How To Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally
Lower Your Cholesterol and Reduce Your Cholesterol Levels Naturally
Lowering Your Cholesterol Levels
You have probably already heard about the seriousness of high cholesterol levels and why we should try to maintain healthy levels. However, you may not know how to go about this.
Your doctor has already stressed the fact that through diet and exercise you can start to lower your cholesterol levels naturally.
This page will give you information that will help start you in the right direction.
Although I am not in the medical field, many of the tips listed here are from pamphlets and booklets that I have received on my quest to keep my cholesterol numbers in check. And yes, I have been able to move my bad or unhealthy cholesterol levels down and raise my good or healthy cholesterol levels up by making better choices.
I have included a section on this page titled "Trusted Resources For Getting To Know More About Cholesterol" so that you can visit these sites and read the information directly from some of the sources. These are sites such as the Mayo Clinic and WebMd, where their aim is to give you good and accurate information.
We also suggest that you see your health care provider on a regular basis along with listening to their advice.
Cholesterol - What Is Cholesterol?
So you've heard all the warnings about cholesterol, but really what is all the fuss about?
What is cholesterol and why should I even care about it?
You can't see it, so is it really going to hurt me?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found among other fats in the arteries. Although cholesterol plays an important role in the building of cell membranes and other tissues, a high cholesterol level is widely considered one of the major factors in the development of heart disease.
When you have too much bad cholesterol in your body, it collects on the walls of your arteries and could cause clotting, which might lead to a stroke.
Most experts recommend you maintain a cholesterol level below 200 mg/dL, which can usually be accomplished without the use of drugs through a diet consisting of high fiber, low-cholesterol foods.
In order to combat cholesterol and its harmful effects, many experts recommend we eat at least 4 servings of fruit or vegetables each day, and 5 is even better.
These foods are low in cholesterol and high in fiber. One simple way to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables is to include them in snacks, salads, side dishes and deserts.
You may have seen several drinks in your grocery store that give you a few servings worth of fruits and vegetables for each glass you drink. Although these are wonderful choices over soda, it's best to eat the whole fruit and vegetables instead of drinking them.
You can add a wide variety of vegetables to most meat dishes, or occasionally plan completely vegetarian meals.
So the solution is simple. However, most people don't heed the warnings about high cholesterol levels and think that cholesterol is not an issue for them until they have their first heart attack or stroke.
The time to lower your cholesterol levels is before you have a major health crisis.
Quick Tips For a Healthy Heart
Eat 100% whole grain breads, brown rice, high fiber cereals, beans, peas and 100% whole grain pasta as these are high soluble fiber while low in saturated fat and calories.
Choose products that are labeled "100% Whole Grain" or "100% Whole Wheat" not just "whole grain". Those that are labeled whole grain, may have only a smidgen of whole grain in it. There is a huge difference between the two.
These are food containing no dietary cholesterol at all (except some breads may have added fat - just check the label).
Experts recommend that you have 6 -11 servings from this food group each day.
Keep in mind, if you choose whole grain breads over white breads with enriched flour, you will receive a higher fiber content. Of course when we're talking about including cereals in your diet, we're not talking about the latest sugar-loaded children's cereal.
Dining out can be a real challenge when you're looking to lower your cholesterol intake.
Do yourself a favor and choose restaurants offering low-cholesterol, low-fat meals you will enjoy.
Ask the server how the food that you want is prepared, and avoid fried, crispy, basted, braised, au gratin, stewed, pan-fried, sautÃ©ed; each of these cooking methods introduce high amounts of fat into your diet.
Always choose steamed, broiled, poached, grilled, baked and roasted dishes.
If you find yourself in line at the local fast-food joint, steer clear of burgers with cheese, special sauce or bacon.
Another helpful hint: make lists.
Prepare a list of low cholesterol foods and take it with you when you go shopping so you'll know which foods to put in your basket.
Also look for products that say "Heart Healthy" as these are low in cholesterol and fat.
Trusted Resources For Getting To Know More About Cholesterol
- 5 Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Cholesterol
By the Mayo Clinic staff Lifestyle changes can help reduce cholesterol, keep you off cholesterol-lowering medications or enhance the effect of your medications. Here are five lifestyle changes to get you started.
- HDL cholesterol: How to boost your 'good' cholesterol
By the Mayo Clinic Staff HDL (the healthy cholesterol) is just an important factor in your cholesterol levels and your LDL (lousy cholesterol). Many times raising your HDL can often offset higher LDL numbers.
- Heart Healthy Recipes From the Mayo Clinic
From appetizers to dessert, there are recipes for all occasions and for all taste buds. Try a few, your heart will love you for it!
- 11 Tips to Cut Your Cholesterol Fast
WebMD gives you 11 easy tips to follow to help you lower your cholesterol numbers. I think that many of us are guilty of not following #3 nearly as much as we should.
- WebMD Cholesterol Guide
From a brief over view of what cholesterol all the way to prevention and treatments, this is your A-Z cholesterol guide.
- Cooking For Lower Cholesterol
The American Heart Association has put together some great cooking tips that can help you reduce your cholesterol without making huge changes in your eating habits. Just making a few changes in your daily meals can go a long way to better cholesterol
- Portfolio Diet: Recipe for Lower Cholesterol
Studies have shown that the Portfolio Diet can lower cholesterol levels better and more effectively than statin drugs or being on a low-fat diet . Created by Dr. David Jenkins, the Portfolio Diet is a simple and easy diet and includes such items as
Cholesterol Lowering Tips
* Soluble fiber soaks up cholesterol and fat almost like a sponge soaks up water and removes it out of the body( when you poop) . Increasing the fiber intake will lower your cholesterol levels as well as may prevent the development of colon related problems. Think oatmeal and 100% whole grain breads & pasta.
* Take steps towards making your lifestyle a bit more active.
Daily exercise has proven to lower cholesterol levels. Anything that gets you off your rear end is considered "activity", and if you enjoy it you're more likely to continue with it. During commercials do some in place brisk walking or stepping - or do what I sometimes do and chase the dogs around the house - they have fun and so do I.
* A few changes in the way you prepare food can lower their cholesterol content. Cook with mono-unsaturated fats like canola, peanut and olive oil. Bake, broil, roast or grill meat instead of frying.
* Reduce your intake of processed foods and saturated fats (organ meats like liver and heart, whole milk and dairy products). Opt for low-fat or non-fat dairy products and cut down on sugar, salt and alcohol. While at one time people who wanted to lower their cholesterol levels were told to avoid egg yolks, evidence is now showing that eggs may actually have a positive effect on cholesterol levels. ( check with your doctor for the latest research info)
* As much as possible, avoid fast food restaurants. Most of their menu items contain high sodium and fat content. Many fast food restaurants now have nutrition menus, before ordering ask for one and make an informed choice. While salads and simple meals may appear to be low fat and low calorie there are often hidden ingredients to make the food taste better but will also pack on extra fat, calories and sodium.
Lowering your cholesterol level is a long journey.
It usually takes 4-6 months to see any significant changes in your cholesterol levels. It may even take a bit longer. But if you take a few small steps each day, in 6 months you will be much farther down the path than if you had done nothing at all.
General Health Tip
Try to limit the 5 "whites"
9 Quick Tips To Lower Your Cholesterol
So you have high cholesterol and need to lower it?
That is no surprise considering how many people have high cholesterol these days. To help lower your cholesterol, here are 9 tips you can get started with today.
While a few of these tips have also been mentioned above they are worded differently and will give a bit different perspective. Sometimes when we see information we retain or understand it a bit better when it has different wording. Since this information is important, it is worth repeating and remembering.
Always remember that you do not need to start implementing all of these tips on one day. Slowly change your eating habits and you will be less likely to feel deprived or go back to your old ways of eating. Introduce a healthier lifestyle little by little by making just 1 simple change a day. As you add on you'll start to feel better and you will also start to look better.
The good news is that you can change your cholesterol levels ( both good and bad) for the better. Here is how to do just that:
1. For a simple lunch or dinner have a sandwich made with 100% whole what bread, lettuce, tomatoes and 1 slice of lean meat. Use the veggies to fill the sandwich and the lean meat will just give it a bit more protein. Normally we have much too much meat on our sandwiches and not enough veggies. Add a small green salad, an apple, a few pieces of low fat cheese and you've got a pretty good meal.
2. Fish, like salmon, is good. The oil in the salmon is high in omega-3's. The oil in the salmon is also excellent for your skin and is said to help keep wrinkles at bay. If possible try to have salmon twice a week.
3. Have a few nuts to keep hunger at bay Walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, cashews, and pecans. Yes, nuts can be high in fat but it is a healthy fat. Just remember that they are high in calories so try to keep to a small handful of about 10 nuts. Also, if you use peanut butter, choose the "all natural" type where the oil separates and sits towards the top of the jar, instead of the normal highly processed and highly sugared versions. When you are using natural peanut butter, just give it a stir before you use it. The fat that has risen to the surface is healthy so don't let it turn you off.
4. Check the package labels and products which contain trans fats. Many states have now banned the use of trans fats in restaurants but you will still see products containing it on the store shelves. Many products now have "trans fat free" splattered across their labels so they are often easy to notice. Trans fats are only found in processed foods, so if you stick to fresh natural foods you don't have to worry about trans fats.
5. How is your sweet tooth? Did you know that sugar can raise your cholesterol levels? In addition, many foods that are high in sugar are also high in fat - so it's a bad combination all around. You don't have to give up treats entirely, just limit them. If having a piece of cake, cut one piece, then cut it in half. Have half today and another day.
Part 2 is Below
9 Quick Tips To Lower Your Cholesterol
Here are tips 6-10, to help you start lowering your cholesterol.
6. Try to eat more foods that are high in fiber. Examples include whole wheat bread (the product should be labeled 100% whole grain or 100% whole wheat), plain oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, beans, and some cereals.
7. Try your hand at grilling both meats and veggies. Veggies like peppers, corn, onions and tomatoes taste great grilled. Instead of having your kabobs all meat, have just a few pieces of meat and the rest veggies. Or even better yet have all veggie kabobs. They cook very quickly, are easy to prepare and are inexpensive so you save all around.
8. Don't use bottled salad dressings. Even the ones marked low fat. When they are labeled as low fat or lower fat they often add extra sugar for flavor or a sugar substitute. Make your own from olive oil mixed with a little lemon or line juice and a bit of vinegar.Some people also add a bit of water to cut the vinegar bite. Also the newer spray on dressings taste great and only have 2-3 calories per spray. Usually 4 sprays does it.
While we are speaking about oil, try not to have any food that has been fried or deep fried. I know that it tastes good but while it's bad for your cholesterol levels fried food is also high in calories.
9. Opt for more fruits & veggies. Most contain no cholesterol and they have lots of nutrients like antioxidants and micro-nutrients that you can't find in other foods. While some may contain fat ( for example avocados) it's a healthier fat similar to the fat in nuts.
In addition fruits & veggies are high in fiber and water content so they can help to fill you up and to also hydrate you from the inside out.
That was easy, wasn't it? Just make some of these changes and get plenty of exercise like brisk walking, jogging, swimming, or playing basketball.
Even taking the dog for a walk. mowing the lawn or playing with your grandchildren will give you exercise.
You will have lower cholesterol levels in no time!
So what cholesterol levels are low, high and ok?
Below 200mg/dL is the safe and desired level
201-239mg/dL is borderline high risk
Over 240mg/dL is high risk level
Below 130 is the safe and desired level
130 to 160 is borderline high risk
Over 160 is high risk level
Lowering Your Cholesterol Naturally - Tip
When you are shopping at the grocery store and are reading the nutrition facts remember that it is the saturated and trans fats that your body turns into cholesterol.
It's not the cholesterol that you see on the nutrition label.
If you watch your saturated and trans fats, then you need need to be concerned about the cholesterol listing.
Cinnamon & Cholesterol
New research shows that cinnamon
may help to lower cholesterol levels.
So liberally sprinkle on!
Some say that taking cinnamon supplements
may also help.
I take two nightly and if by chance you burp, you'll taste cinnamon.
You probably didn't know
that eating food that is high in sugar can raise your cholesterol levels just as much as a fatty diet!
Heart Healthy Recipes and Recipes to Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Don't think that you have to settle for boring and bland meals and snacks.
Start to experiment with different recipes, try new food and learn to enjoy what you eat.
While it may sound like you have to give up a lot of food types, you really don't.
You'll just learn to enjoy new cooking ideas and experiment with spices and new tastes.
Once you start cooking and eating healthier you honestly won't miss the old fatty, greasy foods that you thought you liked and when you do decide to opt for that fast food burger and fires you'll find that you really don't enjoy it as much as you have been telling yourself. Yes, you can still have burgers & fries just not as often and made and cooked a bit differently.
High Cholesterol and Panic Attack Connection
Researchers have found a connection between having high cholesterol levels and being prone to panic attacks.
Not everyone who has high cholesterol will have panic attacks but it has been noticed that a good percentage of those who do get panic attacks have high cholesterol.
Also, researchers have found that a big meal, heavy in fat may also set off a panic attack. We all know that high fat meals are not good for us and now there is another reason to watch your fat intake.
Please Take Our Quick Poll
There is some controversy of whether or not high cholesterol levels actually do contribute to heart disease.
Some believe that there is no relationship between the two and some are now saying that it's not the levels that make a difference but the size of your platelets ( and that as of right now you can not change).
The there are others who believe that genetics is what rules your chances of heart disease.
What do you think?
The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This site is not intended to diagnose, prevent, cure, or treat any disease.
If you think you may have high cholesterol, please see a physician.
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