Your weight, age, diet, gender and genetics can all play a role in having high cholesterol levels.
High cholesterol levels can be affected by the amount of alcohol you consume, your diet, your level of physical activity, heredity, weight, gender and age. Changes in diet can greatly help decrease your unhealthy LDL (low density lipoprotein – your bad cholesterol) cholesterol levels and keep those heart healthy HDL levels nice and high.
High cholesterol levels are a common health concern, and they can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. While medication can help reduce cholesterol levels, lifestyle changes can also make a significant difference. Below are a few tips on how to lower cholesterol levels naturally through diet, exercise and supplementation.
1)Eat a heart-healthy diet: A heart-healthy diet is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, while limiting saturated and trans fats, and cholesterol. Focus on incorporating foods that are high in fiber, such as oatmeal, beans, and nuts, and aim to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Consider swapping out red meat for fish, poultry, or plant-based protein sources.
Fruits and Vegetables:
- Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are all high in fiber and antioxidants, which can help lower cholesterol levels.
- Citrus Fruits: Oranges, grapefruit, and lemons are all high in soluble fiber and vitamin C, which can help lower LDL cholesterol levels.
- Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, and collard greens are high in fiber, antioxidants, and other beneficial nutrients that can help lower cholesterol levels.
- Avocado: Avocado is high in monounsaturated fats, which can help lower LDL cholesterol levels.
- Nuts: Walnuts, almonds, and pistachios are all high in healthy fats and fiber, which can help lower cholesterol levels.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, which can help lower LDL cholesterol levels.
Beans and Legumes:
- Lentils: Lentils are high in fiber and protein, which can help lower cholesterol levels.
- Chickpeas: Chickpeas are high in fiber and protein, which can help lower LDL cholesterol levels.
- Black Beans: Black beans are high in fiber, protein, and antioxidants, which can help lower cholesterol levels.
2) Increase physical activity: Regular physical activity can help lower cholesterol levels, and it also has numerous other health benefits. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise each week. Consider incorporating activities you enjoy, such as walking, swimming, or dancing.
3) Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can raise cholesterol levels, so maintaining a healthy weight is essential. Incorporating a healthy diet and regular exercise can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
4) Quit smoking: Smoking can raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. Quitting smoking can help lower cholesterol levels and improve overall health.
5) Limit alcohol consumption: Drinking too much alcohol can raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. Limit alcohol consumption to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
6) Incorporate cholesterol-lowering foods: Some foods are specifically known to help lower cholesterol levels. Consider incorporating foods like oats, barley, legumes, nuts, and fatty fish into your diet.
7) Consider natural supplements: Some natural supplements, such as plant sterols, psyllium, and garlic, and Citrus Bergamot Extract may help lower cholesterol levels. However, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before taking any supplements.
There are a number of different foods available to better your overall heart health and increase vitality; the key is implementing change and consistency. Including the above heart-healthy foods, limiting alcohol consumption, maintain a healthy body weight, and boosting your level of physical activity will all aid in lowering cholesterol levels.