How to lower cholesterol naturally without medication

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 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a person’s lifestyle choices are the main cause of high cholesterol. However, genetics, certain medical conditions, and medications can also contribute to high cholesterol.

High cholesterol does not cause symptoms, but it can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Doctors may prescribe statins or other medications to help lower a person’s cholesterol levels.

Studies have shown that statins lower the risk of heart attack and stroke in people with high-low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. However, these drugs can cause side effects.

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:

  • margarine
  • vegetable shortage
  • partially hydrogenated vegetable oils
  • fried food
  • certain processed and prepackaged foods

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), consuming trans fats can negatively affect a person’s health in two different ways. First, they can raise blood levels of LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol. They may also lower blood levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol.

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 are rich in monounsaturated fats. These fats are in the form of liquids at room temperature. Good sources of monounsaturated fats Involving:

The researchers at A Study from 2018 found that monounsaturated fat from plant sources may lower the risk of heart disease more than monounsaturated fat from animal sources.

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 Involving:

  • 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 favorable for blood cholesterol levels. There are two kinds of dietary fiber – soluble and insoluble.

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 7 or more hours sleep per night.

Other evidence indicates that there is a link between short sleep duration or poor sleep quality with higher cholesterol levels.

However, researchers are still trying to understand how sleep affects cholesterol. Some Research suggests that HDL levels are lower in people with insufficient sleep. While other research indicates that too little or too much sleep can lead to low HDL levels.

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 injury the lining of blood vessels, causing them to become swollen and inflamed. As such, smoking can make it difficult to control cholesterol levels and increases the risk of a possible blockage of the arteries.

By quitting smoking, a person can decrease their LDL and raise their HDL cholesterol levels. This can help slow the buildup of new fatty deposits in arteries and support overall health.

Read more about quitting smoking here.

Drinking water regularly and getting enough is that extremely important for good health and essential for good liver health.

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.

A Study from 2021 research on the role of hydration for metabolic health in older adults found that hydration was associated with higher HDL cholesterol concentrations. This suggests that drinking water is not only a healthy drink option, but can also help control cholesterol levels.

Read more about drinks that can help lower cholesterol here.

cholesterol is a fatty substance present in every cell of the body. While having too much cholesterol can increase your risk of adverse health effects, the body needs cholesterol to build and maintain cell membranes produce:

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 diet and lifestyle changes.

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.

How to lower cholesterol naturally without medication

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