5 Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol
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5 Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol

Many of us have been told we have high cholesterol, which can potentially lead to heart disease and heart attacks, but do not want to harm our livers by taking statins. How then, do we lower our cholesterol safely? Here are 5 steps to help you lower your cholesterol without taking prescription medicine.

Cholesterol is, simply put, the fatty material that can be found in our blood and is an essential part of our body’s cellular function.  High cholesterol is when we have too much of this cholesterol in our system. 

There are many causes for this including poor diet, specifically eating too much saturated fat, lack of exercise and having a family history. 

So what can we do to help lower our cholesterol if we are diagnosed with high cholesterol?  Most doctors will tell you to lose weight and while this is very true and good advice, there are some changes you can make immediately that will help bring that number down:

  1. Cut back/out cheese and other fatty dairy products.  Cheese, butter, cream and full fat milk are all very bad for our heart if taken regularly.  These are made up mostly of fat.  This type of fat is hard for our body to break down and is all HDL.  Please note that eggs are not lumped in here, as they are have been found to not contribute to the level of cholesterol in your system.  It is essential not to use butter for frying/sautéing food.  Instead, use unsaturated fats like sunflower, rapeseed, olive oils etc.
  1. Many vegetables have been proven to balance cholesterol (as well as blood pressure and blood sugars) and so including a variety of the following in your diet may help considerably.  These include most members of the cruciferous family (broccoli etc), sweet potatoes and squashes, crimini mushrooms, beetroot (this is especially good but do not eat in excess as it is also a good source of Vitamin A, which, taken too often, can be hazardous to your health) and most red/black/blue berries 
  1. If you are a meat eater, cut right back on red meat, perhaps switching to leaner meats like venison or buffalo, but also increase your intake of oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines.  Oily fish contain omega 3 fatty acids.   If you are a vegetarian, you will need to obtain these fatty acids elsewhere.  Nuts are an alternative source, taken in moderation.  Vegetarians (and meat eaters) should increase the amount of pulses, fruits, oats, beans and lentils as higher fibre can help lower cholesterol
  1. It is highly beneficial to take a specialised drink, such as Benecol or Flora Pro-Active Cholesterol (also available in spread and yoghurt forms) as part of your weekly diet.  These tend to be slightly pricey so rather than having them every day, taking two initially and them one every other day can be more cost effective while still benefiting your heart 
  1. Get active.  This is actually genuine and not another excuse doctors have made up.  The more active we are, the more HDL cholesterol we have in our system.  This is the ‘good’ cholesterol.

To conclude, maintaining balanced cholesterol levels is possible without prescription medicines, if we are willing to work at it.  What we eat is actually very important in how our bodies deal with cholesterol, and while we may roll our eyes at the thought of exercise, something as simple as going for a walk can make a difference to those all important numbers!


The British Heart Foundation


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Comments (2)
Thanks for these tips; high cholesterol runs in my family.

Another set of helpful tips to better health. Being hypertensive this is very helpful for me.