With cholesterol levels rising in both men and women, even more people are searching for natural ways to bring those numbers down. Luckily, there are several ways to lower your cholesterol naturally. One thing to remember is that not all cholesterol is bad and that our bodies do require a certain amount of cholesterol.
Basically, cholesterol is fat that circulates in the blood. Cholesterol is the base material for hormones, making it a very necessary component of the body. The bad cholesterol is known as LDL, which can create plaque and build-up within the arteries. The good cholesterol is known as HDL, which actually helps to clean the blood vessels walls and prevent the build up of plaque. The key is to have lower levels of LDL and higher levels of HDL.
- Chew the right kind of fat
First of all, examine just what kind of fat you are feeding your body. Be sure to avoid trans fats and hydrogenated oils, which have been linked to an increase in clogged arteries. Those bad fats actually reduce HDL levels (good guy) and increase LDL levels (bad guy). Good fats that will raise HDL levels include those found in extra-virgin olive oil, avocado and certain nuts. Try snacking on walnuts and almonds, both found to be two of the most heart healthy snacks you can choose.
- Exercise your body
The WebMD recommends exercise as one of the most effective ways to lower cholesterol naturally. The act of exercising actually stimulates the production of enzymes in the body that assists in the removal of LDL cholesterol. If you can, try to exercise 3 to 4 times a week. Remember that each person’s fitness level is different. You may not be fitness buff and that’s okay. Begin an exercise regime that meets your personal goals and needs.
- Healthy foods
Beyond exercising and getting healthy fats, there are several different foods that lower cholesterol levels. One of these super foods is fish, because of its heart healthy doses of omega 3 fatty acid. Omega 3 has been shown to lower LDL while raising HDL. Another heart healthy choice is to add more vegetables to your diet because plant sterols have been found to block cholesterol absorption. Be sure eat a variety of vegetables and include leafy greens, broccoli and bell peppers.
When it comes to lowering cholesterol naturally, think about adjusting your diet plan to include more unprocessed foods. Boost your vegetable and fruit intake. Exercise as much as is applicable to your personal fitness plan. When you do this, other aspects of your body become healthier too.