Tips to Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally
1.Diet: Increase your fiber and water intake
What’s the fuss about fiber anyway? For starters, it’s an important nutrient with countless health benefits. Found in plant foods, fiber is a carbohydrate that is not digested by the body.
Eating fiber has been shown to lower cholesterol, normalize blood glucose, and alleviate constipation. Emerging research also points to fiber’s potential role in lowering risk for heart disease and diabetes. Increasing your fiber can also aid in weight loss because fiber-rich meals are digested more slowly and they make you feel fuller longer.
It’s easy to see how increasing your fiber consumption today can result in long-term health benefits down the road. But, if you think adding fiber to your diet means gnawing on cardboard, think again!
10 easy steps to increase your fiber while adding flavor and variety to your diet:
1. Choose a wide variety of fiber sources
Plant foods provide two types of fiber: soluble fiber (which increases the feeling of fullness) and insoluble fiber (which aids the digestive system and promotes regularity). Peas, beans, oats, and fruits are the best sources of soluble fiber, while whole grains and vegetables provide the majority of insoluble fiber.
2. Take it slow
Most Americans eat far less than the recommended 25 to 38 grams of fiber per day. But making rapid changes to your diet is not advised. Increase fiber gradually to prevent excess gas and bloating and to allow your gastrointestinal tract time to adjust.
3. Pick whole grain foods over refined carbohydrates
Whole grain foods are a natural source of dietary fiber. Unlike refined carbohydrates (think white bread), whole grains retain the kernel’s fiber-rich outer shell, known as bran. But in addition to fiber, whole grains also supply an important source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. To identify whole grains, look for these ingredients on labels: whole wheat, hard red winter wheat, barley, triticale, oats, barley, rye, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, oatmeal, and bulgur.
4.Begin your day with a fiber boost
You’ve probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but starting your day with the right kind of fuel is equally important. Choose breakfast cereals with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving, opt for whole wheat toast, or grab a handful of fiber-rich berries.
5. Pick high-fiber snacks when the midday munchies hit
Avoid high-calorie, high-fat and low-fiber vending machine options by pre-packing fiber-rich snacks. Perfect answers to an afternoon slump include whole grain crackers, granola bars, homemade trail mix (made with low-fat granola), mixed nuts, and dried figs or apricots. Popcorn, a whole grain, is another high-fiber snack.
6.Add fresh fruit to every meal
Whether added to cereal, eaten as a snack, or enjoyed as a simple dessert, fresh fruit is a sweet way to add fiber to your diet. The fruits highest in fiber include apples (with skin), pears, oranges, and strawberries.
7. Load up on legumes
High-fiber legumes including beans, peas, and lentils are among the best sources of fiber. Add one serving to your day by incorporating legumes into salads, soups, and casseroles, or puree them to make a delicious dip.
8.Explore the globe
American food tends to be lower in fiber than other ethnic cuisines. Take your taste buds on an adventure and add fiber to your diet by dining on Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean fare. Tasty options include black bean burritos, hummus, tabouli, spicy bean salads, and whole wheat couscous.
9. Bake your own high-fiber goodies
Pump up the fiber content of your own baked goods by substituting whole grain flour in bread recipes, adding oatmeal to cookies, or loading homemade muffins with raisins, berries, or bananas.
10. Don't forget to hydrate!
As you increase your fiber intake, increase your fluids as well. Fiber pulls water into the intestines. Without adequate hydration, fiber can actually aggravate rather than alleviate constipation so you should drink at least eight glasses of fluid a day.
A little creativity, some preplanning, and a few new additions to your grocery list — and you’re well on your way to meeting your daily fiber requirements with wholesome, delicious foods. Just be sure not to overwhelm yourself with too many changes at once. Pick one or two ideas to try each week and stick with those that work best for you and your family.
~Article by Kashi
In a published study by the state of Pennsylvania and the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, two supplements were identified as helpful in reducing cholesterol naturally:
1. Red yeast rice: The by-product of yeast grown on rice. It includes several compounds that hinder production of cholesterol in the body.
2. Omega 3 Fish oil: Has been shown to lower triglycerides. According to the American Heart Association, research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids:
decrease risk of arrhythmias, which can lead to sudden cardiac death
decrease triglyceride levels
decrease growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque
lower blood pressure (slightly)
Less than 150 mg/dL
150 to 199 mg/dL
200 to 499 mg/dL
500 mg/dL or higher
These are based on fasting plasma triglyceride levels.
People with high triglycerides may need to substitute monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as those found in canola oil, olive oil or liquid margarine, for saturated fats.
Always check with your doctor before stopping or starting any new medication.
Exercise stimulates the enzymes that move LDL (bad cholesterol) from the blood and blood vessel lining into the liver, where it is converted into bile to aid digestion, or excreted from the body. In short, the more you exercise, the more LDL your body expels.
How Much Exercise Does It Take To Lower Cholesterol?
At a minimum, it takes 30 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous exercise, such as walking, jogging, biking, or gardening or lower cholesterol. Moderate exercise, the equivalent of 12 miles of walking or jogging per week, can lower LDL levels. Start slow, and build up to more vigorous exercise.
Always check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program.
What If I don’t have time or I am too tired to exercise?
Exercise on your lunch break and regular breaks:
Come in early before work or stay a few minutes after.
Purchase a pedometer and log your miles and/or steps.
Join a co-worker for a walk around your building. It does wonders for your body by lowering your stress and cholesterol levels.
Vary your routine by carrying light hand weights, walking outside in fair weather, and skipping rope in place every lap around the building (remember to wear sunscreen when outdoors). Be creative and safe, and you won’t become bored.
You will look and feel better in no time!
I hope these tips help you find a way to lower your cholesteral naturally. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact me by e-mail at Ysolei7@yahoo.com
Ava BonSaint,RN, BSN
"Those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it."