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18 LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO REDUCE YOUR CHOLESTEROL AND LOWER THE RISK OF HEART ATTACK

Most Effective Home Remedies for Cholesterol

Cholesterol
HEALTHY and FITNESS

High cholesterol is one of the primary reasons for heart disease. While looking for risk factors your doctor advises testing for Total Cholesterol, Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL), and High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL)cholesterol levels. High levels of total and LDL cholesterol increase your risk of heart diseases while high levels of HDL cholesterol are a protective factor. 

Your daily diet plays an important role in attaining and maintaining your health goals. High cholesterol can be prevented and effectively controlled by a combination of a good diet, regular exercise, ideal body weight, and an overall healthy lifestyle. In addition to this, some commonly used kitchen ingredients can help in controlling high cholesterol levels.

Under the new guidelines issued by the American Medical Association, roughly 1/3 of all adults should consider taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs to control their cholesterol levels. Many healthcare practitioners feel that statin medications are overused in The United States. Statins may cause serious side effects, which I'll get to in a bit. Also, 50% of people who die suddenly from heart attacks do not have high cholesterol. In this post, we'll discuss 15 home remedies to naturally reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of heart attack, the role of cholesterol in the body, and the side effects of statin medication.

LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO REDUCE YOUR CHOLESTEROL

Lifestyle changes can help to reduce cholesterol and keep you off cholesterol-lowering medications. It can also enhance the effectiveness of your medications and improve your quality of life. It is better to take preventive methods to curb cholesterol buildup and lifestyle changes are perhaps the best way to prevent cardiovascular disease caused due to LDL cholesterol buildup.


1. Enjoy Some Garlic:
GARLIC

Garlic is the primary natural remedy for elevated cholesterol. Garlic is made up of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and organosulfur compounds such as allicin, ajoene, s-allylcysteine, s-ethylcysteine, and diallylsulfide. These sulfur compounds are said to be the active ingredients that lend therapeutic properties to garlic. A study published in January 2012 analyzed 26 clinical trials and found that garlic was more effective than a placebo in reducing cholesterol levels, specifically total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The evidence of its effect on HDL or good cholesterol is mixed, while one study reported an increase in the HDL levels another showed no effect. It was also found to have a positive effect on the blood pressure and the antioxidant potential of blood. Consuming 1/2 to 1 garlic clove daily could reduce your cholesterol level by up to 9%.

2. Drink Orange Juice for More Vitamin C:

vitamin C
As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps to reduce inflammation. A 2008 study showed a significant decrease in serum LDL cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations with the supplementation of at least 500mg/d of vitamin C. Drinking two glasses of orange juice daily in the morning is one of the best home remedies to lower bad cholesterol as it maintains a healthy bloodstream in the body. Drink naturally prepared fresh orange juice instead of packaged ones. Some other good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes, amla, kiwi, papaya, strawberries, pineapple, cantaloupe, sweet bell peppers – green or red, cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and kale.

3. Increase Your Magnesium Levels:

In The Magnesium Miracle, Dr. Carolyn Dean explains how magnesium acts as a natural statin, limiting cholesterol production so that it covers necessary functions but is not produced in excess. Foods that are high in magnesium include kelp, wheat bran, wheat germ, almonds, cashews, molasses, brewer's yeast, buckwheat, brazil nuts, dulse, filberts, peanuts, wheat grain, millet, pecans, English walnuts, rye, tofu, and dark chocolate. It may be difficult for people to get enough magnesium through diet, so taking a magnesium supplement can also be helpful, but consult your doctor before.

4. Add Some Vitamin K2 to Your Diet:

In the book Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox, the author explains how vitamin K2 packs a one-two punch when it comes to heart disease. While K2 can lower serum cholesterol, more importantly, K2 reduces atherosclerosis, i.e. plaque accumulation in the arteries. This plaque is the deposits of calcium, fatty substances, and scar tissue that together cause “hardening of the arteries”. With plaque build-up, the arteries either clog up and reduce or stop blood flow entirely, or get fragile and have a blowout. Vitamin K2 is not the same as vitamin K1, which is abundant in leafy greens and great for bone building.

Vitamin K2 works in concert with calcium and vitamin D, making sure the calcium gets where it's needed – in your bones, not your muscles and arteries. In addition, vitamin K2 can remove calcium buildup in the arteries after it has formed and helped restore arterial flexibility. The best source of vitamin K2 is natto, a fermented soybean concoction with a stringy, slimy texture. Other sources of vitamin K2 include goose liver pate, hard cheeses (such as gouda), soft cheeses (such as Brie), egg yolk, butter, and chicken liver. Most people in the US are low in vitamin K2, although regular cheese eaters tend to far better than the general population.

5. Psyllium husk:

In 1998, the US FDA approved a health claim on Psyllium –“3 to 12 grams of soluble fiber from psyllium seed husk when included as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease". Psyllium husk comes from the crushed seeds of the Plantago Ovata plant and is a rich source of soluble fiber. There are innumerable studies to substantiate the benefits of soluble fiber in lowering LDL cholesterol. Adding 1-2 teaspoons of psyllium husk to our daily meals contributes to the fulfillment of soluble fiber needed for keeping our cholesterol under check. 


Lose Weight
This is the first step to tackle excess cholesterol buildup in the body. Losing even 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can help to reduce cholesterol radically. You should check your dietary patterns and everyday routine to find out your difficulties in weight reduction and ways to overcome them. Even small steps can go a long way to reduce excess weight. For instance, take a walk every day when you feel bored, take time to enjoy your food just don’t devour it, munch on carrot sticks or salads instead of potato chips while sitting in front of the television, and never eat mindlessly. Try to incorporate physical activity into your routine. Use the stairs instead of the elevator.



Quit Smoking
If you want a drastic change in your lifestyle, then you have to quit smoking. There are several reasons why you should stop smoking, to begin with quitting smoking will improve your HDL cholesterol level. Also, there is a decrease in your blood pressure and the risk of a heart attack.


8. Oatmeal is the Best for Breakfast:

You will see many oat manufacturers publicizing commercials about the greatness of oatmeal and indeed, this grain has immense benefits. Researchers have proved that this grain is enriched with the soluble fiber, beta-glucan, and reduces your LDL by 12 to 24 percent if you eat an oatmeal breakfast (using one cup of oats every morning). Spice up your oatmeal with raisins and almonds, so that you do not find it boring and unappetizing! One of the best home remedies to reduce cholesterol!

9. Supplement with Fish Oil for Omega 3 Fatty Acids:

Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil is a nutritional powerhouse that reduces inflammation and clotting, lowers triglycerides, and increases HDL cholesterol. Fishes like salmon, Mackerel, and Herring are rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Also include walnuts, almonds, and flaxseeds in your diet. If you are taking it as a supplement, make sure to choose a quality brand that has been tested for mercury and other contaminants.

10. Eliminate Trans Fats:

Trans Fats can be found in fried foods and many commercial baked products like cookies and crackers. Don’t depend on packages that are labeled ‘trans-fat free’, since foods containing less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving can also be labeled as ‘trans-fat free’. It is best to read the list of ingredients and find out if it has trans fats. For example, if the food contains hydrogenated oil then you will know it has trans fats.

11. Limit the Cholesterol in Your Food:

You should try to have 300 mg of cholesterol every day. If you have heart diseases and diabetes reduces it to 200 mg. The most concentrated source of cholesterol includes organ meats, egg yolks, and whole milk products. To avoid these and use lean meat, skim milk, and egg substitutes.

12. Eat Fruits and Vegetables:

It is important to eat foods with high amounts of dietary fiber, so fruits and vegetables should be included. The fiber is found in the skin, pith, and pips of fruits and vegetables. It is better to have whole fruits than just drinking juices. If you prefer dried fruits more than fresh fruits, make sure you just have an ounce or two of dried fruits. Experiment with different types of veggies and fruits and none of your meals will be boring.

13. Get a Little Nutty:

Walnuts, like fish oil, are also high in omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts are also high in magnesium. In an unrelated note, getting a little silly to reduce stress is also very good for reducing inflammation and improving overall health.

14. Make Sure Your Thyroid is Functioning Normally:

Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) often correlates with high cholesterol levels. Talk to your healthcare provider about checking your thyroid. Improving thyroid function may help to naturally reduce cholesterol levels. Some yoga poses can improve your thyroid function. Include yoga in your daily exercise schedule. (READ: How Yoga Can Cure Thyroid.)

15. Exercise Daily:

Running
Nothing can be dangerous than a sedentary lifestyle! If a person is overweight it doesn’t mean he has cholesterol; people who have normal weight can have excess cholesterol too! So exercise is meant for everyone. Since exercise can increase the amount of high-density lipoprotein or HDL, which is considered to be ‘good’ cholesterol. Workout for at least 30 minutes a day, even if you exercise in 10-minute intervals each day, you can still lose weight. You can take a brisk walk, ride your bike to work, practice yoga, take swimming laps, and play a favorite sport. You can join an exercise group to stay motivated.


16. Limit on Your Alcohol Intake:

Drinking too much alcohol can lead to high blood pressure, liver problems, stroke, and heart failure. Healthy adults above 65 years of age should not drink more than one glass of alcohol. Men aged 65 and below can drink two glasses of alcohol. Those who don’t drink alcohol at all have high levels of HDL cholesterol than those who drink alcohol every day. The heart is the most important organ of the body since it pumps fresh oxygenated blood to other parts of the body. Maintaining heart health is imperative, so for that, you have to cut on the ‘bad cholesterol'.

17. Reducing LDL with Cinnamon:

A study conducted in Pakistan has revealed that the intake of 6 grams of cinnamon in one’s everyday diet reduces cholesterol in people suffering from type 2 diabetes, nearly by 32 percent. Do we need to tell you how to incorporate cinnamon into your daily diet? You can add this versatile spice in your curries, desserts or even rice preparations! This is the best home remedy for reducing cholesterol levels.

18. Drink Some Green Tea:

In a 2007 study, volunteers consumed the equivalent of 6 to 7 cups of green tea daily and experienced a significant change in plasma LDL concentration. The most consumed liquid after water; green tea is a rich source of polyphenols. Green tea has the highest concentration of polyphenols associated with not only lowering LDL Cholesterol but also increasing HDL Cholesterol. A population-based study showed that men who drank green tea had lower cholesterol levels as compared to those who didn’t. Studies have indicated that the polyphenols of tea may block cholesterol absorption in the intestines and also help get rid of it. 2-3 cups of green tea are all you need. Catechin is another major constituent of green tea, has been shown to reduce oxidized (damaged) low-density lipoprotein.

For any other types of suggestions and questions on this topic, you can connect with us through the comment box below. 

Note: Please check with your doctor if you are on any prescription medications. Some foods and supplements may interfere with certain medications. This post is for general information only.

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