Natural Ways to Lower Cholesterol Levels in the Body

Natural Ways to Lower Cholesterol Levels
Natural Ways to Lower Cholesterol Levels

In its most basic form, cholesterol is a waxy molecule found in your blood. It is required for the formation of healthy cells in your body. Although it is an important blood component, an excess may cause heart problems. As a result, having consistently high cholesterol levels can endanger your heart.

Furthermore, elevated cholesterol might cause fat buildup in your blood vessels. As a result, blood flow via arteries is restricted. These deposits can rupture and create clots at any time. In such a case, you could have a heart attack or a stroke.

High cholesterol levels can be inherited genetically. However, it can also be caused by sedentary living habits. Although high cholesterol is a health issue, it is treatable.

The greatest approach to do so is to change your eating habits, because some foods can help you regulate your cholesterol. Furthermore, frequent exercise may be beneficial to you. You may need medications in specific cases, but you should generally avoid them. This post will go over everything you need to know about cholesterol.

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Cholesterol Types

HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol are the two kinds of cholesterol. They are divided into two sections based on the rate of lipoproteins. A lipoprotein is a collection of soluble proteins in the plasma that are combined with lipids.

HDL Cholesterol (Good Cholesterol)

HDL is an abbreviation for high-density lipoprotein. It is beneficial cholesterol because a high amount of HDL cholesterol protects you from the coronary risk of heart attack and stroke.

It also aids in the removal of other types of toxic cholesterol from the bloodstream. It also absorbs and delivers cholesterol to the liver. The extra cholesterol is then flushed out by the body. As a result, high HDL cholesterol levels reduce the risk of coronary artery disease and stroke.

LDL Cholesterol (Low-Density Lipoprotein) (Bad Cholesterol)

LDL Cholesterol is an abbreviation for low-density cholesterol. It is also referred to as bad cholesterol because a high LDL cholesterol level increases the risk of a variety of heart problems.

Furthermore, high LDL cholesterol levels can cause plaque to form on the walls of blood vessels. Plaque constricts the inside of blood vessels. Furthermore, it impairs blood flow through the heart to the body’s other organs. This obstruction might result in chest discomfort and a heart attack.

What Factors Contribute to High or Abnormal Cholesterol Levels?

Several variables can affect your body’s cholesterol levels. Age, weight, diet, genetics, diseases, drugs, and lifestyle, for example, are key factors influencing the body’s cholesterol levels.

Age

Cholesterol levels tend to rise with ageing. Teenagers, adults, and young people are more likely to have high cholesterol. It occurs because the body gradually loses its ability to metabolise cholesterol. High cholesterol levels are common in men over the age of 45 and women over the age of 55.

Diet

Diet has a substantial impact on cholesterol levels in the body. A high-carbohydrate, saturated-fat, and trans-fat diet boosts LDL cholesterol levels. Simultaneously, it reduces HDL cholesterol levels.

Also Read – What Should You Eat on a Heart-Healthy Diet?

Weight

The chance of having high cholesterol levels rises as one’s body weight rises. Furthermore, fat accumulation in the body raises cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Medical Problems/Diseases

Several diseases and medical disorders have been linked to an increase in cholesterol levels in the body. Diabetes, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, obesity, hypothyroidism, and renal disease, for example, can all affect LDL and HDL cholesterol levels. As a result, they increase the likelihood of having elevated cholesterol levels.

Menopause

Females are more likely to have elevated cholesterol levels after menopause since oestrogen levels have reduced.

Medications

Several drugs have the ability to raise LDL cholesterol levels in the body. Thiazide, diuretics, birth control pills, antidepressants, and some HIV medications, for example, may produce a temporary increase in LDL cholesterol levels while also removing extra fluid from the body.

Genes

High, low, or a combination of cholesterol levels can be inherited from one or both parents. As a result, if you have a family history of high cholesterol or cardiovascular disease, you should see your doctor.

Lifestyle

Certain lifestyles and everyday behaviours may have an impact on cholesterol levels in the body. Lifestyle variables such as a stressful environment, less exercise, smoking, and less sleep, for example, cause LDL cholesterol to rise and, to some extent, lower HDL cholesterol.

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Methods for Lowering Cholesterol

1. Monounsaturated Fatty Acids

A diet high in monounsaturated fats lowers cholesterol levels. Monounsaturated fat helps to keep blood cholesterol stable by reducing LDL cholesterol.

It also lowers the risk of heart disease and heart stroke. A diet high in monounsaturated fats substitutes saturated fats in the body, resulting in a 6% to 10% reduction in LDL and total cholesterol levels.

A low-fat diet, according to study, decreases cholesterol levels in the body. However, it lowers HDL cholesterol and raises triglycerides, which can be harmful to the health.

In contrast, another study found that a diet high in monounsaturated fats is good for the health. It reduces LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol levels. As a result, before making any dietary changes, consult with a professional.

Cholesterol oxidation can react with free radicals in the body, resulting in clogged arteries. Monounsaturated fats have been shown to inhibit cholesterol oxidation, lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke.

To provide the body with the necessary amount of monounsaturated fats, including olive oil, unsaturated fat-rich almonds, canola oil, avocados, olives, and nut butter.

Carbohydrates can raise triglycerides while lowering HDL cholesterol. Meanwhile, monounsaturated fat modifies lipoproteins, increasing HDL cholesterol while decreasing triglycerides.

2. Diet High in Omega-3s

A diet high in omega-3 fatty acids has a favourable effect on cholesterol levels in the body. This is due to the fact that omega-3 aids in cell development and cell health maintenance. It also helps to reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the body. As a result, the risk of coronary heart disease and heart stroke is reduced.

A diet high in omega-3 fatty acids helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels while also increasing HDL cholesterol levels. As a result, it lowers the risk of cardiovascular disorders such as heart attacks. Furthermore, according to one study, eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids twice a week can considerably lower triglyceride levels.

Another study of 4220 adults found that changing the diet by substituting 5% of carbohydrates with polyunsaturated fats produced outstanding benefits. The substitution of carbohydrate calories for polyunsaturated fats resulted in lower blood glucose and insulin levels. It gradually decreased the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.

Tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring, shellfish, and shrimp are high in omega-3 fatty acids. As a result, they can help lower cholesterol levels and lessen the risk of heart disease.

3. Loss of Weight

Obesity can raise cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease. Gaining 10 pounds of excess fat, for example, results in around 10mg of increased cholesterol each day.

As a result, decreasing weight can help lower cholesterol levels. Furthermore, a study found that persons who lost 5-10% of their body weight saw a significant reduction in cholesterol and triglycerides.

Weight loss can have a significant impact on cholesterol control. It can also help raise HDL cholesterol while decreasing LDL cholesterol. Reducing calorie intake, increasing fibre consumption, and lowering daily saturated fat intake can help with weight loss while preserving cholesterol levels.

4. Limit Smoking

Cigarette smoking can promote dangerous heart disease because it interferes with the body’s processing of cholesterol. Smokers’ immune cells are unable to restore cholesterol to the liver via blood vessel walls. These cells are known as defective immune cells, and they cause clogged arteries.

Acrolein is a dangerous chemical component found in cigarettes. It can reduce HDL cholesterol transport in the body by absorption in the bloodstream via the lungs. This eventually raises LDL cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of coronary heart disease.

5. Limit your alcohol consumption.

There is no clear link between alcohol and cholesterol. However, excessive alcohol use can harm the liver and lower HDL cholesterol levels. It can also raise the risk of blood clots, heart attacks, and heart failure.

The effects of various forms of alcohol on cholesterol levels vary. Beer, for example, raises LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Triglyceride levels are also raised by alcoholic beverages such as rum and vodka.

Furthermore, their high calorie content raises the risk of heart disease. As a result, you should abstain from drinking alcohol. Even if you drink alcohol, you should limit your intake because alcohol use raises cholesterol levels.

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Sterols and Stanols from Plants

Plant sterols and stanols are plant-derived cholesterol. It works similarly to cholesterol in that it is absorbed through the diet. Plant sterols and stanols diminish the risk of heart disease by decreasing LDL cholesterol levels in the body. When plant sterols and stanols are absorbed through the diet, they limit the absorption of cholesterol in the body.

Plant sterols and stanols are accessible in some supplements. Nonetheless, plant sterols and stanols are present in vegetable oils and are added to a variety of different oils and butter alternatives.

According to certain clinical research, ingesting 1.5-3 grammes of plant sterols and stanols can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels by 7.5-12%. Furthermore, consuming them with your meals can significantly lower your cholesterol.

The Dangers of High Cholesterol Levels

Coronary Heart Disease

High cholesterol levels can lead to a variety of cardiac problems. High cholesterol levels cause plaque buildup on the artery walls, leading in additional artery narrowing. It impairs blood flow, resulting in heart attacks and strokes.

Blood Pressure Is Excessive

High blood pressure is caused by high cholesterol levels. Furthermore, when the arteries narrow, the heart’s blood supply to other organs becomes harder. As a result, the heart strives to pump blood with greater effort, resulting in high blood pressure.

Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)

Peripheral vascular disease is a blood vessel disorder. It primarily affects the blood vessels that are indirectly related to the heart and brain. These blood arteries become clogged with plaque in peripheral vascular disease.

Failure of the Kidney

Kidney failure can arise as a result of excessive cholesterol in some situations. High cholesterol levels create plaque buildup in the blood arteries that link to the kidneys, reducing blood supply and causing shrinkage and scarring.

Aneurysm

Aneurysms can potentially cause sudden death. A mass forms in the inner lining of compromised blood vessels, causing the vessels to burst.

Stroke

A stroke happens when the arteries become blocked, leaving no room for blood to flow to the brain. A stroke occurs when blood flow to a portion of the brain is restricted.

Cramps in the abdomen

Cholesterol buildup in the liver and spleen causes enlargement of the liver and spleen. This puts strain on the abdominal cavity, resulting in abdominal pain.

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Conclusion – Natural Ways to Lower Cholesterol Levels

Cholesterol is an amphipathic lipid that belongs to the steroid lipid family. HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) refers to high-density cholesterol, whereas LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) refers to low-density cholesterol.

A high level of LDL cholesterol in the blood increases the risk of coronary disease, heart attack, and stroke. HDL cholesterol, on the other hand, aids in the elimination of the effects of other detrimental cholesterol in the body.

A variety of factors influence cholesterol levels in the body. Age, diet, genetics, medications, lifestyle, and diseases, for example, all have an impact on cholesterol levels.

Specific hazards connected with high cholesterol levels can result in rapid death. Furthermore, excessive cholesterol levels are associated with disorders such as coronary heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, and aneurysm.

As a result, you should consume a diet high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Furthermore, you should stop smoking and drinking alcohol. This can be extremely beneficial in managing cholesterol levels in the body. You should also maintain a physically active lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What is a quick way to lower cholesterol?

A. Making particular lifestyle adjustments, such as eating monounsaturated fats and omega-3-rich meals, decreasing extra weight, and exercising regularly, can help reduce cholesterol quickly.

A diet high in monounsaturated fats may even lower harmful cholesterol levels by 6% to 10%. If you smoke and have high cholesterol, you should quit to notice faster changes in your cholesterol levels. Limiting alcohol use is also beneficial in lowering cholesterol levels in the body.

Q. What are the worst foods to avoid if you have high cholesterol?

A. If you have high cholesterol, you should avoid eating foods heavy in saturated fat, trans fat, and hydrogenated fat. Deep-fried foods, butter, cheese, chips, doughnuts, crackers, and margarine are all high in cholesterol. Foods heavy in sugar, salt, and bad fats are often the worst for cholesterol.

Also Read – High-Protein Breakfast Ideas That Are Simple and Healthy

Q. Can drinking water help you lose weight?

A. Drinking water has no direct effect on your cholesterol levels. However, drinking enough of water and engaging in frequent physical activity stimulates your metabolism.

A good metabolism helps your body fight against excess cholesterol. In order to achieve meaningful effects, you will also need to adopt precise dietary changes. Water alone will not help you lose weight or lower your cholesterol.

Q. How can I reduce my cholesterol in seven days?

A. Dietary and lifestyle modifications are crucial in lowering cholesterol. They do not, however, produce immediate benefits. You should begin by eating properly if you want to see a quick drop in cholesterol levels.

For example, you should limit your intake of saturated fat and eliminate trans fat, as well as increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, fruits, whole grains, and green leafy vegetables. These dietary changes will help you significantly improve your cholesterol levels.

Q. Is coffee bad for your cholesterol?

A. Although coffee does not contain cholesterol, excessive consumption may result in an increase in blood cholesterol levels. This is due to Diterpenes, a type of chemical molecule found in coffee, which inhibits the breakdown of cholesterol.

As a result, total cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels rise. Moderate coffee drinking, on the other hand, has no deleterious effects on cholesterol levels.

Q. What are the symptoms of elevated cholesterol?

A. The symptoms of elevated cholesterol vary from person to person. Not everyone has the same symptoms.

Prolonged hypertension, obesity, chest pain or angina, nausea, excessive exhaustion, and shortness of breath are all common warning indications. High cholesterol can trigger the symptoms of a stroke or heart attack in extreme circumstances.

Q: Do bananas help to decrease cholesterol?

A. Bananas contain no cholesterol. Bananas’ high fibre and potassium content help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. However, eating bananas by themselves will not lower your cholesterol levels.

To effectively lower cholesterol levels, you must adopt a balanced diet and engage in regular exercise.

Q. Are eggs high in cholesterol?

A. Although cholesterol is naturally present in egg yolks, it has a minor influence on blood cholesterol.

Eggs are not particularly harmful when compared to diets heavy in saturated and trans fats because they do not elevate cholesterol. You should, however, consume them in moderation.

Q. Is Quaker Oatmeal beneficial for people with high cholesterol?

A. Yes, Quaker oatmeal is cholesterol-lowering. Oats include beta-glucan, a type of soluble fibre that helps lower harmful cholesterol levels in the blood.

In addition, the soluble fibre in Quaker oats reduces cholesterol absorption in the bloodstream. One cup of cooked Quaker oats every day can lower cholesterol levels by 5 to 8%.

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