How to Lower Cholesterol Naturally

Good cholesterol is HDL. Bad cholesterol is LDL. These facts are becoming common knowledge among the general population as an increased awareness about the dangers of elevated cholesterol levels surfaces. High cholesterol is a dangerous condition, and even more dangerous to ignore. It is a loud warning to the silent, symptomless build up of fat in blood vessels. Here are 11 tips that can help lower your cholesterol levels within weeks.

  1. Move. Exercise is number one on the list, because it has the double benefit of lowering ldl cholesterol levels naturally, and increasing HDL. Take small steps to incorporate exercise into your routine.
  2. Eat less. Eat foods to lower cholesterol less fatty, processed, and sugary foods, but don’t forbid them. Make cheeseburgers, drive-thru meals, and sodas a smaller part of your diet. (Here a sample daily low cholesterol diet plan)
  3. Eat more. Eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods have a lot of fiber that can bind cholesterol and prevent its absorption into the bloodstream.
  4. Eat less. By simply taking in a few less calories a day than your body requires, your weight will inevitably drop and cholesterol levels will follow. Make small changes in caloric intake that can be maintained over time.
  5. Add. Add foods that have cholesterol-lowering properties. Some foods, such as nuts, eggplant, okra, fish, and soy can help lower cholesterol. Add a few of these foods to your diet and cook low cholesterol recipes.
  6. Stop. Smoking can decrease good cholesterol; good cholesterol helps to remove bad cholesterol. Stop.
  7. Start. Although, alcohol consumption is not safe or desired universally, one alcoholic beverage a day has been shown to raise HDL cholesterol.
  8. Switch. Substitute butter and high fat dressings for healthier olive, canola, and sunflower oils. Butter increases LDL, but healthy oils can decrease LDLs.
  9. Weigh. Weigh the benefits and risks of cholesterol-lowering medications. If you have made dietary changes and have increased your exercise without seeing significant drops in your cholesterol levels, cholesterol-lowering medications may be prescribed by a physician.
  10. Watch. Monitor your cholesterol levels. Don’t panic if your cholesterol test reveals highs and lows in all the wrong places. Start to make some changes listed here and recheck in a few months.
  11. Listen. Listen to advice from your physician. A physician who knows your health history can help guide you through personalized options for lowering your cholesterol. A physician can offer nutritional resources, evaluate your exercise readiness, and prescribe cholesterol-lowering medications.

How Long Does it Take to Lower Cholesterol ?

How to lower ldl cholesterol ? Reducing cholesterol numbers can take a great deal of time and depends on many factors. For some, lowering cholesterol can be done in as little as six weeks. The first step is to adopt a therapeutic lifestyle changes (TLC) diet, which is designed specifically for people with low LDL levels. This progressive diet is focused on not only food but lifestyle changes as well. For some, the diet must be very intensive to achieve results.

The diet begins by lowering cholesterol and saturated fat intake. This alone can lower LDL levels between 11 to 15%. For the overweight, losing around 10 pounds can drop LDL levels 8%. Adding fiber-rich foods into the diet like vegetables, legumes and oats further lowers cholesterol levels; this diet change can reduce LDL levels by 3 to 5% in only six weeks.

What Supplements to Lower Cholesterol

There are three natural supplements that have been proven to help reduce cholesterol levels: niacin, plant sterols, and omega-3 fish oil.

  • Niacin has a favourable effect on high cholesterol. It can lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and raise HDL cholesterol.
  • Plant sterols are found in legumes, fruits and vegetables.
  • Dietary fish and fish oil supplements contain the essential fatty acids EPA and DHA. Omega-3, rich in EPA and DHA, possesses a triglyceride lowering effect. Omega-3 fatty acids lower cholesterol and have a positive influence on atherosclerosis.
  • What is Cholesterol ?

    “Cholesterol” is such a buzz word that most people think it’s bad for you, when the opposite is true. Hard to believe? “Cholesterol is essential for many of the body’s functions,” is the statement made from the ninth edition of Focus on Health, a college textbook written by Drs Hahn, Payne and Lucas.

    It’s having too much LDL cholesterol in your blood system that’s bad for you. Because it’s found in the blood stream and has a fatty texture, it can clog arteries and put you at risk for cardiac problems and stroke. Learning ways to lower cholesterol naturally will help you lower your risk and, luckily, there are ways to lower cholesterol without drugs.

    Where Does Cholesterol Come From ?

    There are two types of cholesterol: LDL, which is considered the bad cholesterol, and HDL, the good cholesterol. Neither type is found in vegetables. Cholesterol comes from animal fats and processed foods. Dangerous levels of LDL are found in saturated fats and trans-fats.

    What is the Normal Level of Cholesterol ?

    Normal cholesterol levels in your blood should be maintained to promote good circulatory health. There are two kinds of cholesterol. One kind is actually good for you while the other one is not. HDL is the good one, LDL is the bad one.

    Your cholesterol levels can be determined with a blood test. Cholesterol levels in your blood are measured in milligrams per deciliter. HDL and LDL combined should total no more than 200 milligrams for normal cholesterol levels. 200 to 239 is borderline and a number above 240 is considered high.

    Normal levels for LDL cholesterol, the bad one, should be under 130. 160 to 189 is high and 190 and above is considered very high. Cholesterol HDL ratio, the good one, should normally be above 40, with 60 being the target level in your blood. HDL contains anti-clogging properties for the arteries.

    The ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterol is important. The ratio can be determined by dividing your LDL number by your HDL number. Normal ratios will be below 4 for men and women while any number below 3.5 is very good. If HDL to LDL ratios can be brought down below 2.8, an actual reversal of heart problem can be achieved.

    HDL is affected by a number of factors, but eating foods high in monounsaturated fats (like fish or nuts), avoiding smoking, and exercising all help to improve HDL levels. HDL cholesterol is known as the “good” cholesterol, as higher levels generally mean better heart health. It is LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol that is the “bad” cholesterol and is not factored into the cholesterol ratio.

    High triglycerides also factor into the HDL number, as people with high levels of triglycerides usually have low HDL numbers. It is important to know these numbers for heart health.

    What are the Symptoms of High Cholesterol ?

    For both men and women there are no actual symptoms of high cholesterol. Instead, the symptoms of conditions aggravated or caused by high cholesterol become apparent. For example, high blood cholesterol puts one at risk for heart problem, which presents the following symptoms: shortness of breath, dizziness, weakness, nausea, rapid/irregular heartbeats, and heart palpitations.

    While it doesn’t present symptoms, elevated blood cholesterol can easily be detected with a simple and routine screening test. It is recommended that everyone over the age of 20 get a cholesterol level screening at least once every 5 years.

    What are the Risks of Having High Cholesterol ?

    High cholesterol puts an individual at risk for many health conditions, but the most important is the risk of heart attack. 1 in 6 adults in American have high blood cholesterol, putting them at risk for the leading cause of death. Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that builds up on artery walls. This also puts an individual at risk for heart problem, as well as stroke.

    Risk factors for high cholesterol include advanced age, diabetes, family history of high cholesterol, being overweight, a lack of exercise and a diet high in fat. For many of these reasons high cholesterol is one of the risk factors for heart attack that is most easily avoided.

    What are the Effects of Low Cholesterol ?

    Low cholesterol, as well as high cholesterol, carries health risks. The total number of its two different forms make up the figure health experts watch. HDL, referred as good cholesterol, should not be lower than 40 mg/dL and LDL, or bad cholesterol, should not be over 100 mg/dL.

    The total number considered ideal is less than 220mg/dL but over 160 mg/dL. Cholesterol serves several purposes in the function of the human body. It helps build and maintains cell membranes, is part of the manufacture of bile that is needed to digest fat, and assists in the conversion of sunshine into Vitamin D.

    Other fat soluble vitamins, A, E and K, are very effective antioxidants, and they require cholesterol to metabolize. Abnormally low numbers can indicate an overactive thyroid gland, liver problem, and malnutrition. A study in the 1990′s, also, linked low cholesterol to depression, anxiety and higher rates of suicide.

    In some cases, men with cholesterol levels below 150 were found to have four times the risk of a cerebral hemorrhage, or a stroke, than men with a number above 190. Pregnant women with both high and low numbers have been found to be at higher risk for premature delivery.

    Spices & Condiments that may help lowering Cholesterol

    Beverages that may help lowering Cholesterol

    Fruits that may help lowering Cholesterol

    • Yes, in a research carried out by Chen and Li, it was reported that bitter lemon can lower plasma cholesterol in rats. The research carried on rats proves that bitter lemon can lower bad cholesterol in the blood.

    • Avocados are effective in lowering bad cholesterol.

    • Eating bananas in moderation is healthy for your body. They help in reducing cholesterol as well as increasing your potassium levels.

    • Blueberries can lower blood fat. They are rich in antioxidants which can protect your body against aging signs and other health complications.

    • No, fruits have no cholesterol. Cholesterol is available in fried foods, dairy products, and meats.

    • Eating one grape fruit a day is effective in lowering cholesterol levels as well as your risk factor of heart diseases.

    • The fruit is rich in pectin which is a soluble fiber necessary in lowering cholesterol.

    • Yes, lemons can lower cholesterol. They are among fruits you should be eating.

    • Olives are rich in monounsaturated fats which are helpful in reducing your cholesterol levels.

    • Oranges are rich in fiber hence can play a great role in reducing your blood sugar levels as well as lowering cholesterol levels.

    • Pears are rich in soluble fiber which is helpful in reducing cholesterol levels in the blood.

    • Prunes are rich in soluble fiber which plays a role in limiting the absorption of cholesterol in the body. You can lower your cholesterol levels through eating prunes.

    • Strawberries are effective in lowering bad cholesterol and triglycerides.

    • It is a citrus fruit which has necessary nutrients to help you in your fight against cholesterol levels in the blood.

    Vegetables that may help lowering Cholesterol

    • Yes, carrots can lower cholesterol and fight plaque build up in your blood vessels. They are necessary ingredients you need in your diet.

    • Yes, carrots are among cholesterol free foods which contain healthy substances which can lower cholesterol. They are also helpful in fighting plaque buildup in the blood.

    • Onions are rich in flavonoids and antioxidants which are effective in reducing cholesterol levels in the blood.

    • No, potatoes are plant based foods which do not contain cholesterols.

    • Sweet potatoes are a source of water soluble fiber which is helpful in reducing cholesterol levels.

    • Tomatoes are effective in lowering cholesterol. You can eat them raw or drink tomatoes juice for you to enjoy the health benefits.

    • Vegetables are rich in fiber and necessary minerals in the body. They don’t have cholesterol hence they are healthy foods you should include in your daily diet.

    • They are among vegetables which you can include in your diet as a way of lowering your blood cholesterol levels.

    • Broccoli is rich in soluble fibers which play a great role in helping you lower levels of bad cholesterol in the body.

    Other Foods that may help lowering Cholesterol

    • Lecithin is derived from soy beans and is rich in fibers. It is effective in lowering cholesterol levels in your body.

    • Antioxidants are effective in raising HDL cholesterols which are good for your body and them lower bad cholesterols which has adverse effects on your body.

    • Cinnamon is effective in reducing cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Research proves that it is an effective method you can use to lower your cholesterol levels.

    • Garlic pills lower bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol in the body.

    • Omega 3 is useful in helping you lower your cholesterol levels. Instead of eating red meats, you can switch to fish and lower your cholesterol levels.

    • Probiotics are helpful live bacteria available in the gut. Common sources in the diet include dietary supplements and yogurt. From research, it has been noted that they can help in lowering cholesterol levels in the body.

    • Aloe vera lowers cholesterol in the blood and has several health benefits. For example, it will help in reducing blood pressure, reduce triglycerides and stabilize heart rhythm.

    Legumes that may help lowering Cholesterol

    • Soy beans are among healthy foods you can eat to lower your cholesterol levels.

    • Beans are rich in cholesterol lowering soluble fiber. Eating beans can help you reduce levels of cholesterol.

    • Eating chickpeas and other legumes are effective in lowering cholesterol levels in the body.

    • Lentils are high in soluble fiber hence necessary in your struggle to lower bad cholesterol.

    • Peanuts are rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which are helpful in lowering your cholesterol levels.

    Nuts and Seeds that may help lowering Cholesterol

    • Almonds are among the nuts which have no cholesterol. You can include them in your diet aimed at lowering levels of cholesterol.

    • Research indicates that eating healthy nuts such as cashew nuts is very helpful in reducing your blood cholesterol levels.

    • Chia seeds have health benefits such as reducing cholesterol levels in the body as well as improving blood cells formed in the body.

    • Groundnuts are among nuts which have no cholesterol. You can eat them to limit your intake of cholesterol.

    • Nuts are among fruits you should be eating. They have zero cholesterol and healthy ingredients which can improve your health.

    • Pecans contain heart friendly fats which can help you lower your cholesterol levels.

    • Pistachios are nuts which are effective in lowering cholesterol. They are also effective in reducing the risk of heart diseases.

    • Pumpkin seed is rich in phytosterol which is effective in blocking absorption of bad cholesterol.

    • Sesame seeds are among the best foods you can eat to lower your cholesterol levels.

    • Sunflower lowers cholesterol. They are rich in phytosterols which are a compound necessary in lowering your blood cholesterol.

    • Walnuts are rich in polyunsaturated fats which are a form of omega 3 fatty acids in plants.

    Snacks that may help lowering Cholesterol

    • Bagels have no cholesterol. They are among healthy grains you can include in your diet.

    • Chips are fries which can increase cholesterol levels. You should watch out your chips cravings.

    • Donuts are fried foods. They contain cholesterol hence you should limit your intake of the foods if you like to lower your blood cholesterol levels.

    Cereals that may help lowering Cholesterol

    Fish, Meats and Eggs

    • Yes, clams have small amounts of cholesterol. They have other health benefits such as omega-3 which makes them healthy foods

    • No, eggs are high in cholesterol hence they will not help you much in your struggle to lower cholesterol levels.

    • Fish oil is high in omega 3 fatty acids hence effective in reducing cholesterol levels.

    • Yes, mussels are among sea foods which have traces of cholesterol. You should watch your intake of the sea foods.

    • Oysters are rich in omega 3 fatty acids which is helpful in lowering your cholesterol levels as well as equipping you with necessary nutrients for healthy living.

    • Shrimps have cholesterols. They are among sea foods which are known to contain the bad cholesterol.

    • Sardines are rich in Omega 3 which is effective in reducing your levels of cholesterol.

    • Scallops are among sea foods which have some amount of cholesterol.

    Other Foods

    Other Common Questions

    • You should limit cholesterol intake to less than less than 300 milligrams per day

    • If your cholesterol number if 180, then it is good. You should try and keep your cholesterol levels low so that you can avoid related health complications.

    • Your cholesterol level should be less than 200, if it goes beyond 200, then you need treatment. Some of the ways you can use to reduce your cholesterol include exercises and changing your diet.

    • 204 is still within limits of normal cholesterol. However, it may be a cause for concern if the HDL is low.

    • May also be considered as borderline high cholesterol if the LDL levels are normal, but the HDL levels are high.

    • This is already on the upper limits what’s considered as borderline high.

    • This is already considered as high. However, if your HDL is 36 50, then 220 may be acceptable.

    • This is already considered by many as high cholesterol. However, depending on the balance between HDL and LDL, 225 may still be considered as acceptable.

    • This is already considered as high. Consult with a medical professional immediately.

    • This is considered as high, and your cholesterol levels will start to pose a threat to your cardiovascular health.

    • This is already considered as high, and there are only a few instances that this may still be seen as borderline.

    • Unless your HDL is very high to offset the bad effects of LDL, then 260 is considered as high.

    • Your cholesterol is already starting to reach dangerously high levels.

    • Your cholesterol level is high, and your health is now considered as high-risk for many diseases, especially heart diseases.

    • If you are not panicking yet, you should be as it’s already considered as extremely high.

    • 200 is still within normal levels. Mid 200’s may still be acceptable if the ratio between HDL and LDL is good. High 200’s is already considered as high.

    • Your cholesterol level is high. You need to talk to a medical professional immediately.

    • The desirable level is less than 200mg/dl with higher than 50mg/dl HDL.

    • For adults, less than 200mg/dl is optimal.

    • Less than 200 mg/dl is good, anything above 239 mg/dl already carries a high risk for heart diseases.

    • Aim for less than 200mg/dl.

    • 200 mg/dl or less is what you should aim for.

    • the optimal level is 200mg/dl or less.

    • 200mg/dl is what is considered as normal.

    • When it comes to cholesterol levels, adults should aim for less than 200mg/dl. For children, less than 170mg/dl is considered good.

    How to Lower Cholesterol

    • Exercises such as cardio are helpful in reducing cholesterol levels in your body.

    • Yes, cholesterol builds up in blood vessels can be reversed through lifestyle changes. Eating healthy foods which fight cholesterol build up in the body and regular workouts can help you reverse cholesterol build up.

    • Running is among exercises which will help you reduce weight. It is an effective exercise you can carry out to lower your blood cholesterol levels.

    • Sauna sessions are effective in lowering blood pressure, and several researches have proved that it can help in lowering your blood cholesterols levels.

    • Free cholesterol in the blood does not produce energy. It has a terminal metabolism effect.

    • Yes, high cholesterol content leads to an increase in testosterone. You may have seen some men drinking raw eggs; the raw eggs are rich in cholesterol which can boost their testosterone levels.

    • Yes, eating foods which are high in cholesterol will increase your amount of cholesterol. To achieve healthy levels of cholesterol in your body, you should limit your intake of foods which are known to increase cholesterol levels.

    • Yes, intermittent fasting is known to help the body get rid of bad cholesterol. You can manage your cholesterol levels through intermittent fasting.

    • Low carb increases good cholesterol in the blood. It does not have effects on bad cholesterol.

    • Yes, lowering cholesterol levels reduce plaque buildup in blood vessels which allow free circulation of blood and efficient working of your heart.

    • Running is among workouts you can do to increase your metabolism rate and lower cholesterol levels.

    • Yes, vegetarianism helps in lowering cholesterol due to high levels of fiber in the diet.

    • Yes, just like any workout routine, walking can help lower cholesterol levels.

    • Yes, weight lifting leads to burning of excess fats from the body which can lower cholesterol levels.

    • Losing weight especially fats along your belly helps to lower cholesterol.

    • Cholesterols line along the arteries by forming plaque which can lead to its blockage.

    • It leads to narrowing of arteries in a condition known as atherosclerosis.

    • Exercises help in burning of excess fats from your body which lowers cholesterol levels.

    • Soluble fiber binds bile acids and removes them from the body which makes the body to use fats hence lowering them.

    • Unsaturated fats replace cholesterol fats in the body hence leading to its reduction.

    • Cholesterol is a form of saturated fats in the body. Triglycerides are an ester formed out of three fatty acid group and glycerol. Phospholipids are lipids containing phosphate groups.

    • Cholesterol oxidation occurs when free radicals in the body react with saturated fats.

    • It can take up to six weeks to lower cholesterol while eating oatmeal. Incorporating exercises can reduce the wait time.

    • Depending on the approach you use, you can take two to three weeks.

    • Increase soluble fiber intake and exercises to decrease cholesterol.

    • Eat healthy foods to keep cholesterol under control.

    • Eating lots of food rich in fiber helps to lower cholesterol.

    • You should avoid eating for about 12 hours then undertake a lipid panel test.

    • It is required for body process but can be produced in the body hence it is not essential.

    • Yes, it increases your body fat levels.

    • Hypercholesterolemia is a condition which is associated with hereditary to cholesterol. But, it is commonly caused by diet.

    • These are usually chewable tablets and their main purpose is to block the absorption of cholesterol from your diet.

    • These are foods that have very low cholesterol. Or, it can also be foods that have high HDL, which is great at removing the bad cholesterol.

    • Chest Pain, heart attack or stroke are the most common symptoms of high cholesterol.

    • [EXPAND What are symptoms of cholesterol problems?]

      In most cases, symptoms may include chest pain, extreme fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath and numbness of the extremities.

  • [EXPAND What can cause cholesterol to rise quickly?]

    Eggs, fat, stress and certain medication can cause a cholesterol level spike.

  • [EXPAND What does cholesterol do to your body?]

    Cholesterol is needed by the body for a myriad of functions from making hormones to helping with digestion.

  • [EXPAND What exercises lower cholesterol?]

    cardio-based workouts are the best for lowering cholesterol like aerobics, running and jogging.

  • [EXPAND What fats lower cholesterol?]

    Good fat can lower bad cholesterol levels, and you can get them from vegetable oil, fish, seeds, and nuts.

  • [EXPAND What is cholesterol HDL?]

    High-density Lipoprotein. Also known as good cholesterol.

  • [EXPAND What raises cholesterol?]

    Foods with trans fatty acids and saturated fats can steadily increase cholesterol levels.

  • [EXPAND What type of cholesterol reduces the risk of atherosclerosis?]

    Good cholesterol or HDL is what helps remove the LDL from the blood vessels. LDL is one of the primary causes of atherosclerosis.