7 Foods To Lower Cholesterol - Heart Foundation

A lot of people see cholesterol as bad for our health, but not many know that it is essential for our existence. Our bodies naturally produce cholesterol also, but not every cholesterol is good. Since plants do not produce cholesterol, you can only find it in animal products. Cholesterol helps to build the tissues in the body, assist in producing sex hormones, and bile in the liver. Here are changes you can make in your lifestyle that can help improve your cholesterol :

Eat foods that are healthy for your heart

Making some changes in what you eat can have a dramatic effect on your cholesterol. These changes include reducing the intake of foods high in saturated fats. Such foods are red meat, dairy products, etc. This way, you will reduce the bad cholesterol in your body – the low-density lipoprotein. You should also stop eating trans fats, e.g foods rich in partially hydrogenated vegetable oil such as margarine, crackers, cakes, etc. After you have done this, you need to increase foods rich in good cholesterol – high-density lipoproteins such as omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce blood pressure. Examples of such foods are herring, walnuts, flaxseeds, etc. Soluble fiber helps to lessen how your bloodstream absorbs cholesterol; it is found in foods such as Brussels sprouts, apples, pears, etc. You can patronize healthy supplements companies such as Vitacost to get supplements that contain nutrients that are healthy for your heart. Hence, eating foods that are healthy for your heart can go a long way to improving your cholesterol.

Incorporate exercise into your routine

Exercise is not only good for physical fitness, it helps improve the high-density lipoprotein – good cholesterol – in your body. However, ensure your doctor okays your workout before you start it. you can exercise for at least 30 minutes five times weekly. Besides exercise, try to include physical activities in what you do. Instead of taking the bus within a short distance, you can decide to take a brisk walk, play a sport, ride your bike to the hangout with friends, etc. You not only get to improve your cholesterol, but you also lose some weight. If you want to stay encouraged, try having an exercise buddy or joining a group.

Stop smoking

Smoking is one of the bad health habits that hinder your cholesterol from performing well. If you smoke, you should quit if you want your high-density cholesterol to increase. The benefits of quitting smoking happen instantly. For instance, your heart rate and blood pressure go back to their original form after 20 minutes, because the spike caused by smoking has been stopped. After three months, you will find that your blood circulation will improve. As more time passes, your chances of getting heart disease reduce by half.

Try to lose some weight

If you are overweight or obese, there will be a spike in your cholesterol levels. If you have a sugar propensity, you are shooting yourself in the leg over and over. It is not expected that you lose weight in one day, but try doing little things that will add up later. For instance, cut off your sugar propensity and witch to clean water. Snack on veggies, fruits, and other healthy foods, but stay away from calories. If you have a sweet tooth, go for candies with no fat. Additionally, get involved in more activities. Instead of using the lift every time and now, take out some time to work. Do not sit every time, increase your rate of standing.

Cut down on your rate of drinking alcohol

Studies have shown that drinking alcohol moderately can help increase the levels of high-density lipoprotein in your body. However, these claims are not strong so it is not advised you should start drinking alcohol if you have not been doing so. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. It is recommended that alcohol should not be taken more than one drink a day for women and men more than 65 years of age, while younger men can take up to two drinks a day. You mustn’t abuse this liberty because too much alcohol can cause heart failure, strokes, ruin careers and families, etc.

Get medications if need be

If you have incorporated all the above changes into your life and you cannot see any substantial results, you should see your doctor. You will get medications that can help you lower your bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol. However, being on medications does not mean you let go of the changes you have started. If you stick to these changes, you have a higher chance of having a low medication dose.