5 Ways to Reduce Your Cholesterol Levels at Home
High cholesterol is a common problem that many people struggle to manage. High cholesterol can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries and increase your risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Lowering your cholesterol as early as possible is best to prevent these risks from increasing. Fortunately, you can make several lifestyle changes to help lower your cholesterol. Lowering your total blood lipids is one of the most effective ways to decrease your risk of developing high blood pressure or pre-diabetes and reduce the likelihood of developing coronary artery disease later in life. Most adults should aim for an LDL (“bad”) cholesterol 70 mg/dL and an HDL (“good”) >50 mg/dL for general long-term health. If you struggle with managing high cholesterol, this article will give you everything you need to know about lowering it naturally and safely. Please keep reading for our top tips on lowering LDL and raising HDL fast!
Monitor Your Cholesterol Numbers Before You Start
Before making any changes, you must get an accurate picture of your cholesterol levels. You may want to request a lipid panel from your doctor, or you can use an online test like the one provided by Spectra Labs. You can also try taking an at-home test like the one provided by InsideHealth.
These tests are all reliable ways to get an accurate cholesterol reading. Once you have your numbers, you can establish a baseline for your cholesterol levels and track progress as you make lifestyle changes. This will give you a clear picture of how your diet and lifestyle affect your cholesterol numbers. Tracking your cholesterol numbers is also helpful to ensure that medications are working correctly. If you want to get even more accurate readings, you can also have your doctor test your lipoprotein subfractions. This will help you identify which parts of your cholesterol levels are especially high and which need to be addressed first.
Tracking your cholesterol numbers will help you stay on track with your cholesterol-lowering efforts and monitor the effects of your diet and lifestyle changes on your cholesterol levels.
Exercise is one of the best ways to lower cholesterol. Ideally, you should get 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly, but even a few minutes a day will help. An exercise routine can decrease your overall cholesterol levels by about 10%. Since high cholesterol is caused by genetics and diet, exercise can help reduce your risk even when you aren’t making dietary changes.
Exercise can also help lower blood pressure, decrease insulin resistance, and promote healthy blood flow. All of these factors can contribute to lower cholesterol levels. Ideally, it would help if you exercised for 30-40 minutes a day, five days a week.
You can break it into 10-minute segments if you’re pressed for time. You can also try an activity like swimming or biking that allows you to exercise even when the weather isn’t cooperating. No matter how much you exercise, it won’t lower your cholesterol levels by itself. You also have to make dietary changes to see results. Exercising can help you reach your goals faster, though!
Lower Your Carb Intake
Diets high in carbohydrates can cause higher cholesterol levels. Diets high in carbs are one of the leading causes of high cholesterol. A high-carb diet can cause a 25% increase your total cholesterol levels.
This can increase the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. To lower your cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, you should aim for a low-carb diet. A low-carb diet promotes healthy cholesterol levels by reducing the amount of cholesterol in your body.
A low-carb diet can decrease your total cholesterol by up to 30%. Low-carb diets are also proven to reduce triglycerides, another important blood lipid. Reducing your carbohydrate intake can also help you lose weight! It’s important to note that not all low-carb diets are created equally. There are several low-carb diets, and the best one for you depends on your goals.
Eat More Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens are an excellent source of vitamin K, which has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol by up to 10%. Eating more dark leafy greens can help you lower your cholesterol levels in no time.
There are plenty of ways to cook greens, too! Ensure they are sautéed in healthy fats like olive oil or coconut oil instead of butter. Sprinkling them lightly with salt before you cook them is also a good idea.
Take Coenzyme Q10 and Vitamin B12
Coenzyme Q10 is a chemical essential for energy production in your body. Coenzyme Q10 is also connected to lipid metabolism: the breakdown of fats and cholesterol in the body. Studies show that coenzyme Q10 can lower LDL cholesterol by up to 15%. Vitamin B12 is another vitamin that can lower LDL cholesterol. Vitamin B12 stimulates the breakdown of LDL cholesterol in the body. Having high cholesterol is bad for your health. Getting your LDL cholesterol levels as low as possible is one of the best ways to reduce your heart disease and stroke risk. Taking coenzyme Q10 and vitamin B12 can help lower cholesterol levels and protect your heart health.
Lower Your Sodium Intake
Overeating sodium can cause your body to retain unnecessary water weight, increasing blood volume and leading to higher cholesterol. Aim to consume less than 2,300mg of sodium a day. Most people consume much more than that. To lower your sodium intake, you can start cutting back on processed and packaged foods and cooking your meals at home.
It can also be helpful to purchase a sodium-free spice blend and add flavor to your meals without adding extra salt. A low-sodium diet can lower LDL cholesterol by up to 10%. It can also help you shed excess water weight and help your blood pressure stay in a healthy range. Reducing sodium intake can be challenging, especially at restaurants or eating out.
One easy trick to help you avoid overeating sodium is to add lemon or lime juice to your water.
High cholesterol can significantly increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. While there is no magic bullet that will reduce your cholesterol levels overnight, these lifestyle changes can help you lower your cholesterol over time.
With these tips, you can make small but effective changes to your diet and lifestyle that will help you lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your heart disease and stroke risk.