About 31% of Americans have high LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and only about half of that percentage of people are taking steps to get treatment to lower their cholesterol.
Being aware of what cholesterol is and what levels of cholesterol levels are healthy are key to lower cholesterol naturally and easily.
Briefly, here are the different types of cholesterol that are in our bodies:
Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL)– Commonly referred to as bad cholesterol. It is what causes plaque buildup in the arteries and leads to clots, heart disease, and heart attack.
High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL)– Known as the good cholesterol. It helps remove LDL from the arteries and reduces risk of heart disease.
Triglycerides– Not a cholesterol, but is a form of fat that is harmful to arteries and creates blockage and clots.
In our diets, we want to decrease LDL and triglycerides from our arteries and increase HDL.
Then the question is: How do I lower cholesterol naturally? Is it easy?
Don’t fear, we are here to help you with solutions to lower cholesterol both naturally and easily.
Steps to lower cholesterol are mostly dietary. LDL and HDL are created by the body naturally, but what we eat also affects their levels.
Eating food high in trans fat and saturated fat creates more LDL and more plaque buildup in our blood vessels. Not a good thing.
Almost half of all Americans eat out at fast food restaurants once a week. Fast foods like pizza, hamburgers, french fries, and chicken nuggets have high levels of unsaturated fats and bad cholesterol that clog our arteries.
Eating out, even when at a non-fast food restaurant, needs to be done carefully and thoughtfully. Pick restaurants that use fresh ingredients and don’t deep fry everything. Look at menus before you go and read reviews to see if it’s a healthy option.
Picking a healthy restaurant will make it easier for you to pick a well-rounded, low cholesterol option that will keep you full but not damage your heart.
When it comes to snacking, try to pick foods like avocados, oats, and nuts that are low in saturated fat and lower LDL cholesterol naturally.
Instant oatmeal and a handful of almonds are quick choices that can replace snacks like chips or cookies, and are more filling as well.
Oatmeal especially lowers cholesterol naturally because as a soluble fiber that absorbs bad cholesterol and allows the body to excrete it rather than absorb and retain it.
Insufficient physical activity and obesity also contribute to higher levels of LDL and triglycerides.
Exercise will lower LDL and triglycerides and balance cholesterol levels. Studies show that 30 minutes of exercise a day, whether it be walking, swimming, or hiking, will lower your cholesterol levels as well as blood pressure.
Losing any excess weight will get you healthier in nearly every aspect. Energy will increase, risk of diabetes will decrease, endorphin levels will increase and help you feel happier, and your HDL (good cholesterol) levels will rise.
You do not need a gym or a trainer to exercise. Simply go outside and walk or run. The outdoors are free to everyone and nature is beautiful! Enjoy the scenery while you exercise.
Find a partner to join you to push each other harder. Studies show that people who work out with partners tend to work harder and feel a greater desire to continue to exercise.
Together you can learn a new sport like tennis or just catch up and talk about your favorite show that was on last night. Make it fun!