High LDL levels can cause plaque to accumulation in arteries, which can lead to cardiovascular diseases, like cardiac arrest and stroke. LDL levels can be lowered naturally by making some lifestyle changes and opting for a healthier, cholesterol reducing diet.
6 Ways to Lower LDL Cholesterol Naturally
There are many ways to lower your LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol, here are some practical lifestyle changes you can make to improve your numbers, naturally.
Increase Soluble Fiber Intake
Soluble fibers stimulate the absorption of cholesterol by binding cholesterol to bile acids, which is then excreted. The body soon ends up with a low bile acid count, so the liver starts to utilize LDL for producing more bile acid, thereby reducing the level of LDL present in the blood which in turn helps prevent the accumulation of plaque in arteries.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, LDL levels can be reduced by 5% just by increasing 5-10 grams of soluble fibers in your diet. Best soluble fiber sources include apples, barley, prunes, citrus fruits, bran, and oatmeal.
Lower Your Fat Consumption
Limit your fat consumption to 25-35% of your total daily calorie consumption, as per the guidelines provided by the American Heart Association. From among this, the ratio of trans fat should be less than 1% and the ratio of saturated fats should be less than 7%, to lower LDL levels.
Consume Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA):
ALA is a short-chain omega-3 fatty acid found in plant foods like tofu, flax seeds, and walnuts.
Seeds, dark leafy greens, and nuts are a great sources of Omega-3; which are very effective in bringing your LDL level and triglyceride level down. Chia seeds, flax seeds, and walnuts in particular are high in Omega 3. Additionally, Omega 3 plays a vital role in protecting your heart.
Lose Weight (If your overweight or obese)
Obesity is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular diseases. Overweight people are at a significant risk of developing a heart disease than people with normal weight. Losing weight can dramatically bring down your cholesterol level, by reducing your LDL level. Devise a suitable weight loss program for yourself with the help of your doctor.
Exercising regularly can significantly improve your health and happiness. An adult on average needs a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise daily. Start off your exercise routine with 10 minutes, to give your body time to adjust to the increased physical activity, and then gradually increase the time duration.
Joining a gym or workout class isn’t necessary. Jogging, aerobics and even a walk done at a brisk pace can bring up your HDL level, while simultaneously lowering your LDL level. It is wise to consult a doctor or physician before you start exercising and mutually come up with an exercise plan that is the most effective.
Increase Your Intake of Natural Herbs
Garlic is effective in the treatment of atherosclerosis as it increases the body’s ability to resist LDL oxidation, thereby controlling the accumulation of plaque on the walls of arteries.
According to a study done on animals, there is a reason to believe that ginger can be closely associated with lowered cholesterol levels. As ginger can be quite strong, it can also be consumed in the form of supplement capsules.
Turmeric is a common ingredient in Indian cuisine, and with good reason. Its medicinal properties made it popular in Ayurvedic medicine as a cure for jaundice. Curcumin, a chemical abundantly contained in turmeric is responsible for dissolving blood clots and lowering cholesterol.
- Green tea
Green tea plays a major role in improving overall body health. When it comes to cholesterol, catechins contained in green tea help control the amount of cholesterol and fats that are absorbed by the body, thereby bringing down LDL levels.
In conclusion, your health is ultimately in your hands, exercise and healthy eating is the key to lowering cholesterol levels and improving your overall health.