There are many tools for lowering cholesterol naturally that you may want to consider if you have high cholesterol. Many people go on crash diets or change all sorts of things about their lives, taking drastic measures to lower their cholesterol.
You do not need to do any of these things to lower your cholesterol, however. Using natural products, changing your lifestyle gradually and introducing healthier foods are some of the best ways of lowering cholesterol naturally.
Cholesterol is a type of fat made by your liver. Some of that fat comes from the food you eat, while some of it is already in your body. All of the foods that come from animals have some form of cholesterol in them, whereas plant foods do not have cholesterol in them. Foods that are high in saturated fats can raise your cholesterol level considerably, so having a balanced diet is really the best way to approach the cholesterol situation.
Not all cholesterol is bad for you, however. Some cholesterol is necessary for good health, but too much of it can raise your blood pressure and make medical problems such as heart attacks or strokes more common. When you have extra cholesterol in your blood, it causes your arteries to narrow as they become clogged. This may even lead to the artery becoming completely blocked with cholesterol.
Using Natural Products to Lower Cholesterol
Lowering cholesterol naturally using natural products is one of the best ways to accomplish your goal. Remember that herbal treatments and other natural remedies have been around a lot longer than the conventional pharmaceutical treatments you are likely to find at your drug store.
Herbal treatments come from trees, plants and other natural sources, meaning that you must be careful about what you are taking. Herbal treatments typically are not regulated, so it really is a “use at your own risk” situation.
Many natural products seem to reduce cholesterol. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates natural herbal products, but much of the investigation into the products is not completed to the same high level as conventional medicines. Therefore, it is important to be careful when you are considering herbal treatments of any kind. Always consult your doctor before trying anything new when lowering cholesterol naturally.
The following products have been recognized for their effectiveness in lowering cholesterol:
- B vitamins
- Grape seed extract
- Vitamin C
There are many other natural products and herbal remedies that may assist in lowering cholesterol, so consult your doctor or locate a good herbalist for more information. You want to be careful when it comes to combining cholesterol medication and natural remedies, as some of the side effects may clash.
Making Lifestyle Changes
There are many things you can do to help lower cholesterol naturally and changing the way you choose to live your life is one of them. You may have to make lifestyle changes to lower your cholesterol levels and start putting yourself back on the road to health, but do not despair. Making some minor lifestyle changes is not very difficult and, in fact, many of the changes you make will benefit you in other areas of your life. With lower cholesterol, you will start feeling more energetic and you will have more vitality.
Exercise – this is probably the most important thing you can do to lower your cholesterol levels and keep them down. Try getting moderate exercise a few times a week (about 30 minutes a day for a few days a week). Ease yourself into a program and get your body moving, but take it easy. You don't need to run for miles or do thousands of weight lifting exercising in order to stave off the effects of high cholesterol. You just need to get active and start introducing your body to other forms of exercise beyond reaching for the remote control.
Quit smoking – this is arguably the second most important thing you can do. If you don't smoke, don't start. If you do, quit. Smoking actually lowers the level of good cholesterol in your blood, making it a lot harder to fight off the bad cholesterol. It also creates a higher risk of heart disease and can really zap the energy in your lungs. You can bring down your cholesterol and drastically lower your risk of heart disease if you quit smoking now, so what's stopping you?
Watch what you eat – eating a proper diet is not that complicated, especially when it comes to lowering your cholesterol. You will want to maintain a healthy balance in your diet, but you should also integrate a lot more fruits and vegetables. Remember that fruits and vegetables are low in calories and fat, so that will help out a great deal with your goal. Also cut down on your consumption of saturated fats, as these typically are not good for your diet. Use whole grains as much as possible and eat plenty of natural fiber products.
Keep your stress down – keep a lid on your anger and other emotions that you feel physically. You will want to try to find time in your day to de-stress from work properly without turning to destructive devices like drinking or smoking. Getting proper exercise is a great way to blow off steam, so try going for a quick run next time you feel angry. Part of lowering cholesterol in a natural way includes keeping your body away from harmful reactions such as stress because stress puts a strain on your system and can contribute to heart problems.
As we touched upon briefly, making some dietary changes is a good idea when it comes to lowering cholesterol naturally. You will want to achieve the balance of lowering high cholesterol foods and increasing the level of low cholesterol foods you eat. High fiber products and foods low in saturated fats are important in a low cholesterol diet, of course, but you will also want to integrate fruits and vegetables.
There are a number of dietary options for low cholesterol out there and several hundred diet books and websites that promise to lower your cholesterol. The truth is that there is no one single plan that can help you lower your cholesterol. Instead, you will need to work with your family and your doctor to find a dietary plan that best works with your lifestyle. Here are a few pointers:
-Eat more fruits and vegetables
-Avoid trans fats and saturated fats
-Use whole grains and whole wheat products instead of standard white products, such as flour or rice
-Stay away from high levels of carbohydrates
-Use low-fat dairy products, especially skim milk, instead of conventional dairy products
-Use lean meats, such as turkey, chicken or fish, instead of red meat
-Use olive and canola oils when cooking
-Attempt to use low-fat alternatives for dips and sauces
There are a number of other dietary secrets that you can use, but these are some basics. Try to find your own way to eat healthy and keep your cholesterol levels down. If you work with your diet, you will start to find that some of the solutions to your problems are right in front of you. Making a dietary change is not that difficult, after all.
Lowering cholesterol naturally can seem like a daunting and complicated task that will transform your whole life and have you eating unbuttered whole wheat bread and water for every meal while you run laps around your block. The truth is that there are some lifestyle changes you can make to help lower your cholesterol, but the effort is worth it. Try using some natural products, make some subtle lifestyle changes and try adding some healthy foods to your diet. You will find that lowering your cholesterol does not have to be an impossible goal and that it really isn't all that hard to do!
Always Consult Your Physician First
Although it is helpful to get health information by reading and talking with friends, make sure you consult your doctor first before trying any new treatment or changing your diet. Remember that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate the strength, purity or safety of herbs and supplements. Be sure to always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, speak with your doctor before taking medical action or changing your health routine. This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. LifeScript disclaims any liability for the decisions made by its readers based on the information provided.