When your doctor informed you that your total cholesterol level is too high, or even borderline high, then he probably also gave you a stern warning to start making lifestyle changes such as changing your diet. But contrary to what most people think, altering your diet for the purpose of lowering your cholesterol doesn’t mean you can only eat bland, boring foods. If you want to know how to lower cholesterol levels naturally without having to feel like you’re in an extreme boot camp for weight loss, take a look at the tips we’ve listed here:
1. Stop smoking.
If you smoke, then you’ve probably been told many times over that this habit is bad for your health. But there’s another reason to quit – doing so raises your good cholesterol levels by 10%. HDL cholesterol or the good cholesterol scavenges bad cholesterol, and takes it to the liver where it is broken down and eliminated.
2. Drink moderately.
Alcohol when consumed in moderation, raises your good cholesterol. But alcohol can be addictive and a lot of people end up drinking a lot more than the recommended daily intake which is 2 glasses for men and 1 glass for women. In addition, it also leads to high blood pressure, stroke, and heart failure.
3. Consume foods rich in dietary fiber.
This includes fruits, whole grains, fruits and other foods. Fiber binds to cholesterol and regular intake can lower LDL levels by about 5%. It’s recommended that people consume between 25 to 35g of fiber per day.
4. Stick to a low fat diet.
Choose what you eat carefully. Avoid red meat and fried foods, and eat more fish and veggies. Keeping to a low fat diet has been found to lower cholesterol levels by as much as 20%, which could explain why people living in Japan have lower incidences of stroke and heart attack.
5. Add garlic to your food preparations.
The stinky garlic contains allicin, a chemical that can lower cholesterol and prevent the formation of blood clots. Some doctors even recommend garlic supplements to their patients.
6. Sprinkle cinnamon to your breakfast staples.
You can add a dash of cinnamon to your coffee or oatmeal to help reduce your LDL cholesterol. Cinnamon lowers LDL and triglycerides in the bloodstream as well as prevent the buildup of plaque in your arteries.
7. Drink green tea.
Green tea is very popular in Japan and China. In fact, the Chinese drink green tea with every meal which may be one of the reasons why high blood pressure and high cholesterol is not very prevalent in these countries. One study conducted in Japan more than a decade ago evaluated close to 14,000 subjects and it was found that green tea consumption significantly lowered serum total cholesterol.
As you can see, aiming to lower your cholesterol naturally isn’t that hard. But you do need to be consistent so that you can see marked results and avoid the dangers associated with high cholesterol levels.