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How to Reduce Your Cholesterol Level: A Complete Guide

An Introduction to Reduce Your Cholesterol Level

Cholesterol is a naturally substance that is produced by liver for proper functioning of cells and nerves. There are two type of cholesterol – Low density lipoprotein (LDL) and High density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL cholesterol carries fat from liver to the cells through blood stream. High amount of LDL cholesterol in blood increases the chance that particles stick to the walls of arteries and form plaque. This process narrows the artery opening, resulting in atherosclerosis.

On the contrary, HDL cholesterol returns the extra fat from bloodstream to live — where it is broken down into parts and passed out. HDL is hence, considered as good cholesterol as it removes bad cholesterol from bloodstream — instead of depositing it in arteries. Exercise and proper diet helps in increasing HDL cholesterol levels.

Triglycerides are another type of fat in blood, and a major source of energy. When you eat, your body uses the calories it needs for quick energy. The extra calories are turned into triglycerides, which are stored in the form of fat for later use. You should have triglycerides in normal range. However, if they exceed the desired range, you are associated with high risk of heart disease.

In short, your total cholesterol level in blood is a combination of HDL, LDL, triglycerides and other fat. Ideally, the total cholesterol level should be less than 200mg/dl, LDL should be less than 130mg/dl and HDL cholesterol should be more than 45mg/dl. It is must to keep the cholesterol levels under control to prevent chronic diseases.

What Causes High Cholesterol Levels?

Human body has tendency to keep cholesterol in balanced level. However, the standard western diet leads to an upset in this balance, resulting in elevated levels of LDL and reduced levels of HDL.

Eating high levels of saturated fats can increase cholesterol levels and it is essential to bring cholesterol levels down to lead a healthy life. Eating a healthy diet can help you reduce your cholesterol levels.

People who have the habit of smoking and drinking regularly have chances of high cholesterol levels. If you are not physical active and stay idle for long period, your cholesterol levels may shoot up.

Some people have high cholesterol levels, even they eat healthy. The reasons could be – underactive thyroid gland, too much alcohol, long term kidney problems, inherited family condition etc.

Why You Should Reduce Cholesterol Levels?

Having too much of cholesterol in blood increases the risk of cardio vascular diseases, diabetes, stroke and other chronic diseases. The risk is particularly high, if you have low level of HDL and high level of LDL. People with high levels of triglycerides have high risk of heart disease. If you have other health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, thyroid etc — the risk is even higher.

When cholesterol travels in the lipids of blood stream, it builds up in the walls of arteries – which eventually reduced blood flow in vital areas. When the plaque continues to build for long period, it increases the risk of stroke and heart attack.

What Can You Do To Reduce Cholesterol Levels?

There is a lot you can do to keep your arteries and heart healthy. If you have high levels of cholesterol, you should first schedule an appointment with your doctor for necessary recommendations. Then, you should make healthy lifestyle choices to reduce cholesterol, some of which are as below:

Healthy Diet

Maintain a healthy weight by having a well-balanced diet. Human body needs food from different categories such as – fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, pulses, etc. Eating less fat can reduce your risk of cholesterol. You don’t have to become a vegetarian completely to reduce your cholesterol levels. Plant foods are high in soluble fiber and are beneficial in lowering total cholesterol levels.

Exercise

Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day in the form of brisk walk, cycling, swimming, jogging, playing etc. when you exercise regularly, the HDL cholesterol levels tend to increase. You can do moderate physical exercise for at least 30 minutes a day without doctor’s recommendation.

Limit Salt and Sugar

Limit intake of salt and sugar items. The ideal consumption of salt should not be more than 2300 mg/day. Having less salt in your diet may lower high blood pressure. Eating too much salt is bad for circulatory health. Salty food tends to increase levels of bad cholesterol and forces the heart to work harder to move your blood, increasing the risk of circulatory problems.

Similarly, high consumption of sugar products contributes to a number of chronic diseases. Sugar is related to elevated levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. People who eat more sweet based items tend to have low HDL cholesterol. It is advised to limit the intake of salt and sugar to reduce total cholesterol levels.

Smoking and Srinking

Quit smoking and alcohol consumption to maintain health cholesterol levels. Smoking can exacerbate the effects of LDL cholesterol. When you stop smoking, the HDL cholesterol levels can increase by approximately 30% in 3 weeks. In a study, it was found that even inhaling cigarette smoke can increase bad cholesterol levels.

If you drink alcohol regularly, you are likely to have high levels of LDL and triglycerides in your blood. Consuming alcohol in moderate amount can increase HDL cholesterol levels. So, it is advised to limit alcohol to one drink per day.

Manage Stress

There are evidences that high level of stress can increase bad cholesterol. Manage stress effectively to reduce the risk of chronic diseases caused by elevated levels of cholesterol. Choose your favorite activity such as – singing, dancing, yoga, meditation etc that helps in reducing stress levels.

Obesity

If you are overweight, you are likely to have high levels of triglycerides. Watch your weight at least once in 3 months and shred any extra kilos that aids in balancing your cholesterol levels.

The above tips can help you increase good cholesterol levels (HDL), reducing bad cholesterol levels (LDL). Cholesterol levels in blood tend to increase with age. However, you can manage the cholesterol levels effectively by following the above tips.


How to Lower / Reduce Your Cholesterol Level Naturally

Almost every day, we come across with the term ‘Cholesterol’ in our daily conversations, newspapers, advertisements, and health magazines. No matter how cliche it may sound, but one of the most fundamental reasons behind the omnipresence of this word is that an abnormal level of cholesterol in our body is directly responsible to serious health issues like weight gain and heart diseases.

Nonetheless, amidst all the fuss, we need to ask ourselves:

  • Is all the hoax about cholesterol being so bad, true?
  • Above all, what is cholesterol actually?
  • How many types of cholesterol are there?
  • Is there anything like good cholesterol and bad cholesterol?
  • Can we really survive without cholesterol and if not, then, how to increase the good cholesterol in our body naturally?

Most of us really just have a vague idea about cholesterol. We have been brought to a point, where we just fear the name of it and blindly label it bad for us. However, this is not the case. To understand how important cholesterol is to our body, we need to dig a little deeper. By doing so, we would come to know that the key to our health is not in completely eliminating the cholesterol from our diet but merely improvising the type and quality of it, through treatments, medicines, and with the help of a natural and balanced diet.

So, What is Cholesterol?

Our body is basically made of two things; lipids and proteins. The fat is a highly essential component of our bodily system and flows in the form of small bundles of lipids and proteins bounded together. The lipid remains inside and is covered by the layer of protein. These little bundles of lipoproteins are the carriers of cholesterol.

Types of Cholesterol

The lipoproteins are mainly of two types. LDL and HDL.

1. LDL: LDL stands for Low-Density Lipoproteins. They are smaller and less dense in structure. Because of this reason, they can easily get into the arteries and deposit there, causing havoc in the working of our body by eventually choking the arteries. Due to this, LDL has earned an image of being the ‘bad’ cholesterol.

2. HDL: High-Density Lipoproteins are the ‘good’ cholesterols. They are bigger and denser. HDL helps our body by carrying the cholesterol back from the body to the liver. The liver does the detoxification and gets rid of the excess fat from the system. LDL differs in nature, as in, it collects and carries all the cholesterol from the body through the arteries that lead to the heart.

Risks Associated With High LDL

  • Atherosclerosis- Blockage of arteries due to deposition of LDL
  • Increased chances of heart attack
  • Development and growth of plaque
  • Inflammation in the blood vessels

Therefore, a higher amount of LDL present in our body increases the risk of heart problems and other fatal diseases. And similarly, having a low level of HDL too contributes to the development of some very serious heart problems. But, this does not in any way mean that LDL is completely bad for us. Our body needs both HDL and LDL in a fair and balanced amount in order to work properly. The cholesterols help in restructuring the cells, producing certain hormones, vitamin D, and helping digestion.

Our body’s system manufactures cholesterol naturally, in moderation. However, other sources like stress, low exercise, and kind of foods we eat tremendously change the level of cholesterols in the body. The truth is, we cannot solely depend on medicines and other clinical treatments to treat our high cholesterol. But along with that, with the help of a healthy diet that can be changed and brought under control.

Factors Responsible For High Cholesterol:

  • Alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Poor diet with high fats
  • No Physical Activity or exercise, resulting in weight gain
  • Diabetes
  • Growing age
  • Genetic history
  • Liver infections

25 Natural Home Remedies to Control Cholesterol:

Various herbs, fruits, vegetables, and cereals have the potential to reduce the cholesterol level in our body. Recognizing and including more and more of such foods in the daily diet and changing our lifestyle can significantly improve the health and lower the risk of having heart problems.

Coconut Oil:

The virgin coconut oil has been considered the best fat for our body, for cooking, skin, hair and lot many things. Prefer using virgin coconut oil over other oils. The reason being, lauric acid present in it is responsible for the increased supply of HDL and lowering the LDL in our body.

Whole Grains:

Whole grains are one of the best and healthiest options when it comes to satiating your hunger without risking the health. Especially for people with high cholesterol, whole grains like millets, oats, barley are very good options. They are very fibrous and contain fewer fats. They help you feel full for a longer time and can be cooked and consumed in a variety of ways.

Garlic and Onion:

Both belong to the allium family and are popularly known for their rich organic sulfur content. Consuming a clove or two of raw garlic empty stomach in the morning has been proven miraculous in case of high cholesterol. Crushed and raw garlic works more effectively than chopped or cooked one. A teaspoon of onion juice taken daily with honey is great at reducing the LDL.

Apple Cider Vinegar:

ACV has the same pH as our body. It is a great detoxifier. ACV works best when taken empty stomach with warm water. A regular intake of this organic vinegar helps in lowering the blood sugar, cholesterol, and thus even controlling the insulin level and blood pressure.

Coriander:

Coriander has been a part of Indian spices, since ancient times. The most commonly used form is to roast it and make it into a powdered form. Coriander has various medicinal benefits. Apart from the powdered version, coriander seeds can be soaked in water for overnight and the drained juice can be consumed daily or made into a tea. This immensely helps in minimizing the LDL in the blood and helps to improve the heart health.

Orange Juice:

Taking one full glass of freshly prepared homemade orange juice replenishes the body with vitamin C, fibers, and flavonoids. Avoid consuming any packed form as they may contain added sugar, which may actually worsen the situation. Regular intake of orange juice is great at alleviating the LDL and increases the HDL in the blood.

Ample Green Veggies:

Green veggies are full of fibers, and plenty of beneficial nutrients like magnesium, iron, calcium, and zinc etc. They are low in fats and can be eaten to the likings of your appetite, without a worry. Try to consume more and more of cruciferous veggies, like cabbage, cauliflower, kale, spinach, artichoke, bok choy. Use them in the form of salads or make a smoothie and consume, to reduce the LDL in your body and increase the HDL.

Fish Oil:

Fishes are known for their high and countless benefits. They are packed with proteins and are called super foods improving the eyesight, hair strength, and regulating blood cholesterol. People who do not have a liking for fish food, need not feel hopeless, as there are plenty of fish oil capsules available on the market.

Cinnamon:

Cinnamon is popular for its flavorful taste and warm texture. Cinnamon has proved quite beneficial in lowering the bad cholesterol, curbing the high blood pressure, and even in normalizing the blood sugar level. The medicinal wood can be used as spice after it has been roasted and powdered. Another great way is to dip the stick in warm water and consume it as tea.

Flax Seeds:

Flax seeds can be ground and stored in a jar. Sprinkling a few flax seeds over any dish can do wonders. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which boosts the overall immunity of our body. Flax seeds intake also contributes to reducing the bad cholesterol in our body and lowering the risk of heart problems.

Healthy Beverage:

We all love beverages and cannot solely depend on solid foods. While milk tea, cappuccino, are not very recommended in high cholesterol, you can easily opt for some healthier versions of beverages. These may include, green tea, other herbal tea, brewed coffee, lemon tea etc.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

To lower LDL and increase HDL, include rich sources like salmon fish, nuts like almonds and walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, and soybeans etc.

Fenugreek:

Locally known as ‘Methi’, fenugreek seeds are the biggest threat to bad cholesterol and high blood pressure. Methi seeds can be consumed in various ways. Some people consume a teaspoon of raw methi seeds with a cup of water. Methi seeds can also be soaked overnight and then the drained water can be taken empty stomach the next morning. The other popular way is to dry roast, then grind it and store it in a container and sprinkle it over the meals.

Fruits rich in Vitamin C:

Lemons, Indian gooseberries, oranges, grapefruits are quite replenishing as they have high fiber content, low sugar, and are quite effective at curbing the bad cholesterol. The other fruits which can be enjoyed in high cholesterol are papayas, blueberries, cantaloupes, pineapple, kiwi, and various other berries rich in vitamin C.

Nuts:

Nuts are rich in good fats. Apart from cashews, other nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachio, and figs are great options. They are packed with calcium, magnesium, fibers, good fats, and also omega-3 fatty acids. Contradictory to what may seem, nuts actually contribute to the better health of our heart and lower the risk of bad cholesterol.

Oatmeals:

Oatmeals are fibrous and satiating flakes and are responsible for lower absorption of cholesterol. Very easy and quick to make. Instead of cooking oatmeals in milk, prefer eating the salted version. You can saute various veggies along with the oatmeal and have a sumptuous breakfast or lunch. Homemade sugarless cookies made with oats also works as a great snack.

Reduce Trans Fats:

Trans fats literally mean fried foods. Foods with refined sugar and made using refined flour. This is really a bad news for our body. Trans fats drastically increase the LDL and contribute to the origin of many heart problems, along with clogged arteries.

Give up Smoking and Alcohol:

Smoking toxifies the blood, weakens the lungs, thus, reducing the immune system of the body. Alcohol has more adverse effects as when processed, it breaks down into fats and gets deposited into the liver, damaging its functioning. This increases the chances of more LDL and leads to creating more heart problems.

Stay Hydrated:

Water is the cheapest, most accessible, and natural way to get rid of all the toxins out of your body and regain your health in a short time. Keeping yourself hydrated saves you from binge eating and thus, speeding up the weight loss. When we are hydrated enough, we would prefer to eat less. Water also flushes out the bad cholesterol from our body.

Work-out:

A workout is always a great option whether you are healthy or suffering from an illness. Regular brisk exercising maintains a better-oxygenated blood flow. As we exercise, we tend to sweat more and also burn the bad calories present in the body. Light exercises on daily basis make our heart strong and healthy.

Small Frequent Meals:

Doctors advise to have small frequent meals instead of few heavy ones. Digesting heavy, rich, and larger chunks of meals put loads of pressure on our digestive system. This ultimately leads to more lethargy, drowsiness, and heavy feeling. Taking small, frequent meals is a much better way to stay light and keep your heart healthy.

Reduce Stress:

Stress is an invisible culprit of our bad health. Stress disturbs the hormonal balance, causes the weight gain, and results in irregular blood pressure. Altogether, this is a bad situation as far as the health of our heart is concerned. Try to meditate, spend a certain time in the morning sunlight, indulge yourself in creative hobbies and stay away from negative situations or environments to minimize the stress level in your life.


How to Reduce Your Cholesterol Level Through Diet and Exercise?

Reducing cholesterol levels is easier than you think. There are a number of ways to reduce cholesterol levels. Diet and exercise plays an important role in reducing cholesterol levels. If you have high cholesterol levels, you should change your lifestyle.

Manage Cholesterol with Healthy Diet:

Diet plays an important role in reducing cholesterol. You can improve your heart health by making a few changes in your diet. Even if you are eating junk food for years, this small change can make a lot of difference.

Fat is an important part of healthy balanced diet and it should not be excluded. However, it is important to choose the right type of fat. There are different types of fats such as – unsaturated, saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated and Trans fat. Choosing healthy unsaturated fats that will help you lower your total LDL cholesterol and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.

1. Consume Food Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

Eat food that is high in omega-3 fatty acids, as they do not affect bad cholesterol. Example – almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, fish, salmon, herring, kiwi, mackerel etc. These are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help to increase HDL and reduce triglycerides. Besides the above, you should increase the amount of soluble fiber in your food. Soluble fiber is found in foods such as – oats, fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils etc that helps in reducing bad cholesterol levels.

2. Reduce Saturated and Trans Fats:

If you want to reduce cholesterol levels, it is must to choose low-fat dairy and lean meat. Saturated fat found in red meat and dairy products is not good for body, as it increases LDL cholesterol levels. The overall consumption of unsaturated fat should be less than 7% of your daily calories.

It is best to limit the amount of food that is high in saturated fats such as – ghee, butter, cheese, milk, cream, coconut oil, palm oil etc. Avoid packaged food, as it contains high levels of Trans fat that increases bad cholesterol levels significantly. Example – cookies, snack cakes, crackers, bakery products etc. All these food items contain partially hydrogenated oils and even if you eat small amounts – they can raise your cholesterol levels significantly.

3. Healthy Eating Tips:

A healthy diet is all about enjoying food from different food groups. Replace butter with spreads and margarines from olive or canola oil. Butter is high in saturated fat and raises your cholesterol, while margarine spreads are made of monounsaturated fats that actually lower cholesterol levels.

Choose from a variety of vegetable oils such as olive oil, canola oil, and sun flower oil etc for preparing food. Use mayonnaise made of peanut, sesame, canola, soy bean and sunflower oils to create delicious salads and sandwiches.

If you enjoy drinks and flavored milk, choose the one that has calcium added to it. Include small portions of cheese, such as – cottage, mozzarella, cheddar and ricotta up to 4 times a week. All these are healthy food options that lower cholesterol levels.

Enjoy healthy snacks such as – sliced raw vegetables, fresh fruits, handful of nuts and dried fruit etc. Remember that it is ok to include unsalted nuts as a part of healthy balanced diet. Try to limit take away foods such as – pasta, pizza, burger, chips, fried fish, cakes, pastries, cakes, biscuits, chocolates,
hamburgers etc to once a week.

Changing what you eat can be much easier than you think. Remember that you should follow the healthy eating tips outlined here, even if you are taking cholesterol lowering medicines.

Manage Cholesterol with Regular Exercise:

The right kind of workouts can increase the levels of heart-protecting HDL cholesterol and reduce harmful triglycerides. You can reduce cholesterol levels to a great extent by increasing your physical activity. Exercising 30 minutes every day for at least 5 days a week can help raise HDL cholesterol. Exercising with weight training can boost HGH, which results in reduced LDL level and increased HDL.

There is a combination of resistance training and aerobic exercise that reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. These workouts are beneficial for fat loss and cardiorespiratory fitness. For overall cardiovascular health, American Heart Association (AHA) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.

Walking briskly at a speed of 3 miles per hour for 5 day a week, gardening, playing badminton/tennis, bicycling etc come under the category of moderate intensity exercise. Jogging, running, swimming, aerobic dancing etc come under the category of vigorous-intensity exercise.

If you have high levels of cholesterol, you should start an exercise routine immediately. Many of us are tied up waiting for a perfect time to start exercise. Remember that there is nothing like ‘perfect time’. You just have to start it, as a lot of people have the habit of postponing things. Here are some ways to stay motivated to exercise.

1. Find a Routine That You Can Do at Home

There are certain workouts that you can do at home easily. Take a moment to think about what type of activities you enjoy and how to do at home. There are dozens of fitness apps that help you transform your phone into a personal trainer – turning your living room into a fitness studio.

2. Fix the Schedule

Schedule the workout session by blocking the time on your calendar for at least 4-5 weeks. You can opt for an audio app that offers audio workouts from top trainers of the industry. The classes may include – yoga, aerobics, Zumba and other training programs.

3. Set Some Space

People often find it difficult to choose a suitable place at home for their workout session. Most of the workouts do not need much space. A space of around 3-4 feet would be sufficient to set up a mini gym at home. If you have to move or dismantle the furniture, do it before only so that there are no excuses.

4. Set a Goal

Set realistic goals with clear milestones towards your goal. Make sure that it is not organized as a race. You should be able to achieve the goal easily. Try different exercises so that you are not bored. Remember that your body needs time to adjust. Take breaks when needed, rather than stretching unnecessarily.

5. Reward Yourself for Achieving Goals

It is always ok to reward yourself, each and every time you reach a milestone. It can either be compensating with a pizza or caramel brownie. If you are not foodie, reward yourself with a pair of sneakers. The best way to workout is finding a routine that you enjoy and make it a habit.

Bottom line

A well balanced diet and regular exercise can help in lowering blood cholesterol levels significantly. However, sometimes it is not enough to reduce cholesterol levels. If your doctor prescribes medicines to lower your cholesterol levels, follow the medication and continue with lifestyle changes.


How to Reduce Your Cholesterol Level Naturally With Home Remedies

Cholesterol happens naturally in your body, it is produced in the liver and is essential for cells, nerves and hormones to work properly. Cholesterol travels in the fatty acids of the blood and can build up on your arteries (plaque), reducing the blood flow to vital areas of your body. If the amount of plaque increases in long term it leads to higher levels of having a heart attack.

Usually the cholesterol levels are kept under balance, but the diet that has been developed in (mainly) western countries includes the ingestion of higher amounts of fats and refined carbohydrates that unbalance these values. When this happens the LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins, aka Bad Cholesterol) is elevated and HDL (High Density Lipoproteins, aka good cholesterol) rises, leading to a higher risk of heart attack or stroke.

Higher levels of cholesterol are not only caused by a bad diet, they can also have genetic causes, inactivity, diabetes, stress and hypothyroidism.

In this article we give you natural ways to reduce your cholesterol levels healthy and without using medication.

1. Reduce the Intake of Foods Full of Saturated Fats, Trans Fats, and Dietary Cholesterol

Foods rich in saturated fats (like butter, red meats, palm oil) raise your cholesterol levels. If you want to lower your values of cholesterol you should limit your intake of meat, poultry and fix to 4 ounces (approx. 110 grams) per day, instead you should select fish like salmon, sardines or trout (rich in omega-3) twice a week.

Red meats should be avoided since they have higher heme iron (that raises the risk of type 2 diabetes and colo-rectal cancers) and increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

2. Look for Fiber-rich Foods

Soluble fiber has been proven to be good lowering cholesterol levels. If you want to raise your intake in this kind of fiber you should add oats, barley, peas, sweet potatoes, beans, brussels sprouts, eggplant, beets, berries, passion fruit, oranges, pears, apricots and apples to our diet.

Besides eating more fiber can be a good ally for losing weight since it makes you feel full, so you won’t feel the need to eat excessively or snacks so often. But you shouldn’t start eating too much fiber at once since it may cause abdominal cramps or bloating, start introducing it into your diet slowly so your body gets used to it.

3. Look for High Protein

A higher consumption of proteins is associated with lower values of cholesterol. Although most people think that the only way to have enough proteins is by eating red meat, they’re wrong. You can have enough proteins by eating legumes such as lentils, peas or beans (like pinto beans, red beans, white beans and even soybeans). Besides being rich in proteins (making them a suitable alternative do meat) they are also rich nutritionally, helping to lower your cholesterol (both total and LDL type), blood sugar, equilibrate your insulin levels and lower the cancer risk!

Nuts and seed are also reliable sources of protein and help lower your LDL levels but if you decide to have them look for raw or dry-toasted versions with no slat added. Besides they provide a high number of calories, so you shouldn’t eat more than 1 ounce (about 28 grams) per day.

4. Loose the Most Weight You Can!

Excessive weight is never good for you right? Those extra pounds can lead you to develop many health problems, currently found in industrialize societies (type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, gout, cancer, among others).

To lose weight it’s important to limit all the fat intakes, even good fats, that when consumed in excess might lead to a heavier body. Notice the importance of losing weight: if you lost 10 pounds (or 4,5kilograms) you’ll reduce your LDL lever by about 8%. But to keep a healthier change, this height should be lost progressively and so allow your body to get used to the change. Look for an equilibrated eating plan that allows you to keep the necessary calories to your daily activities and helps you lose the extra pounds at the same time.

5. Have Plant Sterols

You may have already seen in numerous commercials that natural plant sterols can be a good ally to lower your cholesterol, and that’s true! Adding a daily intake of 1 to 2 grams of plant sterols can reduce LDL levels.

6. Keep Calm

Stress is one of the main causes of many health problems and diseases. Cholesterol levels can be risen when you are in constant stress! So, one way to keep your cholesterol levels you should try to keep calm. Relax, take a tea, grab an enjoyable book, meet some friends or take yoga lessons. Keeping calm is one effective way to keep your cholesterol levels under control.

7. Avoid Foods That Raise Cholesterol

Besides trans fats, there are some groups of foods that are responsible to rise your cholesterol levels. If you want to keep healthy cholesterol values you should avoid having sugar and refines carbohydrates (they stimulate the production of cholesterol in the liver, increasing inflammation), alcohol (like sugars, it stimulates the production of cholesterol in the liver and the inflammation, but having one glass of red wine a day can be helpful to reduce cholesterol and has benefits preventing cardiovascular diseases) and caffeine (too much intake of caffeine increases the cholesterol levels, so you should limit coffee and tea intake to 1 or 2 cups daily).

8. Exercise

Exercise is good for you, it helps you keeping your stress levels low, helps you lose weight and also improves your cholesterol. Having a moderate physical activity (about 30 minutes a day) raises HDL levels.

Besides (and as we told you earlier) exercise helps you losing weight and loosing weight also helps reducing your cholesterol levels, so exercise only has benefits for your health.

We recommend you taking small walks (about 1 hour), riding a bike, swimming or playing your favorite sport to help you keep motivated.

9. Quit Smoking

You want to reduce your cholesterol levels and you smoke? If you, stop it immediately. The first change will be the improving of HDL levels. Besides after quitting your blood pressure and heart rate will decrease. About one year after quitting, the risk of having a hearth disease is about half of the risk of a smoker. After 15 years of quitting, the risk of developing heart disease is about the same of someone that has never smoked. Aren’t these reasons good enough for you to quit right now?


How to Reduce Your Cholesterol Level by Yoga

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama

It is popularly also known as Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique. Nadi means nerve and Shodhana means cleansing or purification. In this pranayama, the first step is to exhale completely through the right nostril. Then inhale through the right nostril while blocking the left nostril with your ring finger. Now, exhale completely through the left nostril and close the right one with the tip of your right thumb. Repeat the cycle.

Benefits

  • Nadi Shodhan helps in cleansing and unblocking the nerves.
  • It enhances the quality of our metabolism and thus lowers the cholesterol levels.

Kapalbhati Pranayama

The alternative name for this pranayama is Skull Shining Breathing Technique. Kapala stands for the skull, whereas Bhati means to shine or luster. In this pranayama, the inhalation is gentle followed by vigorous exhalation. However, because of the intensity of this pranayama, it is advised that people with high blood pressure should avoid it and go for gentler options instead.

Benefits

  • Doing a couple of cycles of Kapalbhati not only improves the digestive system but also strengthens and rejuvenates the abdominal muscles and liver while helping with the weight loss too.
  • As the digestion improves, the level of cholesterol in the body is lowered down.

Sarvangasana

Sarva means all or entire and Anga is for body or limbs. As the benefits of this asana are not restricted to just one body part but spread to the whole body, that is why it has got the name Sarvangasana. This asana is also known as Shoulder Stand. In this asana, the person lies down. Step by step the whole body weight is put on both the shoulders, where the head is on the ground and feet straight in the air. The back is supported with the palms of both the hands.

Benefits

  • In a way, Sarvangasana blesses the whole body. But it is known to have a very good effect on our endocrine system.
  • Apart from that, it also improves the digestion and activates the abdominal muscles.
  • In this way, this asana is highly effective in curbing the cholesterol levels and enhancing fat metabolism.

Chakrasana

As the name indicates Chakrasana is popularly also called the Wheel Pose. Here, the first step is to lie down on your back on a flat surface. Then slowly lift the whole body upwards with the help of both the palms and feet. Both the palms and the feet should be completely touching the ground while the rest of the body including the head should be bent in a curve, up in the air. The whole pose gives the body a semicircular or a wheel look which is just about to roll.

Benefits

  • Chakrasana is mainly responsible for improving the functions of the liver.
  • A healthier and stronger liver helps in getting rid of the toxins and bad cholesterol from the body.
  • Chakrasana also helps in enhancing our digestive system and lowers the chances of constipation in the body.
  • The abdominal muscles are strengthened.

Shalabhasana

Shalabha is another name for locust. The name of this asana is inspired as it imitates the way a locust rests on the ground. For performing this asana, select a place and lie down facing downwards. Your arms should be stretched backward. The process is to exhale while lifting your chest, head, and arms off the floor, all at the same time and as high as possible. Try to stay in this position as long as possible while breathing normally. Slowly bring the body parts down while exhaling softly.

Benefits

  • Mainly provides relief from gastric troubles and aids in digestion.
  • Stretches the spine and increases the flexibility.
  • Helps in burning excess fats and eases constipation.

Paschimottanasana

It is also called Ugrasana or Seated Forward Behind or Two-Legged Forward Bend. Here, Paschima represents the back of the whole body, i.e. from head to heels. The anterior parts like the front of the body from face to toes represent the east. The head is the north and the soles and heels are the south. Sit with your back straight and lift your arms stretching upwards. Slowly bend down and touch your heels with your fingers, so that your head rests on your knees.

Benefits

  • Very effective in getting the excess fat out of the body.
  • Fights obesity.
  • Enhances the functioning of liver and kidney.
  • Improves the digestive system.

Ardha Matsyendrasana

This is Sitting Half Spinal Twist. This asana gifts the spine with maximum twist and flexibility. In the name, Ardha stands for half and Matsyendra is a legendary character in Hindu mythology who was also known as Lord of the Fishes. The technique is to sit in a way so that the right leg is bent and its heel touches the left hip. The left leg should be raised and put over the right leg and its heel should touch the knee of the right leg. While the right arm should cross over the left knee and hold the left feet. The head should be turned backward and the abdomen twisted to make a right angle.

Benefits

  • Healthy prostate gland and bladder.
  • Warming up of the whole abdominal muscles and improving digestion.
  • Stimulates the liver and removes cholesterol.

Vajrasana

Vajra means thunderbolt. It is one of the easiest poses that can be done by not only adults but also by kids. A simple posture which represents the sitting position of Hanuman from Hindu mythology. The posture is also followed by other religions like Muslims and Buddhists, especially during their prayer. Sit with your back straight, while the portion from knees to ankles should be bent backward touching the ground.

Benefits

  • Reduces cholesterol.
  • Helps the abdominal organs like liver and kidneys and rejuvenates them.
  • Makes the whole body strong and full of energy.

Savasana

Savasana is simply lying down at the end of all the asanas, while concentrating on your breath without a movement, like a dead body.

Benefits

  • Relaxes the body.
  • Maximises the benefits of other asanas.

List of Foods to Avoid High Cholesterol

Sugary Items

Sugar is the worst form of food when it comes to cholesterol and heart problems. And it is sad to see that we are heavily surrounded by foods that have sugar in them. Sugar is present in almost every food item that we consume. From pastries to cookies, ice creams, maple syrup, chocolates, and puddings. Even in things like bread, sauces, and corn syrups. This, it becomes very necessary for us to curb our habit of gorging on these taste bud satiating foods that may actually shoot up our cholesterol levels. Many people consume fruit juices in the name of health drinks. But this should be avoided at all costs and instead opt for fibrous fruits. In fact, sugar in the dissolved and liquid form is the deadliest culprit. Beverages such as iced tea, soda drinks, or cappuccino also need to stay away from.

Butter

Salted or unsalted, both kinds of butter are harmful if you are struggling with high cholesterol. In the past, margarine was considered to be a safer and healthier option. But recent research has proved that it has almost equal negative effects as normal butter for people with high cholesterol. If you have the habit of topping or frying your veggies, meat, or snacks like popcorn in butter, you better start changing that, or it may make the case worse.

Packaged Foods

Packaged foods are high in carbohydrates, sodium, and bad fats. The high quantities of sugar and salt present in the packaged foods like a pack of cookies, muffins, packaged and flavored popcorns, or mac and cheese are dangerous to our health. Even more so, when one is dealing with high cholesterol. Canned foods such as canned beans, pineapple slices, or even fish are quite harmful as lots of salt and sugar are used to preserve them for a longer time. Diet cokes and other canned drinks are nothing but another form of sugary drinks and regular consumption of such foods can eventually cause an elevation in the cholesterol levels and also lead to a heart attack.

Eggs

There is a mixed opinion on the effects of eggs in case of high cholesterol. The reason is that eggs have abundant cholesterol in them naturally. However, doctors advise to skip the yolk and just go for the egg whites. Another way to include eggs in your diet is to simply scramble them and eat in a balanced amount. It is better to limit the consumption of eggs to two or three times a week.

Junk Foods

When it comes to junk foods, the names that first pop up in our minds are burgers and pizzas. But in terms of our health and struggle to maintain the cholesterol level in control, they are nothing but sweet poison. Junk foods are usually made with refined flours, refined sugar, high salts, creamy cheese, and sauces that have too much sodium in them. All these unhealthy ingredients are used to make the junk foods tempting and addictive. On top of that, they are fried in oils and topped with rich creams. Apart from causing weight gain and diabetes, these foods increase the cholesterol in the blood, may block up the arteries and lead to severe heart problems. So, junk foods are a total no-no!

Fried Foods and Foods with High Salt

The list is endless. Microwave popcorn, potato chips, french fries, fried chicken wings, doughnuts, pizzas, burgers, instant soups, instant noodles, hot dogs, fried cheese balls, lasagna, and pasta. These items are a very teeny tiny part of the infinitely long list. First of all, the high salt present in these fried foods immediately worsens your blood pressure. Having an appetite for fried foods is a habit that you should quit as soon as possible if you want to stay healthy and not invite any serious diseases. For people with high cholesterol, it is wiser and safer to opt for homemade soups, with lots of veggies, no cream, and less salt. Have simple and plain popcorn instead of the packaged and buttered one. Go for steamed or grilled chicken and avoid the fried one. With these habits, you can enjoy your favorite dishes without putting your health at stake.

Dairy Products

Full fat milk, even the low skimmed one is a rich source of fats. Fats are very harmful as the molecules get deposited in the arteries and as a result, the plaque begins to build up. Cream cheese, packed creams, items like ice creams, even yogurts, and cheese that has fats in it, must be refrained from. Dairy products that are made from whole or even low-fat milk are high in fats and lactose, which is a natural form of sugar, and contribute to high cholesterol.

Fatty Meats

Fatty meats include red meats, liver, pork, beef, bacon, lamb, sausages, and any other organ meat. The great amount of fats present in them is a serious trouble for persons struggling with high cholesterol levels. Eating grass-fed beef.

Saturated Fats and Oils

Keep away from any hydrogenated vegetable oils, coconut oil, palm oil, and ghee. They are very rich and saturated in nature and not good for your health in case of high cholesterol. Instead, opt for baked or grilled way of cooking style and keep the oil use to a minimum. The oils safe for the heart are olive oil and safflower oil.

Avoid Unhealthy Snacking

When we get hunger pangs, it is very likely to stumble and fall for anything that comes first in front of our eyes. If we are not well prepared from before, chances are we would choose any random food that is available at that instant. Being outside for longer hours makes us more vulnerable in terms of what we eat, as the market surrounds us with countless unhealthy options. In such case, stay prepared and carry some healthy snacks with you like nuts, seeds, chopped fibrous salads, and things like oats, barley, or citrus fruits.


Foods to Eat to Lower Your Bad Cholesterol

Cholesterol is one of the confused aspects of human health. There are two types of cholesterol – good and the bad. Good cholesterol (HDL) aids in proper functioning of cells and nerves. On the contrary, a high level of bad cholesterol (LDL) contributes to stiffening and hardening of arteries (atherosclerosis), resulting in stroke and heart attack. If you have unhealthy cholesterol levels, the first thing you need to examine is your diet.

Before designing the diet to lower cholesterol levels, it is important to know the difference between good and bad fats in diet. Different types of dietary fats can have different effects of our body. Fats are categorized into – saturated, unsaturated and Trans fats.

· Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and harden in blood vessels. Example – cheese, meat, butter, coconut oil, palm oil etc. One should limit the intake of saturated fats to less than 7% of total calories.

· Unsaturated fats are the good fats that are liquid at room temperature. Example – olive oil, canola oil, fatty fish, walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds etc. These foods are beneficial to heart health and helps in preventing atherosclerosis.

· Trans fats are more harmful than saturated fats, as they are modified chemically to be solid at room temperature. Trans fats are found in food products with long shelf lives such as Baked goods and margarine.

People often make the mistake of avoiding foods such as eggs, cheese, oil etc that contain cholesterol. Strictly avoiding all the fats is not the solution, as it is all about eating a combination of nutrient rich food that tackle the root problem and fight inflammation.

Foods that Lower Cholesterol

There are several foods that help in lowering cholesterol levels. You can include different sorts of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, fish, lean meat and other types of healthy fat. When it comes to lower cholesterol levels naturally, making smart food choices will help you keep it under control. There are different foods that lower cholesterol in different ways.

For example – foods that are rich in soluble fiber bind the cholesterol in digestive system itself and drag it out of the body before circulation. On the contrary, some foods give your body polyunsaturated fats that directly lower bad cholesterol.

The best way to make your diet heart healthy is to load up your plate with foods that are low in unhealthy fats. Here is the list of best foods to eat that lower your bad cholesterol and heart disease risk factors.

1. Oats

Oats is the best food when it comes to lower bad cholesterol levels. All you need to do is change your morning meal and replace it with a bowl of oats porridge. Two servings of oat meal can lower the bad cholesterol level by 3-5% in 5 weeks. The primary ingredient in oats is beta-glucan, which absorbs LDL and makes your body free from bad cholesterol.

2. Eggplant, Tomato and Okra

Eggplant and okra come under the category of low calorie vegetables. They are good source of soluble fiber that is essential to control cholesterol level in body. Tomatoes are rich in vitamins and minerals, and are good for hydration. They also stimulate blood circulation, increase blood cells, platelets, detoxify the body, reduce cholesterol, improve eye sight and even fight against different forms of cancer.

3. Vegetable Oils

Most of the processed cooking oils are treated to remove flavors so that they do not intrude with other ingredients of the recipe. During the process of refining, all the essential nutrients and minerals are also removed. Vegetable oils such as – olive, canola, soybean, sunflower, corn, rice bran etc contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, which is good for health. They also give good taste to your food, pleasing you taste buds.

4. Nuts

All nuts are rich in vegetable protein, vitamin E, magnesium, natural plant sterols and unsaturated fats. A handful of mixed nuts have a potential to lower cholesterol by 5%. If you want to lower cholesterol within a month, you should eat a whole walnut daily. Besides walnuts, cashews and almonds are good options for treating cholesterol.

5. Apple, Avocado and Grapes

Apples and grapes are great source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients. Citrus fruits have necessary amount of nutrients and fiber content that aids in reducing cholesterol levels in the blood. These are low in saturated fat and high in cholesterol lowering soluble fibers. Similarly, avocados are rich in vitamin K, C, B1, B2, B3, protein, potassium and folate that help in maintaining a healthy blood pressure and lowers cholesterol.

6. Soya Beans

Soya beans have the ability to improve metabolism and also protect heart. They also improve digestive health, reduce the effect of menopause, decreases risk of diabetes, promote bone health and increases blood circulation. Tofu, a product of soy helps in lowering cholesterol levels. If you are a vegetarian, it is a good substitute of animal protein. It lowers LDL cholesterol and triglycerides without lowering HDL cholesterol.

7. Ginger and Garlic

Ginger and garlic are the two best foods found in kitchen. They are beneficial in various health conditions. They are known for their antibiotic properties and helps in reducing the level of bad cholesterol from the body. Eating 3-4 cloves of garlic everyday in the morning on empty stomach can lower the bad cholesterol levels significantly.

8. Cinnamon and Coriander

Cinnamon and Coriander are very useful spices that aids in lowering bad cholesterol level. To get complete health benefits of coriander, you should boil 2 tablespoons of coriander in a glass of water, train the decoction and drink it twice. Similarly, consume half teaspoon of cinnamon with a glass of water before sleep. Doing this regularly for few weeks can reduce LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar level in body.

9. Whole Grains

Whole grains are excellent dietary sources of fiber and may help improve HDL cholesterol levels. They lower the risk of heart disease, stroke and type II diabetes. You can include different kinds of whole grains such as – brown rice, barley, corn, millet, sorghum and quinoa in your regular diet to lower cholesterol levels.

Conclusion

Bad cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease. Fortunately, you can lower the risk of bad cholesterol by including the above foods in your regular diet. Remember that none of these foods are magic bullets against bad cholesterol that will strike out the negative effects of unhealthy diet instantly.

You should add the above foods to your regular diet and do exercise regularly to lower cholesterol levels. Stick to cholesterol lowering diet plan from today!


HDL: 11 Foods to Increase Good Cholesterol

High Density Lipoproteins (HDL) are known for being the “good cholesterol” since it can take the fats away from clogging your arteries. Besides it transports fats from your adipocytes (fat deposits) and delivers them to the liver where they are transformed, avoid hearth diseases.

There is also a kind of bad cholesterol, Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) that transport fats from your liver to your tissues, that when in excess can provoke hearth diseases, strokes among others.

Higher levels of HDL are possible due to an active lifestyle, exercising regularly, not smoking, and having and healthy diet.

In this article we present you 10 foods that can help you having higher HDL levels.

1. Olive Oil

Olive oil is widely used around the world in many cultures for cooking and as seasoning and is one of the healthiest fats. Extra-virgin olive oil is rich in healthy fats that can increase HDL and lower LDL cholesterol.

It is recommended to use olive oil to cook at low temperatures (since high temperatures break it down) and use it for dressings to flavor foods after they’re cooked.

Lots of studies have been performed to prove the benefits of olive oil, namely reducing LDL levels, increasing HDL and reducing hearth attack risk due to the high amount of polyphenols present.

2. Legumes and Beans

Most people are familiar with the parents and doctors insisting on a diet rich in legumes since early age. This insistence has a reason, and a good one, they are rich in soluble fibers that are important to raise your cholesterol levels since it improves your bowel movements.

Beans are rich in folates, a type of vitamin b known for having lots of health benefits, namely for your hearth.

3. Whole Grains

Grains are high in soluble fiber, boosting HDL levels. Good examples of this foods are bran, cereals or brown/wild rice.

It is recommended to have at least two servings per day.

4. Fruits High in Fiber

Like vegetables, some fruits are rich in fiber, like apples, pears and prunes. These fruits can rise your HDL levels and lower your LDL levels. They are great desserts and can be blended on juices and smoothies. It is also recommended to eat fruit as an afternoon snack.

5. Fatty Fish

Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, rainbow trout or mackerel are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and are known for their benefits lowering LDL levels and consequently increasing HDL.

You should have at least 2 serving of fish peer week. If you have trouble eating or finding these fish, you can always ask your doctor for fish oil supplements that also rich in healthy fatty acids.

Studies have found that omega-3 fats found in fish reduce inflammation and helps your cells that line your arteries functioning better.

6. Flax

Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil have a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, therefore being used for many vegetarians as a source of heart-friendly fats. Although it has benefits you shouldn’t eat the whole flaxseed since ours bodies don’t digest it and you won’t get any of its benefits.

You can add ground flaxseed oh most of your dished, baked goods, smoothies, yogurt and dips.

7. Nuts

Most nuts (almonds, peanuts, brazil nuts, among others) are rich in healthy and hearth-friendly fats. Besides they have a substance group called sterols that block the absorption of cholesterol to your body. They are also rich in fiber.

Nuts are easy to consume, they ca be added to your dishes (like salads, cereals, yogurts) or be consumed has a snack during the day. But if you are on calorie strict diet you must be careful with the number of nuts you are having since they are highly caloric.

8. Chia

Chia seeds have an increasing interest for the consumers since their benefits are well known and studied. They are rich in omega-3, fibers and nutrients, being a good ad-on to your diet on cereals, oatmeal, dressings, yogurt, smoothies, salad, bread…. The addition to your diet will increase HDL levels, lower LDL levels and decrease blood pressure, reducing the risk of stroke.

9. Avocado

Instagram’s favorite food is one of the healthiest and more recommended to get higher HDL levels. Avocados are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats (like folate) that boosts HDL levels and reduces LDL, reducing the risk for heart attack. Besides they are rich in fiber, that are good for your bowel health.

10. Soy

Soy is widely appreciated for vegetarians and is gaining a huge interest for consumers in general since it helps reduce meat consumption. It is important to decrease the meat consumption since a diet rich in meat is more likely to lead to higher LDL levels in your organism.

Soy can be cooked in many ways (such has meat) and makes a great appetizer or main dish.

11. Red Wine

Since, 1992 that wine has been considered and widely studied due to a theory proposed on a famous American show by a doctor. This doctor made the observation that the French, despite their fat rich diet, have the lower mortality and morbidity for heart diseases and it would be due to their high red wine consumption.

Red wine is rich in phenolic compounds (namely resveratrol) that are known for raising HDL levels, decreasing the risk for heart diseases. Although wine consumption has benefits for your health you must be careful: since it is an alcoholic beverage it is not recommended to drink more that a glass a day for woman and two glasses a day for man. Besides, if you have a higher count of triglycerides you shouldn’t drink red wine since you’ll probably worsen this problem. Before drinking you should always contact your doctor.

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