How to Naturally Lower Cholesterol Levels
In this article, I will discuss how you can lower your cholesterol level naturally WITHOUT medication. The discussion will include which foods you should avoid, which foods you should eat, supplements that help, and other lifestyle changes that can help get your cholesterol level back into the optimal range.
Cholesterol is a lipid molecule that is produced by all animal cells. The vast majority of cholesterol is made by the liver. Cholesterol is also a precursor to the production of hormones, bile acids, and vitamin D. Cholesterol is transported inside lipoprotein particles throughout the body.
Keep in mind that cholesterol is essential for the body. We must have cholesterol to have normal cell membranes. We also must have cholesterol to make many of the hormones in the body, including estrogen, testosterone, adrenal hormones and vitamin D. Cholesterol is vital for forming memories and other critical neurological functions. It also is the foundation for bile acids, which are required for fat digestion and the absorption of nutrients from our food.
So, cholesterol isn't bad. But high cholesterol is bad, right? Not necessarily. What may be bad is when you have too much of the wrong forms of lipoproteins. The small, dense LDL particles are believed to be the ones that increase the risk for plaque formation. However, this increased risk may be more theoretical than actual. Multiple studies have attempted to show that a high cholesterol level (especially LDL) increases your risk for heart disease. So should we worry about cholesterol levels? My honest answer is I'm not sure.
People who live healthy lifestyles and eat natural, healthy foods have lower cholesterol levels than people who eat the standard American diet and have unhealthy lifestyles. So if your cholesterol levels are higher than you or your doctor would prefer, what can you do about it? Chances are, your doctor will recommend that you start a statin drug. There is no doubt that these drugs will drop your cholesterol levels.
However, there are many side effects and even dangers that come with this class of medication. There are also questions about how much they really prevent bad outcomes.
Avoid These Foods (Foods that Raise Cholesterol)
There are several things that you can do to lower your cholesterol, but like most health issues, you should always start with your diet. Let's list some things that should definitely be avoided if your cholesterol is too high:
So we've talked about the bad, now let's talk about the good.
Foods That Lower Cholesterol
High Soluble Fiber Foods
Garlic & Onions
Supplements That Lower Cholesterol:
Red Yeast Rice
Essential Oils - lavender, cypress, rosemary
Other Ways to Lower Cholesterol:
Get Better Sleep
Manage Your Stress
If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol levels and want to lower then without taking a medication such as a statin, there are several things that you can do. The cornerstone of treatment should be to change your diet. Sugar and refined carbs will need to remove as much as possible. You probably also need to reduce your alcohol intake and fast foods.
Increasing your consumption of fish, fruit, and vegetables can also be very helpful, as well as cooking with extra virgin olive oil and adding many healthy herbs and spices to your food. Finally, like with almost any condition we could discuss, cholesterol levels will improve with regular exercise, improving your sleep and reducing stress.