More than 80 percent people die because of heart disease every year. High cholesterol is one of the main reasons behind heart problems. Don’t let those stats dishearten you. They are merely to alert you that if high cholesterol is left unattended, it can turn fatal. Low-density lipoprotein or LDL is a type of bad cholesterol. LDL collects in the walls of the blood vessels causing blockages, which is also known as atherosclerosis. Higher LDL cholesterol can put a person at a greater risk for a heart disease. So it is always better to get your LDL cholesterol levels checked to reduce your chances of heart attack. So why is LDL or Low Density Lipoprotein bad for health? Here is how high amounts of LDL cholesterol can lead to plaque growth and atherosclerosis.
- An LDL particle is a microscopic blob consisting of an outer rim of lipoprotein surrounding a cholesterol center. LDL particles are less dense compared to other cholesterol particles. So some cholesterol particles tend to deposit on the walls of arteries, and this process starts as early as childhood and adolescence.
- White blood cells swallow and try to digest the LDL in an attempt to protect the blood vessel. In the process, white blood cells convert the LDL to a toxic or oxidized form. More white blood cells and other cells gather around the area creating a low-grade inflammation in the artery wall.
- The LDL cholesterol creates a bump in the artery wall called plaque; this plaque is made up of cholesterol, body’s cells and debris. This process of forming plaque also develops gradually.
- An even greater danger than slow blockage is a sudden rupture of the surface of the plaque. A blood clot can form on the ruptured area and this can lead to heart attack.
Apart from the right exercise and medicines, right food is one of the best ways to keep your cholesterol levels under control. Here are the top 10 home remedies for cholesterol control that can help you reduce high cholesterol. Guess what? We have also supplemented each remedy with facts!
Effective Home Remedies To Reduce Cholesterol Levels:
Our bodies need some amount of cholesterol on a daily basis; this doesn’t mean that you will have fast foods every day. Try to pack some healthy lunch instead of snacking on foods that have high trans fats. Here are some food options that will certainly help you in cutting down on bad cholesterol. All you have to do is strictly follow these remedies to reduce cholesterol and get a healthy heart.
1. Drinking Orange Juice:
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 blood stream in the body. Drink naturally prepared fresh orange juice instead of packaged ones. The preservatives in them can do more harm than good. Making a glassful of orange juice is no ordeal; simply squeeze the pulp into a strainer and voila, your glass of refreshing juice is ready! Try not to add sugar unless you really need to. A dash of honey will make the juice sweeter and is a healthy alternative to sugar.
[ Read: Benefits of Orange Juice ]
2. Eat Small Meals:
A study conducted on British adults has revealed that people who ate small meals, six or seven times a day showed rapid reduction in cholesterol and 10 to 20 percent reduced risk of coronary heart disease. While many diet plans advocate this, it is certainly worth a try!
3. Drink a Glass of Wine Every Evening:
Time to party? Sipping a glass of wine every evening after dinner can be treated as a home remedy to reduce cholesterol. Studies have revealed that wine and draught beer boost the HDL cholesterol levels considerably. Red wines especially, are rich in saponins, a plant compound that has a positive effect on cholesterol reduction. So cheers to good health!
4. Increase the Intake of Whole Grain Bread:
Bid goodbye to white bread that will just add more carbs to your body. Switch to brown rice and whole grain bread. Not only are they tastier, they also increase HDL levels and lower a type of blood fat called triglycerides that when high, can increase your risk of contracting heart diseases. Always select whole grain bread, brown rice and whole wheat pasta. It gives you enough dietary fiber to fight cardiovascular disease. The polished white rice or white bread has less amount of pure dietary fiber compared to brown bread and rice.
5. Brew Coffee Using Paper Filters:
If you are a regular coffee drinker, you should skip the espresso and instead use paper filters while brewing a cup for yourself. Brewed coffee is said to consist of cafestol and kahweol that are known to increase the levels of cholesterol. Paper filters trap these substances and make your coffee healthier!
6. Olive Oil for Salad Dressing:
According to the Baylor College of Medicine, a monounsaturated fat-rich diet reduces LDL cholesterol found in people suffering from metabolic syndrome or diabetes. Using olive oil for salad dressings introduces monounsaturated fat in your diet and controls the cholesterol level. Use olive oil to temper your dishes to begin with. Once you begin to favor the taste, you can cook using the oil.
[Read: Benefits of Olive Oil for Health ]
7. 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 in 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.
8. Oatmeal is the Best for Breakfast:
You will see many oat manufacturers boasting 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. Fiber Rich Grapefruit:
Grapes are not always sour! At least not for those with high cholesterol. It is in fact a boon to those who suffer from high cholesterol. Grapefruits contain soluble fiber and are very rich in pectin that is a cholesterol-reducing component. This compound interferes with different medications and hence, you should cross check with your doctors before taking it. You can also eat berries and apples. Bring home those penny-sized beauties and snack on them in return for good health! One of the best home remedies for high cholesterol control!
10. Replace Sugar with Honey:
According to a study conducted in Dubai, people who drank solutions with honey showed a significant drop in their cholesterol levels. Natural honey contains cholesterol-reducing components and especially attacks homocysteine, a type of amino acid known to increase the risk of peripheral vascular disease and heart disease. Do we have to tell you how to consume honey? Simply spoon up honey and lick away! Including even a few of these food components in your daily diet can help you to reduce your cholesterol levels considerably.
8 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 effect 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. Lose Weight:
This is a 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 drastically. You should check your eating habits and daily routine to find out your challenges to weight loss and ways to overcome them. Small steps can go a long way to reduce excess weight. For instance, take a walk everyday if 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 infront of the television and never eat mindlessly. Try to incorporate physical activity in your routine. Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
2. 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. It is best to take an informed decision. For example, if the food contains hydrogenated oil then you will know it has trans fats.
3. Limit the Cholesterol in Your Food:
You should try to have 300 mg of cholesterol every day. If you have heart diseases and diabetes reduce it to 200 mg. The most concentrated source of cholesterol includes organ meats, egg yolks and whole milk products. So avoid these and use lean meat, skim milk and egg substitutes.
4. 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.
5. Have Omega 3 Fatty Acids:
Eat Foods Rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Omega 3 Fatty Acids can help to lower your LDL or bad cholesterol. Fishes like salmon, Mackerel and Herring are rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Also include walnuts, almonds and flaxseeds in your diet.
6. Exercise Daily:
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 atleast 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, take swimming laps and play a favorite sport. You can find an exercise buddy or join an exercise group to stay motivated. Nothing can be dangerous than a sedentary lifestyle!
7. Quit Smoking:
If you want a 360 degree 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. So bring in the change by kicking the butt.
8. Cut Down on Your Alcohol Intake:
Drinking too much of 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. Health is the biggest asset, and without good health we cannot work properly. 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.
Sometimes, lifestyle changes are not sufficient to bring down the cholesterol levels. In that case, the person has to visit the doctor and take prescribed medications. However, if you try to combine lifestyle changes with medicines it will surely bring down the cholesterol levels. You don’t have to go out of your way to practice these lifestyle changes, small attempts on a daily basis can help you in the long run to have a healthy body free of any diseases.
Hope you like this article highlighting the natural remedies to lower cholesterol! Do leave us a comment below if you liked the post.
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