How To Lower High Cholesterol Levels Naturally
High cholesterol levels can occur as a result of eating too many saturated fats and not enough fibrous foods such as fruits and vegetables and nuts and seeds. It can also result of being overweight or obese and living a sedentary lifestyle, as well as from diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, kidney and liver diseases or an under-active thyroid.
Cholesterol is required in the body to help metabolize fat soluble vitamins, as well as to help with the production of certain hormones and bile. However, when the levels become too high, it puts one at risk for certain types of cancers as well as atherosclerosis, stroke, heart attacks and many other cardiovascular diseases. Therefore it is essential to lower high cholesterol levels when they get too high.
Lots of Fruits and Vegetables
Consuming lots of fruits and vegetables will help to lower high cholesterol levels naturally. They are high in fiber, which helps to prevent the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract. The soluble fiber binds itself to the cholesterol and other toxins and removes it from the body.
Many fruits and vegetables also contain plant sterols and plant stanols, which work together in a similar manner as prescription drugs to help lower high cholesterol levels. The only difference is that the plant sterols and stanols are natural, and thus they do not cause any harmful side effects that a lot of prescription drugs do.
Foods High in Niacin
High Cholesterol is often treated with higher dosages of a B vitamin, also known as niacin. When given as a drug, it can cause side effects, but niacin can also be obtained from certain plant-based foods in lower dosages and without any side-effects.
These foods include almonds and almond butter, peanuts and peanut butter, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, leafy greens such as kale and spinach, carrots, celery, broccoli, peppers, asparagus and mushrooms.
Foods High in Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids have also been shown to lower cholesterol levels naturally. These are fats that can be found in avocados, walnuts, flax seeds and flax seed oil, hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds.
Getting the heart rate up at least 3 to 4 times per week can also help to lower high cholesterol levels dramatically. Studies show that those who do not engage in regular exercise are more likely to have high cholesterol levels than those who exercise regularly.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Excess body weight has also been shown to increase the LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Regular exercise and a healthy diet will help to maintain a healthy weight, so that the risks can be reduced.