Sometimes despite your best attempts at eating right and exercising, you’re diagnosed with an elevated cholesterol level. If your cholesterol level is extremely high, your doctor may recommend prescription medications as the initial treatment. Although in some cases a prescription is necessary, some people may be given the option of bring their cholesterol level down through natural means. This offers some advantages over prescription medications since cholesterol lowering prescriptions can have some potentially serious side effects. Here are some ways to naturally lower cholesterol levels:
Alter your diet.
Diet is one of the most critical components of a healthy cholesterol level. Although dietary changes don’t always cause drastic reductions in cholesterol level, in most people it will have some effect. Start by reducing your intake of red meat and substituting vegetarian sources of protein such as tofu. When you do consume meat, be sure to eat lean cuts of chicken and fish. Limit red meat consumption to twice a week, if at all.
Step up the exercise.
Exercising for at least thirty minutes on most days can modestly reduce cholesterol levels. In addition, regular, intense exercise has been shown to increase levels of HDL, the good form of cholesterol that protects against heart disease. Walking at a brisk pace, jogging, or using cardiovascular machines at your gym are all excellent ways to fulfill your daily exercise requirement and help to naturally lower cholesterol levels.
Supplement with psyllium.
Psyllium is form of soluble fiber that has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels in various studies. Some breakfast cereals contain this form of fiber or you can get it through consuming Metamucil. It’s also available in capsular form which is a quick and convenient way to add this fiber to your diet. Studies have shown that regular psyllium consumption can naturally lower cholesterol levels by as much as four percent.
Add plant sterols to your diet.
Plant sterols and stanols are components of plant membranes that have been shown to lower cholesterol levels by as much as fifteen percent when consumed on a regular basis. Plant sterols can be found as a supplement in a variety of margarine spreads and salad dressings. One example of a popular spread with plant sterols is Benchol margarine spread. Spreading this on your morning toast and using it in place of butter and other margarines is an easy way to add cholesterol lowering sterols and stanols to your diet to naturally lower cholesterol.
Drink green tea.
Some studies have shown that the catechins found in green tea can lower cholesterol levels. Drinking two to five cups of green tea a day is a healthy substitute for high calorie soft drinks and may help to bring an elevated cholesterol level down.
Naturally lowering cholesterol levels through nonprescription means can be a healthy alternative for some people. Be sure to have your cholesterol levels checked regularly to make sure you’re responding and your cholesterol is being lowered sufficiently.
Addition reading from the web:
- 51 ways to naturally lower your cholesterol
- Natural ways to lower cholesterol with foods
- 10 natural ways to lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure
What is your favorite natural way to lower cholesterol?