While there are medications that can help lower cholesterol, a lot of people would prefer to go about it the natural way. After all, if your body’s cholesterol count went up naturally, it can go down naturally as well.
Doing it naturally allows you to save money, but also helps you create real health changes that last. You also reduce the risk of side effects.
How do you reduce your cholesterol naturally?
Talk to Your Naturopathic Doctor about a Target
Before you start trying to reduce cholesterol, talk to your doctor. Figure out where your cholesterol levels are at right now and what your target cholesterol levels should be.
This will give you a good baseline to work from and a good goal to move towards. When you get your check-up next time, you’ll be able to tell whether or not what you’re doing is working.
Get More Exercise
More exercise, even if in small increments, can do wonders for your cholesterol count.
If you prefer longer exercise sessions, try to get 3-4 sessions of 30 minutes or more per week. Make sure you sustain approximately 70% of your maximum heart rate for at least 20 minutes.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to exercise all at once, you can do just 5 minutes of exercise every hour of the day. This makes it very easy to keep up with the exercise schedule because it’s in small, bite-sized chunks.
Reduce Your Fat Intake
Fat intake has a lot to do with high cholesterol. Doctors say that instead of eating less egg or dairy, cutting back on fat is the real key.
Eliminate all junk food from your life. Stop eating TV dinners, microwavable meals and anything that’s highly processed. Stop eating deep fried foods.
Anything that has a high fat content should be avoided.
Add More Fiber to Your Diet
Researchers have found that as little as 15 grams of fiber per day can reduce your LDL (“bad” cholesterol) levels by as much as 10%.
Healthy fibers to add to your diet include vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains.
Try to add vegetables and ground flax seeds to every meal. Even just adding a small salad can go a long way. Eat fruits between meals as snacks instead of junk foods.
Finally, replace white rice or pasta with whole grains and/or beans. The transition might be difficult at first, but cooking with whole grains isn’t much more difficult than other forms of carbs.
Lowering your cholesterol naturally isn’t complicated, but it does take some dedication and commitment. You’ll have to change a few things about your lifestyle. The best way to make sure you can come up with a plan and stick to it is to involve your friends and family to help you in the process.
By: Dr. Sandra Miranda, ND