It’s a word that strikes fear into the hearts of the over-30 crowd – a word you see repeated in the media as a boogeyman to be avoided at all costs. In truth, cholesterol in and of itself isn’t bad. It’s merely a fact of life, an organic lipid your body needs to create healthy cells. However, an overabundance of cholesterol can get you into trouble.
High levels of cholesterol manifest in your body as fatty deposits, which, if left unaddressed, can increase your risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke. This is complicated by the fact there are two types of cholesterol: LDL and HDL. The former is bad, while the latter is good – and it’s when you have too much LDL with not enough HDL that bad things can start happening.
If you have high cholesterol, your doctor will suggest medical remedies to amend the issue. Additionally, there are natural lifestyle choices you can make to lower your cholesterol. Together, medical intervention and natural alternatives make an effective one-two punch against high cholesterol.
Here are a few natural ways to keep your cholesterol down.
Choose Your Fats Wisely
Not sure which fats to cut and which to include? At its most basic, medical advice goes something like this. Avoid these fats:
- Trans fats
- Saturated fats
And include these fats instead:
- Monounsaturated fats
- Polyunsaturated fats
Examples of foods high in trans fats – which should be avoided – include margarine, non-dairy coffee creamer, deep-fried foods, processed snacks and red meat. Examples of foods high in saturated fats – which should be limited – include fatty cuts of pork, coconut oil and chicken skin.
Swap these out for monounsaturated fats like nuts, olive oil or avocados, or polyunsaturated fats found in fish, walnuts and flaxseeds.
Sip on Green Tea and Chaga Tea
According to a meta-analysis cited by Healthline, green tea greatly reduces overall cholesterol, including LDL. Healthline-cited studies have also shown that chaga tea, used frequently in traditional Chinese medicine, may also reduce cholesterol.
Green tea is relatively easy to find on your supermarket shelves. On the other hand, Chaga tea needs to be sourced online through a reputable seller, preferably offering USDA-certified organic products. What is chaga mushroom powder exactly? In addition to its potential for lowering cholesterol, chaga may also boost your immune system and lower your blood pressure. It’s worth seeking out, regardless of whether you’re combating high cholesterol!
Incorporate Soluble Fibre
Increasing your fiber intake can help you decrease your overall cholesterol, including the unwanted LDL type. Fiber appears to achieve this feat by blocking fat absorption in your stomach and intestines.
You can try taking fiber supplements, which can be found at pretty much every pharmacy. Or incorporate more fiber into your home-cooked meals with ingredients like oats, beans, brussels sprouts and broccoli (to name just a few).
In addition to the straightforward dietary choices listed above, you may also include physical activity in your daily routine, which can profoundly impact your cholesterol levels. Together with medical guidance, these personal choices should keep your heart healthy and happy for a long time.