Your cholesterol numbers do matter, if you decide to change what you eat, what you drink, how much exercise you get each week, and you look at stress reduction that’s all good.
However, if these measures don’t lower your cholesterol to a desirable safe level you may need to add a supplement to your diet as a natural alternative to cholesterol lowering medication.
Does diet affect cholesterol?
We know that our liver produces nearly all the cholesterol that our bodies need, the rest comes from the food that we eat, a diet containing too much saturated fat will tend to make your cholesterol rise. By reducing the amount of foods that contain saturated fat going into your body will help to lower your cholesterol. Some good examples of these foods are deep fried or processed foods, dairy products, baked goods, and some meats.
There are a lot of good foods that will help to lower your cholesterol available in your local supermarket.
I know that after a hard day’s work when you get home and have you evening meal the last thing you feel like doing is going outside and doing some physical activity be it walking, running, cycling, or gym work, trust me by not being physically active you put yourself at risk of heart disease especially when you couple this to high cholesterol it is a ticking time bomb.
I recommend that you be physically active for at least 30- 45 minutes from Monday-Friday not only will you help with lowering your cholesterol especially your LDL, it will help to raise your HDL or good cholesterol, don’t forget that 30-45 minutes of physical activity will have you feeling better both mentally and physically and you will lose weight.
The third thing we need to look at is weight, being overweight tends to be bad for your heart, it can also raise your cholesterol, by watching the saturated foods that you are eating and exercising regularly ( a brisk walk every day of the working week) will help you to lose weight.
The knock-on effect is positive because by losing weight you also give your body a chance to lower your bad cholesterol LDL, your triglyceride level and your total cholesterol. One other benefit of losing weight it helps to raise the good HDL cholesterol.
If you are a smoker then you have heard all the warnings about the dangers of cigarette smoke, not only is it bad for your lungs it is bad for your arteries. Did you know that cigarette smoking reduces the good cholesterol? Why does this matter? It matters because HDL cholesterol assists in removing LDL cholesterol (bad) from the arterial system so by smoking you are helping the LDL (bad) cholesterol to increase.
Alcohol can be good for your cholesterol, in fact some studies on people who are moderate drinkers showed lower rates of heart disease, the studies also showed that they could have more longevity than those who don’t take a drink.
However too much alcohol consumption may in fact increase your triglycerides, and raise your blood pressure, alcohol has sugar in it so you could also put weight on by drinking too much alcohol.
Summary on how do you lower your cholesterol without medication
By taking these measures and applying them to your daily life you should be able to reduce your cholesterol in 1-3 months, at that point you will need to get your cholesterol checked by visiting your doctor or by using a home cholesterol kit. High cholesterol is not only dangerous, but it can also make you feel tired or short of breath because the blood flow to your heart could be impacted by a build-up of plaque in your arteries.
This is how you lower your cholesterol without medicine, follow these lifestyle changes
Watch your diet (especially saturated fats)
Get regular physical activity (minimum 30-45 minutes each week)
Lose weight (Watch what you eat and exercise)
Drink alcohol in moderation (No more than 10 drinks per week for men and 6 for women)