Author: Charles Frank

The best science-backed strategies to reduce LDL cholesterol without medication

how to lower ldl cholesterol without drugs

Oatmeal has soluble fiber, which reduces your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol. Soluble fiber is also found in such foods as kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, apples and pears. Adopting a plant-based diet is one of the best ways to lower LDL cholesterol, both in the short and long term.

how to lower ldl cholesterol without drugs

High cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease and heart attacks. But if you’d rather first make lifestyle changes to improve your cholesterol, try these five healthy changes. In addition to eating a healthy diet, consuming plant stanols and sterols has been shown to lower total and LDL cholesterol up to 10% and 14%, respectively [18]. You can incorporate plant sterols and stanols with 2g/day in the form of food (such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds) or a supplement.

A diet high in saturated fats may raise a person’s LDL cholesterol levels. Replacing saturated fats, such as those found in meats, with MUFAs are part of what makes the Mediterranean diet heart healthy. Also, omega-3 fatty acids are an important, heart-healthy polyunsaturated fat. Your body doesn’t make this essential fatty acid, so you have to get it from food. Fish, flax seeds, and walnuts are all rich sources of this polyunsaturated fat. Alcohol’s role in providing heart-protective benefits is a controversial topic.

Stepping up activity when winter slows you down

Some vegetarian diets also include dairy products and eggs, while the vegan diet strictly consists of plant foods. This “good” cholesterol absorbs LDL and carries it back to the liver so it can leave the body, reducing LDL levels. With that being said, drinking more than three alcoholic drinks a day may increase your chances of developing heart disease. Exercise is one of the healthiest lifestyle changes you can make to lower your LDL cholesterol naturally. Aerobic exercises, such as running, cycling, jogging, and swimming, stand the best chance of lowering LDL while also reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Simple lifestyle changes can sometimes be enough to lower LDL cholesterol back to the normal range.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), consuming trans fats can negatively affect a person’s health in two different ways. They may also reduce blood levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol. Eating well, managing your weight, exercising, quitting smoking, and limiting your alcohol intake can lower your LDL cholesterol levels and help keep them in a healthy range. You can also try taking a supplement like red yeast rice or psyllium to lower LDL cholesterol within weeks.

Trans fats are unsaturated fats that have been modified by a process called hydrogenation. Polyunsaturated fats may also reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. By quitting smoking, a person can lower their LDL and increase their HDL cholesterol levels. This can help to slow the buildup of new fatty deposits in arteries and support overall health.

Therefore, it may be beneficial for general health and cholesterol management for a person to develop good sleep hygiene practices. However, researchers are still trying to understand how sleep affects cholesterol. Some research suggests that HDL levels are lower in people with insufficient sleep. Whereas other research indicates that too little or too much sleep can result in low HDL levels.

  1. But because of those acids’ other heart benefits, the American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of fish a week.
  2. But if you’d rather first make lifestyle changes to improve your cholesterol, try these five healthy changes.
  3. Soluble fiber is a type of dietary fiber found in plant foods, especially fruits, vegetables, oats, and barley.
  4. Doctors may prescribe statins or other medications to help lower a person’s cholesterol levels.
  5. Sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, whole grains, and legumes are all excellent sources of soluble fiber.

If you’re already at a higher risk for developing these types of conditions, you may want to talk with a healthcare professional about avoiding statins if possible. You might not want to take medication to bring your cholesterol down for several reasons. Cutting down on beer, wine, and liquor can be a simple first step to lowering your cholesterol.

Consume alcohol in moderation

Whey protein, which is found in dairy products, may account for many of the health benefits attributed to dairy. Studies have shown that whey protein given as a supplement lowers both LDL and total cholesterol as well as blood pressure. You can find whey protein powders in health food stores and some grocery stores. Across many studies, red meats (like beef, pork, and lamb) have been linked to cardiovascular disease due to their high saturated fat content. Compared to white meats (like chicken and turkey), red meats are particularly unhealthy in terms of cholesterol and cardiovascular risk. The study found that greater weight loss correlated with greater cardiovascular improvements.

The people in the studies followed a variety of diets, from Mediterranean to low-fat to low-calorie. However, the most effective diets substituted foods with the power to lower cholesterol for those that boost cholesterol. While you may have to say goodbye to a few snacks and fast foods, you can replace them with others that are equally satisfying. “You don’t have to follow an all-or-nothing approach. It’s really a matter of common sense,” she says. She suggests a few ways to start getting your cholesterol under control and keep it normal.

Snack on air-popped popcorn or pretzels — but keep track of the calories. If you crave something sweet, try sherbet or candies with little or no fat, such as jelly beans. Smoking cigarettes, not getting enough exercise, drinking too much alcohol, and experiencing high stress can all contribute to elevated LDL levels [6]. Always work with a medical professional before starting or changing supplement regimens. Regularly drinking water and getting sufficient amounts is extremely important for good health and essential for good liver health. Excess LDL cholesterol can accumulate and form hard deposits in the arteries, which may lead to the condition atherosclerosis.

A few simple tweaks to your diet — along with exercise and other heart-healthy habits — might help you lower your cholesterol. Understandably, if you’re used to eating meat, jumping into a purely plant-based diet may be difficult at first. If you must eat meat, try to avoid red meat and opt instead for white meat, extra lean, or lean red meat.

While you can get cholesterol from the foods you eat, your liver produces all the cholesterol your body needs [13]. This article discusses 10 ways to help improve your cholesterol levels. Other evidence indicates that there is an association between short sleep duration or poor sleep quality with higher cholesterol levels. Margarines and orange juice with added plant sterols can help lower LDL cholesterol.

What are 5 foods that can lower cholesterol?

Having excess weight or obesity can increase your risk of developing high cholesterol levels. Losing weight, if you have excess weight, can help lower your cholesterol levels. Not only does it improve physical fitness and help prevent obesity, but it also reduces harmful LDL and increases beneficial HDL. People can naturally lower their cholesterol levels by adopting dietary and lifestyle changes.

Many natural ways to lower your LDL cholesterol will work best if they become part of your lifestyle for the long term. Get our printable guide for your next healthcare provider’s appointment to help you ask the right questions. If you have too much LDL cholesterol, it can build up into a hard, waxy substance in your arteries, called plaque. There aren’t any specific symptoms to indicate that you might have high cholesterol. Statin use may also lead you to develop other conditions, such as type 2 diabetes.

Research has shown that cholesterol levels drop as soon as you stop smoking. Cigarette smoking is linked to higher cholesterol levels and the formation of a damaging form of LDL called oxidized LDL that contributes to atherosclerosis. Any treatment plan for cholesterol management should be made in partnership with a healthcare professional. A doctor who knows your family history and your personal health history will be able to advise you on the best treatments for your situation. If you’re considered medically overweight, your chances of having high cholesterol increase.

But it’s also important to mention that the idea that thin people can’t have high cholesterol is a misconception. Lifestyle changes can help improve your cholesterol — and boost the cholesterol-lowering power of medications. But speak with a healthcare professional before starting or changing your supplement regimen. Giving up smoking, if possible, can help reverse these harmful effects. A doctor can help you create a plan to quit smoking that’s best for you. Overall, poor sleep duration and quality appear to negatively impact cholesterol, but it is not clear exactly why or how it does.