If your cholesterol levels are less than 200 milligrams per deciliter it may satisfy your doctor. But actually, they should probably be less than 100 mg/dL.
If the reading is between 200 and 239 mg/dL, it's borderline high.
If your reading is 240 mg/dL or higher, that's high and your doc will want to give you medication to control it. Here you will find natural remedies for lowering cholesterol.
Read along to learn all about how to lower cholesterol naturally! We’ll explore what causes high cholesterol, the top foods to lower cholesterol naturally, what foods to avoid. I'll also share what supplements and herbs to lower your cholesterol and essential oils that can play a big role in lowering your cholesterol levels as well as what lifestyle changes to make.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in your blood. Cholesterol is not bad. It has many functions. It's only bad when it is unbalanced. Your body needs cholesterol to build strong, healthy cells. Cholesterol also synthesizes vitamin D, hormones and bile acids.
But, if you have accumulated toxins, known as ama in Ayurveda, it can have a harmful effect. If cholesterol levels in your blood get too high, you risk the chance of high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke.
Here's how it happens. First, fatty deposits develop in your blood vessels. Eventually, the deposits build up to the point that not enough blood can flow through your arteries. The deposits can break off and form a clot. And that’s when you hear about people having heart attacks and strokes.
High cholesterol can be genetic, but it’s usually caused by these factors as well:
Foods that are high in cholesterol – like red meat and dairy products can also increase your cholesterol. Trans-fats found in commercially baked goods can raise your cholesterol level too.
When your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or greater, you are at risk of high cholesterol. More on weight loss here.
Lack of exercise
Exercise goes a long way in helping to boost your body's HDL levels, or the “good,” cholesterol. Start with at least 30 minutes of exercise at least 30 minutes a week. How much you exercise may be more important that what kind of exercise you do.
Smoking cigarettes damages the walls of your blood vessels. This makes you more to accumulating fatty deposits. Smoking lowers your levels of HDL, or “good,” cholesterol.
When you age, your liver also ages, making it less able to remove the LDL or “bad” cholesterol from your blood. As you age, your body’s chemistry changes and your risk of high cholesterol climbs.
High blood sugar also contributes to higher levels of dangerous cholesterol known as VLDL. (Very-low-density lipoprotein). This also lowers the good cholesterol. If you have high blood sugar, the lining of your arteries stand a good chance of getting damaged.
Are there complications of high cholesterol?
Yes, let’s look at them:
Development of atherosclerosis – When your cholesterol is high, there is a dangerous accumulation of cholesterol on the walls of your arteries. This disease is called atherosclerosis.
When the plaque builds up, further complications can arise:
- Chest pain occurs when arteries that supply your heart with blood become clogged.
- Heart attack. If the plaque buildup tears or ruptures, a blood clot could form at the place where the plaque has built up, blocking blood flow. Some of it could then break off – if this happens, it can plug an artery further. Any blockage of blood to your heart brings on a heart attack.
- Stroke. Just like blood not getting to the heart, if blood flow can’t get to your brain, you can have a stroke.
Fortunately, there are a lot of wonderful Natural Remedies for Lowering cholesterol that you can start using today.
Some of them even promise quick results. Just improving your diet and adding in exercise can do wonders for your cholesterol levels.
Top Foods to Lower Cholesterol Naturally
Olive oil is laden with heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Use extra-virgin olive known to lower bad LDL cholesterol levels and enhance heart health.
Vegetables are top nutrient-dense foods high in minerals, vitamins, and fiber. They support heart health and are low in calories. Studies show that when you eat more vegetables, you lower your LDL cholesterol levels.
Ayurveda suggests that we favor and focus on bitter and astringent vegetables.
Bitter vegetables include all leafy greens like spinach, kale and mustard greens. Use spices like cumin, coriander, and fennel to aid digestion.
Astringent vegetables: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower
Nuts and Seeds
Rich in healthy fats and fiber, they are a superb dietary addition if you want to lower your cholesterol. Plenty of studies reveal how eating nuts can lower levels of LDL cholesterol. Nuts also can decrease triglycerides, which are the most common type of fat found in your body.
Seeds are highly nutritious, particularly flaxseed which can reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
We probably all know how valuable omega 3 fatty acids are for our health. Salmon is loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids. Fatty acids help a great deal in lowering cholesterol levels and inflammation to enhance heart health.
This golden spice has a powerful compound called curcumin. Curcumin is capable of reducing levels of LDL cholesterol.
Most of us love garlic because it can add so much flavor to food and it has outstanding health benefits. Research shows that when you consume garlic for at least two months, you can lower your cholesterol levels to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Okra contains much fiber, potassium, and antioxidants, helping to promote better heart health.
Legumes and Beans
Legumes are beans, lentils, and peas.
When you add legumes into your diet, it benefits your health. There are studies which show that when you add legumes into your diet, you promote lower cholesterol levels in your blood.
So many of us adore this tasty tuber. Sweet pots contain lots of health-promoting proteins and compounds to decrease cholesterol levels.
Green tea is rich in antioxidants as well as catechins. These are anti-oxidant flavonoids which fight disease. Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages. Studies show that it is capable of reducing LDL cholesterol levels.
Persimmon is a delicious citrus fruit that has a major impact on heart health. It has plenty of fiber to lower cholesterol levels in adults.
Avocados have plenty of fiber in them as well as potassium and healthy fats. These combinations keep your cholesterol levels under control. Avocados increase the good levels of cholesterol (HDL) in your body but reduce the bad levels (LDL) as well.
Gluten-Free Whole Grains
Whole grains lower levels of cholesterol and improve heart health. Avoid the whole-grain foods that have gluten in them because then you can become highly inflamed. Examples of gluten-free grains are quinoa, buckwheat, and brown rice. If you want to know how to eat a gluten-free diet, you can find an excellent guide here.
Avoid These Foods
Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates
Sugar and refined carbs can usually be found in ultra-processed foods. These unhealthy foods eat up the good cholesterol levels in the blood.
Reduce or avoid sweet grains like pasta, wheat, bread, sweet dairy products, salad dressings, ketchup.
Every now and then it’s fine to enjoy a glass of red wine. But when you drink more than you should, it has devastating effects on cholesterol levels. It is imperative to keep alcohol consumption in moderation – stick to one or two glasses a week to keep heart and cholesterol health good.
In the same way as alcohol, if you go overboard with caffeine, you do damage to your cholesterol levels.
Coffee, sodas, and many energy drinks all have plenty of caffeine which can increase cholesterol levels. It’s a good idea to limit tea and coffee down to a cup a day to keep your cholesterol levels in check.
You will find plenty of trans-fats in pre-packaged and processed, fried foods.
Trans- fats increase your LDL cholesterol levels, and decrease the good HDL cholesterol. This means one thing – boosting your risk of coronary heart disease. Cut them out of your diet altogether if you want your cholesterol levels to improve.
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Supplements and Herbs to Lower Your Cholesterol
1. Fish Oil (1,000-2,000 milligrams a day)
This is one supplement you don’t want to leave out of your diet, no matter how healthy or unhealthy you are. It is simply packed with heart- and cholesterol-health omega-3 fatty acids. It is highly effective at increasing levels of good HDL cholesterol in the blood and clearing out LDL cholesterol from the arteries.
2. CoQ10 (200-300 milligrams a day)
CoQ10 stands for Coenzyme Q10 – very useful in lowering cholesterol levels. How does it work? Just by removing excess cholesterol from your blood and preventing that dreaded condition, atherosclerosis, from forming – worth its weight in gold.
3. Niacin (1,500 milligrams a day)
Niacin is known as vitamin B3 and is commonly used for treating high cholesterol. It is worth taking niacin because it is also known to reduce triglycerides and lower bad cholesterol. At the same time, it increases beneficial HDL cholesterol levels.
4. Red yeast rice (1,200 milligrams twice a day)
Red yeast rice is derived from white rice but which has undergone fermentation. One study shows that red yeast rice decreases triglycerides and also LDL cholesterol.
5. Garlic (500 milligrams a day)
Along with other fantastic health benefits, garlic is also known to lower cholesterol.
Triphala is an Ayurvedic formulation specific for reducing toxins and bad cholesterol from the body. Triphala can also help to reduce high blood pressure, which benefits circulation. It also helps to improve digestion and elimination.
Ayurvedic Remedy for Lowering Cholesterol Naturally
Here's another quick natural remedy that an Ayurvedic doctor gave me a few years back to lower cholesterol naturally:
2 Tablespoons of honey
3 teaspoons of cinnamon powder
Mix the honey and cinnamon powder in 475 ml green tea. Drink it down. It can reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10% within 2 hours!
Essential Oils Can Play a Big Role in Lowering Cholesterol Levels
Known to decrease stress and cortisol levels, Lavender oil is particularly beneficial for heart health.
Similar to lavender oil, cypress essential oil reduces stress which boots heart health. Cypress is known to promote good blood circulation. It helps to lower cholesterol levels too.
Rosemary has antioxidant properties. It also reduces blood lipid levels that help to stabilize blood sugar levels.
Lemon Grass Essential Oil
This oil promotes blood circulation and lowers cholesterol levels.
Ginger Essential Oil
Ginger contains antioxidant compounds to eliminate waster and reduce inflammation.
Oregano Essential Oil
Oregano helps to reduce cholesterol.
Cinnamon Essential Oil
Stabilizes blood sugar and reduces inflammation and fights infections.
Clove Essential Oil
An anti-inflammatory and pain relieving oil, clover is used for preventing blood clot formation.
Exercise Plays a Huge Part to Help You Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally!
You probably have heard your doctors say when it comes to reducing cholesterol levels, that you should get more exercise.
There are two types of exercise which work on improving health. These are aerobic exercises and resistance training exercises.
Aerobic exercises or cardio workouts help to lower cholesterol levels. It also strengthens the heart and lungs too. Running, walking, cycling, hiking will provide cardio benefits.
Resistance training is an exercise where you force your muscles to contract as you build up endurance and strength. Resistance exercise supports a decreases LDL cholesterol build up.
Lifestyle Habits for Lowering Chlesterol
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Even though we have given you many natural remedies for lowering cholesterol, you need to add healthy lifestyle habits too. We perpetuate ourselves through our lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle maximizes the effectiveness of your efforts.
Cholesterol-lowering effects of a healthy diet only work when you couple it with regular exercise, a good sleep schedule, and improving your digestion. Here is a full report on suggested lifestyle tips for health and vitality.
The Link Between Sleep and Cholesterol
Did you know that there is a link between sleep and your cholesterol? Usually, people automatically think of diet and exercise when they hear the words, “high cholesterol”. But researchers are also looking at the number of hours you sleep at night for answers about cholesterol.
Researchers have found that sleeping too much or too little can have negative impacts on your cholesterol levels.
Sleeping less than 5 hours a night was reported to raise the risk of high triglycerides in the blood. Those getting more than 9 hours of sleep produced the same effects. Individuals who sleep less than 6 hours increase their risk of developing cardiovascular disease as well.
Researchers also discovered that snoring is associated with lower levels of the good HDL cholesterol. When researchers did a study on adults who did not get enough sleep, it led to an increase in high cholesterol food eating, also a decrease in physical activity, and elevated stress levels.