When people hear the word cholesterol, they immediately think of something bad. However, this fatty substance is something your body needs. Your HDL, or good cholesterol, helps to keep your heart disease risk low. Good HDL levels keep your blood vessel walls in good shape. However, LDL, or bad cholesterol, can cause big problems. When your LDL is too high, you can have a heart attack, stroke, or blood clots.
Doctors often prescribe medications known as statins to reduce your LDL levels. However, there are many things you can do from home that will help you reduce your cholesterol levels. Here are 10 ways to consider.
1. Get Rid of Trans Fat
Trans fatty-acids are not good for your bodies. Not only do they contribute to heart disease by increasing your LDL, but they also cause issues such as Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, and liver problems.
To avoid trans-fatty acids, you will need to avoid the foods that contain them. These include things like factory baked goods, donuts, and margarine. To make sure you aren’t getting a food with trans fat, check the labels. Instead of margarine, find a butter substitute made with plant sterols and stanols. Doing so will help you cut your LDL levels by 15%.
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2. Indian Gooseberry
Eating Indian gooseberry is a way to reduce your bad cholesterol without reducing your good cholesterol. Doing so will keep your cholesterol levels lower and keep your arteries from hardening. The easiest way to eat Indian gooseberry is in powdered form. Just mix 1 tsp in a glass of warm water. Just one glass a day will improve your cholesterol levels. You can also eat fresh Indian gooseberries, but they are bitter, and most people do not care for the bitter flavor.
3. Eat Oatmeal
Oatmeal is full of soluble fiber. Food with soluble fiber reduces your body’s ability to absorb fat. Research has shown that eating just one cup of oatmeal a day can lower your bad cholesterol by 24%. As an added benefit, oatmeal also stabilizes blood sugar levels and improves the immune system.
4. Drink Orange Juice
If you love the taste of orange juice in the morning, then you’ll love this next home remedy. In addition to helping your digestion and warding off cancer, orange juice helps to increase your good cholesterol and lower your bad. In fact, studies show that people who drink 3 glasses a day have 20% higher HDL and 16% lower LDL.
Getting active, whether it is swimming laps, doing yoga, taking a Zumba class, or walking through the neighborhood will help you increase your good cholesterol. Plus, exercise lowers your blood pressure and increases the strength of your heart muscle. Both keep your blood vessels in great shape. Finally, exercising will help you lose weight, which will help you lower your bad cholesterol levels.
6. Drink Coriander Seed Tea
Studies have shown that coriander seeds can cut your cholesterol levels. To make the tea, add 2 tsp of powdered seed to one cup of boiling water. Stir and then strain to remove any undissolved powder. Add milk or honey to make it more palatable. As an added benefit, coriander seed tea helps keep your blood sugar stabilized.
7. Increase Your Omega-3 Fatty Acids
When you hear the word “fat,” you might assume that you should avoid it. However, when it comes to Omega-3 fatty acids, you should say yes! Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fish such as tuna and salmon. Eating Omega-3’s will help reduce your bad cholesterol. For those that don’t like fish, consider taking 1,000 mg fish oil supplements twice a day. For vegetarians, consider adding ground flaxseeds to your cereal or smoothie. Two tablespoons of flaxseed a day can lower your cholesterol by 18%.
8. Stop Frying Your Foods
If you stop frying your foods, you’ll stop eating so much fat. This will bring your LDL levels down. Instead, broil or steam your meats and vegetables. Additionally, look carefully at the meat you buy. Always buy ‘select’ cuts rather than ‘prime’ or ‘choice’ cuts.
9. Try Red Yeast Rice
Very popular in China, red yeast rice is a fermented product that stops cholesterol from synthesizing. Monascus purpureus is the fermenting agent that does the trick. By taking a 2400 mg supplement of red yeast rice a day, you can drop your LDL by 26% in just two months. You can find red yeast rice in pharmacies and health food stores.
CAUTION: Do not take if you are taking a statin drug, certain antidepressants, or antifungal medications. Check with your doctor if you are on any of these medications.
10. Eat More Nuts
Eating nuts is a great way to lower your cholesterol levels. This is particularly true of walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds. These nuts contain both fiber and plant sterols. Walnuts also contain omega-3 fatty acids, making them a perfect choice for lowering cholesterol.