What to use to lower cholesterol?
High cholesterol levels can increase the risks of heart diseases. The primary goal of treatment for high cholesterol levels is to lower the levels of LDL or bad cholesterol. There are different medications, changes in lifestyle, and natural remedies that can help in lowering the LDL levels. In this article, we will discuss what to use to lower cholesterol naturally.
1. Eat a healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet can help reduce cholesterol levels. Opt for food rich in soluble fiber, such as oats, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids twice a week, such as salmon, can also decrease the levels of LDL cholesterol. Avoid saturated and trans fats, which are found in meat, dairy products, and fried foods as they can increase LDL levels.
2. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise can help lower LDL cholesterol levels. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling, walking, or swimming.
3. Lose excess weight
If you are overweight, losing weight can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels. This can be done through a combination of diet and exercise.
4. Quit smoking
Smoking can raise the levels of LDL cholesterol levels in the body. Quitting smoking can not only lower cholesterol levels but also reduce the risk of heart disease and other health problems.
Various supplements can help lower cholesterol levels. These include:
- Plant sterols and stanols: These have been shown to help reduce cholesterol levels by blocking the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines. They are found in some margarine, orange juice, and supplements.
- Fiber supplements: Psyllium and beta-glucan supplements can help reduce cholesterol levels.
- Niacin: This B-vitamin can help lower cholesterol levels but should only be taken under medical supervision.
6. Herbal remedies
Several herbal remedies can help lower cholesterol levels. These include:
- Garlic: Garlic supplements can lower cholesterol levels by up to 15%. Fresh garlic has also been shown to have these effects.
- Red yeast rice: This supplement contains a compound similar to statins, which can significantly reduce cholesterol levels.
- Artichoke extract: This extract can help reduce cholesterol levels by blocking the production of cholesterol in the liver.
7. Prescription medication
If lifestyle changes and dietary supplements do not sufficiently lower cholesterol levels, prescription medication may be required. These include:
- Statins: These are the most commonly prescribed medications for lowering cholesterol levels. They work by blocking the production of cholesterol in the liver.
- Bile acid sequestrants: These medications help lower cholesterol levels by binding bile acids in the intestines, preventing them from being reabsorbed.
- Ezetimibe: This medication helps lower cholesterol levels by blocking the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines.
There are several natural ways to lower cholesterol levels, including a healthy diet, exercise, losing weight, quitting smoking, and taking supplements and herbal remedies. Prescription medication may also be required. Talk to your doctor about the best way to lower your cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease.
- What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance produced by the liver that travels through the bloodstream. It is needed for the production of hormones, vitamin D, and other substances that help digestion. However, too much cholesterol can be harmful.
- What is LDL cholesterol?
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is commonly known as “bad” cholesterol. It can build up in the arteries, leading to atherosclerosis, or the hardening and narrowing of the arteries.
- What is HDL cholesterol?
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is commonly known as “good” cholesterol. It helps to remove LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream, reducing the risk of heart disease.
- Can eating a healthy diet lower cholesterol levels?
Yes, eating a diet rich in soluble fiber, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and fish can reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
- What supplements can help lower cholesterol levels?
Plant sterols and stanols, fiber supplements, and niacin supplements can help lower cholesterol levels.
- What prescription medication can help lower cholesterol levels?
Statins, bile acid sequestrants, and Ezetimibe can help lower cholesterol levels.
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- “Cholesterol levels: What you need to know.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 2 Oct. 2020, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/232978.
- “How to Lower Your Cholesterol.” Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, 16 Nov. 2020, www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/how-to-lower-your-cholesterol.
- “Natural ways to lower cholesterol.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 28 July 2020, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/natural-ways-to-lower-cholesterol.