Cholesterol is a waxy, fatty substance that the liver produces. It is also present in animal foods. Cholesterol supports many essential bodily functions, but high levels can lead to health problems.
According to the
High cholesterol does not cause symptoms, but it can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Doctors
Studies have shown that statins
This article explores some natural ways to lower cholesterol without medication. It also discusses what cholesterol is and why high levels can be harmful.
Trans-unsaturated fatty acids (trans fats) are unsaturated fats that have undergone an industrial process known as hydrogenation, in which vegetable oils are heated in the presence of hydrogen and a catalyst. Food manufacturers use trans fats because they are relatively cheap and sustainable.
Sources of trans fats can include:
- vegetable shortage
- partially hydrogenated vegetable oils
- fried food
- certain processed and prepackaged foods
According to the
LDL cholesterol can build up in the arteries and increase the risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke. HDL cholesterol helps remove LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream.
Nuts and some other foods
The researchers at A
However, the researchers stressed that further conclusive research is needed, as the study results stemmed from observational findings.
Polyunsaturated fats include omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Both omega-3 and omega-6 are known as essential fatty acids. Essential refers to the fact that the body cannot produce these oils and a person can only get them directly from food sources.
There is some evidence that consuming these fats instead of saturated fat may have a beneficial effect on blood cholesterol levels by lowering LDL cholesterol without affecting HDL cholesterol.
Dietary sources of polyunsaturated fats
- some types of nuts, such as walnuts
- some seeds, including sunflower seeds
- vegetable oils, such as soybean, corn and sunflower oil
- other soy products, such as tofu and edamame beans
Eating fiber-rich foods can be
When a person consumes soluble fiber, it absorbs water and forms a thick, gel-like paste in a person’s intestines. This gel helps support digestion and also aids in fat retention, meaning the body cannot absorb them. As such, soluble fiber can help lower LDL cholesterol levels.
Foods rich in soluble fiber include:
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), most Americans do not consume the recommended amount of dietary fiber. The recommended amount is about 28 grams per day based on a daily diet of 2,000 calories.
However, it’s worth noting that consuming too much soluble fiber can lead to constipation, bloating and stomach pain. People should try to gradually increase their soluble fiber intake over time.
Getting enough quality sleep is important for health. How much sleep a person needs changes with age, and research suggests most adults should aim for it
However, researchers are still trying to understand how sleep affects cholesterol. Some
In general, poor sleep duration and quality seem to negatively impact cholesterol, but it’s not clear exactly why or how this is the case. Therefore, it may be beneficial to overall health and cholesterol management for a person to develop good sleep hygiene practices.
Read more about sleep apnea and high cholesterol here.
Smoking can lead to high cholesterol because it can lower circulating HDL levels.
In addition, the chemicals in cigarette smoke can cause LDL to become stickier and also
By quitting smoking, a person
Read more about quitting smoking here.
Drinking water regularly and getting enough is that
The liver plays a key role in controlling cholesterol levels as it helps break down cholesterol. If the liver cannot function properly, cholesterol can build up in the body.
Read more about drinks that can help lower cholesterol here.
The liver naturally produces all the cholesterol the body needs. However, certain foods contain cholesterol and other foods can trigger the liver to produce more of it.
High levels of LDL cholesterol can lead to fatty deposits on the walls of arteries, which increases a person’s risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
HDL cholesterol collects LDL cholesterol and other fats from the arteries and transports them back to the liver. The liver removes excess cholesterol by converting it into a digestive fluid called bile.
While people should aim for more HDL cholesterol than LDL cholesterol, experts recommend that adults keep their blood levels of total cholesterol below 200 milligrams per deciliter.
Read more about cholesterol levels by age here.
Cholesterol supports many essential bodily functions, such as cell membrane formation and hormone production. However, high LDL cholesterol levels can increase a person’s risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
People can naturally lower their cholesterol levels by adopting
This may include changing the types of fats they eat, consuming soluble fiber, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy body weight, limiting alcohol consumption, and getting enough quality sleep.