How to Reduce Cholesterol Naturally

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol occurs naturally in the body. It is produced by the liver and it is essential for various body functions. Cholesterol is an integral part of the cell membrane, which surrounds the cell. Cholesterol and its derivatives aid in digestion, production of various hormones in the body, are needed for membrane integrity and provide immunity from certain diseases. The food we eat also contains certain amounts of cholesterol. Cholesterol needs proteins to transport it through the body, and when they combine together, they are called lipoproteins. It is a myth that cholesterol is bad. The pharmaceutical industry stands to benefit greatly from such poorly informed opinions. They make billions of dollars on cholesterol lowering drugs or statins each year. There are many ways to reduce cholesterol naturally.

Source

Lower cholesterol naturally

Fats are essential for the body and it would be inadvisable to stop the intake of fats. There are various foods that could give us the kind of cholesterol that we need, the good cholesterol. It is best to reduce the low density lipoproteins and increase the consumption of High density lipoproteins. If there is more than the required amount of cholesterol in your body, it circulates in your blood. Eventually, it enters your blood vessels and start to build up on the walls. This is what is known as plaque. This plaque reduces the diameter of blood vessels and is a major predisposing factor to coronary artery diseases.

High density lipoproteins help prevent plaques in arteries. HDL cholesterol helps to transport the cholesterol found in the arteries to the liver to be broken down. Increasing the intake of HDL cholesterol reduces the risk of heart disease.

How to Lower Cholesterol Naturally

To reduce cholesterol naturally, a two pronged plan of action is needed - regular exercise and a healthy diet. A sedentary lifestyle only causes more fat to be accumulated in your system, so it is essential to ensure that you lead an active life.

Research shows that certain foods are as effective as statins (cholesterol lowering pills) in lowering blood cholesterol levels. Raw vegetables and fruits are high in fiber and acts as brushes to clean up the intestines and reduce the cholesterol levels.

Turmeric -sofspics
Turmeric -sofspics

Foods that help lower cholesterol

Oats has been recognised as a heart protective food by the FDA,which has allowed it to be labelled as such. Oatmeal and oat bran are excellent sources of fiber. They contain both soluble and insoluble fibers. The soluble fiber acts as a gel and traps the cholesterol-saturated bile acids, thus reducing the absorption of cholesterol in the body and forcing more cholesterol to be used for the synthesis of bile acids.

Turmeric root belongs to the ginger family. Turmeric powder (ground) is an essential part of the every Indian cuisine. It is an equally important ingredient in Asian cooking. Turmeric prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and reduces the cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Studies have shown these results consistently, but there are not enough studies to prove it benefits conclusively.

Spinach has many phyto-nutrients in it. This green vegetable is high in soluble fiber and consequently acts as a sponge to absorb cholesterol. The magnesium present in spinach helps reduce blood pressure and therefore it is a great heart protection food.

Foods to Reduce Cholesterol

Garlic: The ability of garlic to reduce cholesterol is well known. Onions too have similar properties. Studies have shown that garlic helps in reducing the accumulation of plaque on the vascular walls. Garlic has also been known as a great blood thinner apart from its anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. The zero fat content in onions and garlic is another reason why they need to be included in your diet regularly.

Cinnamon, this great smelling, warmth producing spice is awesome in food, but is also good for your body, A study conducted in 2003 showed that half a teaspoon of cinnamon in your food everyday could reduce your total cholesterol by 12- 26%. While the LDL cholesterol was considerably reduced, the study showed that the HDL cholesterol was unaffected. It has been proven that cinnamon is effective in reducing blood sugar levels. Cinnamon also inhibits the release of an inflammatory fatty acid called arachidonic acid from platelet membranes. This makes cinnamon an effective anti-inflammatory. Cinnamon with apples could be an effective combination to reduce cholesterol. The pectin in the apples mops up the cholesterol from the intestines before it get absorbed in the blood stream.

Whole grains, legumes and beans are excellent sources of fiber and thereby help reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. Whole grains, particularly the bran, germ, and endosperm, contain fiber, B complex vitamins, minerals, some protein and many phytonutrients. Studies have shown that people who consumed six or more servings of whole grain a week had reduced buildup of plaque in their arteries than others who ate less.

Fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, trout etc., are excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids. They help reduce the triglyceride levels in your blood. Omega 3 fatty acids are said to slow the buildup of plaque , they are also anti inflammatory in nature. One important point to remember is how you cook your fish. Baking, grilling, broiling or steaming are the best ways to cook your fish. Fish fried in oil loses most of its goodness.

Almonds and walnuts and other nuts like hazelnuts,pine nuts, pecans, peanuts, pistachio etc., are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids or HDL fats, which keep blood vessels healthy. A study suggests that they may actually help in reducing metabolic disorders too. These nuts should be eaten unsalted and not coated with sugar. Excessive consumption of nuts is also not advised as they are high in fats. They should be used to replace cheese or meat.

Green tea. Studies shows that the polyphenols in green tea may block cholesterol from being absorbed in the intestine. It has also been found to raise HDL cholesterol and reduce LDL cholesterol in both animals and people.

Psyllium husk which is mostly fiber, has a high beta-sitosterol (a plant sterol) content and is considered as a heart-protective food. Studies have shown that adding 12 g of psyllium to your diet, LDL cholesterol is reduced by 12-25%.

Fruits and vegetables of all kinds, especially prunes, figs, avocados, nuts, etc. contain phytosterols which have cholesterol lowering properties.

Another change that you could make is to switch to oils like extra virgin olive oil, rice bran oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, corn and canola oil which are more healthy and help reduce LDL cholesterol.

A word of caution. None of these foods by themselves can be used as treatment for lowering cholesterol. A diet that has many of these foods with a good exercise routine may be necessary to help reduce your blood cholesterol levels. It is advisable to quit smoking to help your condition further. A change in lifestyle, along with regular monitoring by a physician is advisable, if you have very high levels of cholesterol.

More by this Author


Comments 42 comments

My Nurse Says profile image

My Nurse Says 4 years ago from Philippines

Proven right that a proper diet, with much fiber in it, helps decrease high cholesterol levels. But it's not only about eating fiber-rich foods, it's also about lessening high-fat food intake. Great Hub, very useful! Hope to read more from your end.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

Brilliant sofs my partner's cholesterol level is the border so I'll give him this one to reard tonight. Thanks for sharing ;take care and enjoy your day.

Eddy.


Abhaque Supanjang profile image

Abhaque Supanjang 4 years ago from Kumango - Batusangkar - Sumatera Barat - Indonesia

Interesting..! But, there must be such a diet to consume the foods (things) that you have mentioned; how much oats we should have everyday, how much garlic we have to have, how much spinach we get to eat, and so on. Can you tell them by adding the information to this hub ?


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Great informative hub. Eating coconut oil daily along with eating properly will reduce cholesterol as well.


algarveview profile image

algarveview 4 years ago from Algarve, Portugal

Hello, Sofs, great information and very interesting. You are completely right, everyone takes pills for everything these days, but the fact is that everything we need comes from nature, we just need to balance everything we eat and do some exercise. Thanks for SHARING and voted up and useful. All the best!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

I think if we can reduce our cholesterol naturally that is always preferable to medication. Voted up and useful.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

Interesting and easy to read--voted up. Thanks much for putting this important information together for us. I'm linking it to mine on reducing cholesterol, if you have no objection.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

Great informative hub..


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

I don't know what happened, I guess i hit post to soon. I wanted to add that i have Celiac disease and must avoid all gluten from my diet. My cholesterol is normal. I miss wheat bread, but i buy bread made from rice, it's not as good but no too bad. Thank you for sharing...


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 4 years ago from London, UK

Thanks for a very useful Hub and for showing ways we can reduce our blood cholesterol levels. Best Wishes.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

I eat oatmeal and almonds regularly as a way of keeping my cholesterol down. It does seem to be working, so far so good. I also keep a good natural diet plan in general and exercise, also a good choice. Thanks for the information and the great advice. Voted up!


thebluestar profile image

thebluestar 4 years ago from Northern Ireland

Brilliant and useful hub sofs. I am following the Slimming World diet at the moment, and have got my cholesterol down to 2.3 which has been a bonus. It is true that a diet high in fibre and low in carbs is the best step to make you healthy. Net:)


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

A very informative and interesting hub thank you.

Voted up and shared, best wishes Lesley


onthegrind profile image

onthegrind 4 years ago from Florida, United States

A lot of good, useful information in here. Love all the natural options that you discussed. I keep hearing about all the benefits of turmeric - I wasn't aware of this one. Great hub. Thanks for sharing.


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 4 years ago from Canada

Excellent information Sofs! A balanced diet with the right nutrition and correct building blocks, combined with daily exercise, are the best defences against cholestrol.


cdsimmons 4 years ago

Great hub I appreciate all the great info especially since I'm at a point in my life where I want to get off of all meds (including one for cholesterol) and I've embarked upon the diet and exercise journey. Great job!


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

I love something natural and I found something useful by reading this hub. I really care with health and thumbs up for you by share this information with us. Good job and rated up!

Prasetio


Genna East profile image

Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Excellent, as well as informative, hub. These food items are now permanently on my shopping list. Green tea and oats, as well as many of the items you have written about, are among my favorites, and do wonders in keeping the weight down. Rated up + :-)


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana

Very useful tips. When I was diagnosed with high cholesterol 8 years ago, I was already very fit - teaching fitness classes five days a week and was eating well. But with just tweaking my diet just a little more, using some of the foods you described, I was able to lower my total cholesterol by 60 points. It's not easy but it can be done!


blaise25 profile image

blaise25 4 years ago from close to you...

Wow, I'm glad cinnamon is on the list. Me so happy lol


sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

My nurse says, thanks for stopping by and reiterating this important point. I believe that health is a matter of lifestyle. We really need to know what we put into our mouths and how much of it. A change in the way we eat, think and live is what most of us need. Have a great day. God Bless!


sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

Eddy, thanks for the read and the comment. I hope your partner appreciate your concern. I have found that I feel much lighter and more energetic since the time I have changed the kind of food I eat. I have personally switched over to a diet which is less in oils and fats better, more herbs and raw foods. Here is wishing the two of you a great and healthy life ahead. Have a wonderful day.


sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

Abhaque Supanjang, honestly I am not a dietitian to provide that kind of information. I will tell you that my meal for the night is just oats porridge with figs and almonds. Turmeric is added into all food that I cook. Raw vegetables are a major part of every meal. Five top six serving of fish a week with spinach or some green leafy veggie in every meal. A handful of nuts is more than enough for your needs through out the day. Psyllium husk is something I have introduced newly into my day before I go to sleep.. a couple of teaspoons in warm water. Garlic gets int most of my food. I can tell you that my cholesterol levels have gone from borderline to healthy within months. I have made a comprehensive lifestyle change. I hope this helps. Have a great day. God Bless.


sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

Just Ask Susan, Susan coconut oil is a topic of controversy here in India. Heart surgeons here insist that we should never consume coconut oil. Anything in moderation is good. I personally add coconut oil to my salads. Thanks for bringing that up. Have a great day.


sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

Algarveview, I so love your comment. Natural is best. Happy to have such balanced views on this hub. Have a lovely day. God b less.


sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

TacticalTrading, I am so happy for you. I can relate to every word you say and this has worked for me as well. Wishing you a healthy and happy life. God Bless.


sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

Pamela99, i so agree with you.. pills are not the answer to anything. Life style change is. Thanks for stopping. Have a beautiful day.


sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

RTalloni, thank you. Sorry, I have been away and so the delay in responding to the comments. You are most welcome to link to my hub. I am so honored. I will look it up asap. thanks and God bless. Have a lovely day.


sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

Ruby, thanks for sharing that information. You really need to share your rice bread recipe with others it may help those with gluten intolerance. Have a great day my dear. God Bless.


sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

Lady E thanks for stopping by. I appreciate the comment. Have a lovely day.


sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

teaches12345, great way to bring down cholesterol levels and being in shape. Thanks for sharing your views here. Have a great day.


sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

thebluestar, way to go lady. I am so happy for you. Fiber, water and raw food does the trick. Have a lovely day.


sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

Lesley, thanks for the visit and the comment. I appreciate that. Have a beautiful day.


sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

onthegrind, Turmeric has been used extensively in Ayurveda from times immemorial. The cancer preventing, cholesterol fighting, antiviral, antibacterial effects of turmeric is well documented. Thanks for stopping by to comment. Have a pleasant day.


sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

Hi there Beth100, you are spot on with your observation. I appreciate your stopping by to comment. Have a wonderful day.


sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

prasetio30, Natural is the best and I agree with you. Glad to have you stop by and comment. Have a splendid day!


sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

Genna East, no wonder you look so well. Balance is what we need thanks for stopping by to leave a comment. Have a lovely day.


sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

Kris Heeter, Wow! that took the wind out of my lungs.. Despite being so active you ended up with high cholesterol? I am so glad that what you say may encourage those who are more prone through heredity. Listen people shift to a healthy diet. Thanks for sharing your experience. Have a lovely day.


sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

cdsimmons, thanks for stopping by to comment. I hope you can go off all medication and be really healthy. Have a lovely day.


sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

blaise25, I love cinnamon too.. and the study proves it.. so go on and spice up your food. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate that. Have a lovely day.


sdeepakmohan 4 years ago

its a very informative hub,thank u


sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

Sdeepakmohan, Thank you for posting your comment. Have a great day.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working