Whether or not you’re a good candidate for taking medication to treat high cholesterol, you may be able to benefit from implementing healthy, natural ways to lower your cholesterol levels and improve your circumstances. If you’re currently working with a doctor or are already on some sort of treatment plan, be sure to discuss your goals with your healthcare professional of using as many natural means as possible to get back on track.
Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to turn your situation around on your own by implementing these tried-and-true strategies. However, it’s always a good idea to still talk with a trusted medical adviser when changing your diet, exercise routine and treatments. Don’t be afraid of working with a doctor to identify the best course of action for your situation and be careful when adopting multiple cholesterol-lowering methods as the combination of too many techniques and supplements can produce some unwanted side effects.
Changing the Kinds of Fats You Eat
When it comes to food, not all fats are created equal. While saturated fat can increase your cholesterol, monounsaturated fat can actually help lower your bad cholesterol and raise your good cholesterol. Since you can find this kind of healthy fat in natural picks like avocados and nuts, you can substitute these types of foods into your regular routine while omitting fatty meats and cheeses that contain saturated fat. You can also replace your current unhealthy picks with options like salmon and tuna, which also provide cholesterol-lowering omega-3 fatty acids.
When introducing healthy fats into your diet, it’s important to remember that the end goal is to reduce your saturated fat intake and be reasonable with food portions across the board, even if you’re eating healthy items like almonds and olives. If you’re overeating, the excess calories and fat grams can still cause you to gain weight and cause your cholesterol levels to rise.
According to research, being overweight interferes with the normal metabolism of dietary fat and can keep your cholesterol levels high even when you start to alter your eating habits. In order to improve the state of your metabolism, shedding the excess pounds can dramatically help. Of course, maintaining a healthy size and weight can improve other cardiovascular conditions and increase your overall health.
Anytime you’re looking to slim down, it’s important to remember that a healthy weight loss program is based on safe principles and produces gradual results. Trying to lose too many pounds in too short of time can leave your body depleted of nutrients and in harm’s way. Don’t hesitate to talk to a nutritionist or other medical professional about what combination of dieting and exercising is right for you.
Getting Aerobic Exercise
Moderately-intense workouts can help lower your bad cholesterol and increase your good cholesterol, which provides for a two-pronged approach to improving your total cholesterol profile. Aerobic exercise may also be able to help reduce other risks of heart disease by getting your heart pumping and blood flowing.
Research suggests that any type of activity like walking, bicycling or swimming can produce these positive results so figure out what works for your lifestyle. If getting a gym pass isn’t your thing, perhaps biking to work or fitting in a walk at lunch can be a seamless way for you to naturally get in some workout time. Ideally, you’ll be able to work in a thirty-minute exercise session five days a week, but some days might not turn out perfectly according to plan.
If your starting-out fitness level requires some sensitivity, you may want to ease into an exercise pattern and work with a doctor to make sure you’re using good judgment.
Increasing Your Fiber Intake
Fiber–soluble fiber, in particular–can help your body effectively get rid of cholesterol. When soluble fiber meets up with cholesterol-containing bile acids in your intestines, the fiber grabs the acids and drags them through the digestive tract to be eliminated. Since the end result is lower cholesterol and improved digestion, increasing your fiber intake can be a great natural way to help regulate your body.
In addition to interfering with the absorption of dietary cholesterol, soluble fiber can also help make you feel full by slowing down the stage of digestion where your stomach is emptied, which can help keep you on track when it comes to weight management. Good sources of this kind of fiber include oatmeal, apples, strawberries, beans and carrots.
Increasing Your Overall Health
Making sure your body has the resources it needs in order to function properly can decrease your risks for cardiovascular problems in general. Maintaining a healthy diet full of nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits and lean proteins can be combined with taking a daily multivitamin to help ensure your body has access to all the goodies it needs. For protecting your heart’s health, pick up a supplement that offers B vitamins including B6, B9 and B12. Be conservative and avoid over-the-counter options that contain excessively-large concentrations of vitamins and minerals.
Coping with Stress
Because anxiety and depression can take a huge toll on your heart rate, blood pressure and related factors, being weighed down by the cares of the world can increase your cardiovascular issues and worsen the effect on your body of having high cholesterol.
In order to minimize the negative impact that cholesterol problems can have, it’s crucial to take care of all the other variables that you can. If you’re dealing with any serious mental and emotional health challenges, recognize that there are counselors and other medical professionals that may be able to help you successfully navigate through these tough times. Addressing concerns in a timely manner is the best way to prevent stress from continually weakening your strength and health.
When you’re trying to lower your bad cholesterol, you should also take care to avoid activities that will lower your good cholesterol and worsen your overall cholesterol profile. Smoking, for example, can actually lower your good cholesterol and increase your chances of suffering from heart disease. Stay away from foods, habits and activities that are keeping you from having healthy cholesterol levels.