Tip 1: Choose healthy fats consciously
To lower your cholesterol naturally, it is good to know what types of fats exist and what influence they have on cholesterol levels. There are three types of fats: saturated fats, unsaturated fats, and trans fats.
Saturated fats are mostly found in animal products such as red meat, full-fat cheese, and full-fat dairy products. They increase LDL cholesterol in the blood, also known as bad cholesterol. Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, lower LDL cholesterol and fit well into a healthy diet. You can find unsaturated fats in products such as liquid baking and frying products, nuts, and oily fish. Trans fats are the unhealthiest of all fats and should be avoided completely. They are found in food that contains hydrogenated fats, such as cookies, snacks, and fried foods.
Tip 2: Eat less sugar
Eating too much sugar causes your body to produce more bad LDL cholesterol. Therefore, limit artificial and quick sugars as much as possible, which you can find in, for example, white bread and white rice. Artificial sugars, such as fructose syrup, dextrose, and saccharin, are often added to processed foods.
You don't have to exclude sugar completely, but make sure they consist of slow carbohydrates as much as possible, found in, for example, oatmeal, brown rice, and vegetables.
Tip 3: Eat more dietary fiber , instead of statins
Dietary fiber, also called slow carbohydrates, are important components of our diet. When you eat dietary fiber, the sugars from the food are absorbed more gradually into your blood. This causes your blood sugar level to rise less quickly and less high. This has the advantage that you don't get energy peaks and valleys and stay satisfied longer after eating. This is not only beneficial for people with diabetes but also for people who want to lose weight or lower their cholesterol levels without using statins.
Dietary fiber also has a positive effect on digestion and contributes to a healthy gut flora. Therefore, make sure you get enough dietary fiber daily by eating, for example, whole grain products, vegetables, fruits, and legumes.
Tip 4: Drink less alcohol
Alcohol can have a negative effect on the total cholesterol level in the blood. When you drink alcohol, it enters the bloodstream through the stomach. Via the bloodstream, it reaches the liver, and this can damage the liver. This can cause the liver to increase cholesterol production, which can lead to an increase in the total cholesterol level in the blood, including LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
Read here for everything about the effects of alcohol on your health.
Tip 5: Quit smoking
Smoking lowers HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) because cigarette smoke damages blood vessels and causes inflammation. This can cause fat and cholesterol to accumulate in the vascular walls, narrowing blood vessels, and obstructing blood flow.
Quitting smoking can help increase HDL cholesterol and reduce inflammation, reducing the risk of health problems.
Tip 6: Eat more vitamins
In combination with a healthy diet, especially vitamin C and E have a positive effect on your cholesterol levels. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, and plant-based oils are good sources of these vitamins. Want to know if you're getting enough vitamins? Add a blood test for vitamins to your check-up.
Tip 7: Add herbs to your diet
Garlic, ginger, and fenugreek have a positive influence on cholesterol. Garlic lowers LDL cholesterol through allicin. Ginger reduces the absorption of cholesterol and increases HDL cholesterol. Fenugreek contains saponins and fibers that lower LDL cholesterol.
Add these herbs to your meals for natural cholesterol reduction.
Tip 8: More exercise
Regular exercise increases the HDL cholesterol in your body. Move for at least thirty minutes every day to reap the health benefits.
If you're overweight, especially with belly fat, try to lose weight. Fat around the belly increases cholesterol levels. Various studies show that a weight loss of five to ten percent results in lower cholesterol and also reduces the risk of heart disease.
Tip 9: Reduce stress
Stress can have a negative impact on your cholesterol levels. When you're stressed, your body produces stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones can increase the cholesterol in your blood, especially the LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels.
To keep your cholesterol levels healthy, it's important to reduce stress and relax. This can be done in different ways, depending on what works best for you. For example, yoga, meditation, and mindfulness exercises can help reduce stress.
It's important to remember that reducing stress and lowering cholesterol levels are not quick fixes. It's a process that requires time and consistency.
Tip 10: Get enough sleep
A good night's sleep is important for a healthy cholesterol level. During sleep, growth hormones are produced that repair and renew cells. Lack of sleep can lead to changes in hormone levels and a disrupted metabolism, which can lead to increased levels of LDL cholesterol.
Lack of sleep can also cause weight gain by increasing the hunger hormone and decreasing the satiety hormone. This can lead to an unhealthy diet and higher cholesterol levels.
Do you want to know about your own cholesterol level? A comprehensive blood test by Prescan examines the functioning of your organs and blood count, including cholesterol. It provides a good indication of your health.