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The Healthy Approach to Lowering Cholesterol

Beth Bradford

Aug 15, 2023

Yes, there are healthy ways to lower your cholesterol! Here are some recommendations from experts.

The Centers for Disease Control says heart disease is the leading cause of death in the country, and you increase your risk by smoking, high blood pressure, and excessive cholesterol. The American Heart Association advises carefully examining your cholesterol results to determine your risk. Your HDL cholesterol aids in the removal of cholesterol from your arteries, whereas your LDL cholesterol is the "bad" cholesterol that you should aim to lower. Your HDL should be at least 60 and your LDL should be less than 100.

According to the Mayo Clinic, if you have certain medical disorders like diabetes, your cholesterol levels may rise to harmful levels. If you consume high-fat meat and dairy products, have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, or smoke, you may also be at risk for high cholesterol. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can both raise dangerous cholesterol levels. Your age and your family history are two uncontrollable factors that may also have an impact on your cholesterol levels.

Your doctor may recommend statins to help you manage your cholesterol, but they come with side effects including muscle pain and stomach issues. A drug that restricts the amount of cholesterol your body can absorb may also be added by your doctor. However, by altering your lifestyle, you can reduce your cholesterol in a comprehensive manner.

Healthy changes to lower your cholesterol

Your diet can cause extra cholesterol in your blood. By consuming less saturated and trans fats and more fruit, vegetables, and healthy grains, you can lower your cholesterol. Reduce your intake of sodium and sugary meals while choosing chicken and fish as your primary protein sources. To maintain healthy cholesterol levels, Harvard Medical School advises consuming additional nuts, soy, and fiber supplements.

You can alter your lifestyle in other ways as well to control your cholesterol. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity five days a week because exercise increases HDL cholesterol. Your chance of developing heart disease will be cut in half if you stop smoking for a year.

Your cholesterol may drop if you use certain supplements. Whey protein may lower your LDL cholesterol, but be sure to read the label for any added sugar. Although some supplements offered in the United States extract policosanol from beeswax, which hasn't been found to influence cholesterol levels, policosanol, which comes from sugar cane, can regulate cholesterol. There are some herbs that can lower cholesterol, including fenugreek, holy basil, and artichoke leaf extract.

Sterols and stanols, which are present in the majority of plants, can reduce the absorption of cholesterol. Food companies add sterols and stanols to foods like yogurt and margarine to make them more nutritious.

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