Bad cholesterol is one of the factors that may increase your chances of developing cardiovascular disease. How to lower cholesterol naturally? How can you reduce harmful cholesterol?
We hear a lot about cardiovascular diseases, the main cause of which is the increase in cholesterol in the blood. But did you know that there are two versions of cholesterol; Good and bad, this rating is based on the lipoprotein or the cholesterol-carrying protein throughout the body.
Why is cholesterol so dangerous to health?
Initially, cholesterol forms in the liver help the elasticity of cells and enter the synthesis of some hormones, but when its quantity increases or is in the wrong place, the damage is done.
Cholesterol is transmitted in the body by lipoproteins as mentioned, and there are two types:
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
It is known as harmful cholesterol, and it makes up most of the cholesterol in the body. High levels of this protein cause cholesterol to stick to the walls of blood vessels, and this accumulation is called plaque. While blood vessels build plaque over time, they become narrow.
This narrowing prevents blood flow to and from the heart and other organs. When blood flow to the heart is blocked, it can cause a heart attack or stroke.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL)
It is known as good cholesterol, absorbs bad cholesterol, prevents its deposition on the walls of blood vessels, and returns it to the liver that removes it from the body. The higher the levels of good cholesterol, the lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
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Natural cholesterol readings
A simple blood test can measure your cholesterol levels. The recommended harmful cholesterol levels are as follows:
Less than – 200 mg / dL in general.
In people, without heart disease risk factors it should be less than 160 mg / dL.
In people who have risk factors (including obesity, smoking, lack of exercise, and heart disease in other family members) it should be less than – 130 mg / dL.
In people at risk of heart disease or diabetes, values of less than 100 mg/dl should be maintained and strive to reduce them to 70 mg/dl or less
How to lower cholesterol naturally
After these risks that we have outlined, we invite you to read the report to learn how to reduce harmful LDL cholesterol and raise good HDL cholesterol in the body in simple steps in order to enjoy good health.
Avoid eating trans-fats
They are known as trans fats or trans fats, most of which are made via the hydrogenation of vegetable oils.
Trans fats are not completely saturated but are solid at room temperatures. This is why food companies use them in many products such as pastries and crackers.
Unfortunately, partially hydrogenated trans fats in the body are treated differently from other fats, not in a good way. Unsaturated fats increase total harmful cholesterol but reduce the beneficial cholesterol by up to 20%. (1)
Fast food is one of the most important sources of this fat, and it is found in cakes, biscuits, bread, french fries, frozen pizza dough, and margarine.
Trans fats increase bad cholesterol while lowering healthy cholesterol.
Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids do not affect harmful cholesterol. But it has other heart health benefits, including lowering blood pressure. Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, mackerel, herring, nuts, and flaxseed. (2)
Exercising at least two and a half hours a week is enough to raise a good HDL cholesterol level and improve your LDL cholesterol level. (3)
If you are not used to exercising, start slowly and do an exercise you like. Just 10 minutes a day may make you feel the difference, and help you to continue and increase the period of exercise later.
Any type of exercise can improve the level of cholesterol and promote heart health, and the longer the exercise, the greater the benefit.
Increasing a few kilograms in weight may contribute to a high level of harmful cholesterol, and therefore losing those few kilograms may help improve the level of cholesterol. (4)
Avoid eating fast foods and fat-rich materials that contribute to rapid weight gain, to gain an ideal weight and a low level of harmful cholesterol, given that the less weight, the less cholesterol that the liver will make.
Eat water-soluble fiber
Foods such as oats, apples, peaches, and beans are rich in water-soluble fiber, thus preventing the body from absorbing cholesterol. Research shows that people who eat 5 to 10 grams of extra fiber each day have experienced a decrease in their LDL cholesterol levels.
Beneficial bacteria that live in the intestine can digest soluble fiber. These good probiotic bacteria reduce harmful fatty proteins like LDL known as harmful cholesterol.
Also, eating more fiber makes you feel full, so you will not crave snacks. But beware, too many fibers at one time can cause abdominal cramps or bloat.
Include fish in your diet
Try to eat fish twice a week, as it contains omega-3 fatty acids that increase heart health. Replacing red meat with fish also reduces cholesterol in the blood by reducing the intake of saturated fats, which are available in large amounts of red meat. (5)
Polyunsaturated fats such as omega-3s have multiple bonds that make them behave differently in the body than saturated fats. Research indicates that multiple polyunsaturated fats reduce harmful cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Choose salmon, sardines, tuna, herring, and mackerel, as they are rich in fatty acids and omega-3.
Use olive oil to reduce bad cholesterol
Using olive oil as a substitute for butter and other oils may reduce harmful cholesterol by 15%. Good monounsaturated fats found in olive oil, canola, avocado, and nuts benefit the heart. (6)
But be sure to choose virgin olive oil, as it is less processed and contains more antioxidants, which helps prevent diseases.
Did you know monounsaturated fats reduce the oxidation of lipoproteins that contribute to clogged arteries? A study of 26 people found that replacing multiple polyunsaturated fats with monounsaturated fats in the diet reduced the oxidation of fats and cholesterol.
Eat healthy fats
There are healthy fats to focus on in your daily diet, and here are our recommendations in this regard:
First, reduce saturated fats
Usually, saturated fats are in the solid-state at room temperature and in the refrigerator. Their source is animal food, such as fatty beef, chicken with skin, fatty cheese, and palm oil.
Reducing the amount of saturated fat is a very effective way to reduce bad cholesterol.
Second: Eat unsaturated fats
Unsaturated fats are usually in the liquid state at room temperature, and their sources are:
Vegetable oil, nuts, olives, and avocado.
Wheat cereals, soybeans, and corn seeds contain monounsaturated fats.
Some fish contain monounsaturated fats, such as salmon, mackerel, white tuna, halibut, and sardines.
These foods contain good unsaturated fats and prevent the deposition of bad cholesterol in the walls of blood vessels, but they must be eaten in moderation, they are rich in calories, and excessive intake may cause obesity.
The American Food and Drug Authority (FDA) recommends that you should take two tablespoons of olive oil per day as a substitute for other fats in the diet.
Add nuts to your diet
Most types of nuts can lower LDL cholesterol. The reason for this is that it contains citral, which prevents the body from absorbing cholesterol.
Smoking can raise the level of harmful cholesterol, and reduce the good cholesterol in the body, which affects the health of the heart and blood vessels, so quitting smoking helps to improve ratios. Also, be sure, passive smoking daily also raises bad cholesterol levels.
Home remedies to reduce harmful cholesterol
This fruit has many anti-fat properties, which protect arteries from stiffness and blockage; Where you can put a teaspoon of ground Indian gooseberry in a cup of hot water, and drink the juice on an empty stomach daily.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a natural substance that reduces harmful cholesterol effectively, in addition to preventing high blood pressure and protecting the body from many diseases. Where you can mix a tablespoon of it with a glass of water, and drink the mixture three times a day for a period of not less than a month.
Red onions are among the vegetables that prevent high levels of bad cholesterol in the blood, thus increasing the level of good cholesterol; Where you can mix equal amounts of onion juice and honey, and eat the mixture once a day.
Coriander seeds have properties that reduce bad cholesterol in the blood, as well as regulate the level of sugar; It is advisable to put a tablespoon of ground coriander seeds in a cup of water, put the mixture on the heat until it boils, and eat it twice a day.
10 Important Tips
1. Avoid eating large amounts of meat, and consider removing fat and removing skin from it.
2. Eat skim dairy products, and avoid eating cream.
3. Cook different foods with vegetable oil, and prevent the use of butter and obesity.
4. Eat snacks that are not high in fat, especially vegetables, and fresh and dried fruits.
5. Avoid using coconut oil and palm oil; Because they contain a large amount of saturated fat.
6. Not eating more than four eggs a week.
7. Avoid eating liver, brain, and kidneys of lamb; As this meat contains a high percentage of cholesterol.
8. Eat foods that contain a large amount of fiber, and carbohydrates, such as legumes.
9. Eat water-soluble fiber, especially oats.
10. Eat large amounts of fish; It contains a high percentage of fatty acids – omega-3 – that work to reduce the amount of harmful cholesterol in the blood, and thus prevent heart disease, and atherosclerosis.