Modify Your Eating Habits
A great way to lower your cholesterol naturally is to start by replacing unhealthy fats with healthy fats .
This means becoming a food label reader, says Dr. Cho. Its important to limit your saturated fat intake. There should be no more than 2 grams of fat per serving and it should account for less than 7% of your daily calorie intake.
Saturated fats are most often found in palm oil and coconut oil, along with animal products like beef, pork, chicken skin, hot dogs and regular cheese.
What Foods Are High In Cholesterol
One of the reasons why elevated cholesterol levels may be so prevalent is because of the abundance of foods that contribute to the problem. Some of the foods that can raise your cholesterol include:
- Fatty meats like sausages, bacon, liver and T-bone steak
- Fast and fried food
- Full fat milk, yoghurt and cheeses
- Processed, pre-cooked meals high in trans fats
Lifestyle And Dietary Recommendations For Your Cholesterol
Now that we know the most prevalent risk factors when it comes to high cholesterol, we can move on to some great lifestyle and dietary changes that can help reduce your LDL and increase your HDL cholesterol levels. Many of these will involve reversing the risk factors enumerated above.
1. Exercise Regularly
As we briefly touched on above, regular exercise is one of the best ways to improve your cholesterol since it raises your HDL levels and simultaneously reduces your LDL and triglyceride levels in your bloodstream. For the best effects, it is recommended that you try to work out for at least 30 minutes, 4 to 6 times a week and that you consult a doctor when you are coming up with your workout plan.
2. Lose Weight
As we noted above, being overweight can lower your HDL levels and increase the LDL and triglyceride levels in your bloodstream. In general, if your body mass index is between 18 and 25, you are at a normal weight and are in the safe zone when it comes to the way that your weight interacts with your cholesterol levels. If your BMI ranges from 25 to 30, you are considered overweight, and if your BMI is over 30, then you are considered obese.
3. Quit Smoking
Given the harmful effects that smoking has on the lining of your arteries and that it lowers your HDL levels, quitting smoking can be a great way to improve your cholesterol.
4. Eat A Heart Healthy Diet
5. Take Supplements that Help Lower Your Cholesterol
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Muscle Problems That Are Thought To Be Caused By Statins
Its possible that muscle aches and pains that are often thought to be caused by statins are actually caused by a lack of vitamin D. Too little vitamin D can cause muscle weakness and tenderness in the bones these muscle problems seem very similar to the ones linked to statins.
Because a lack of vitamin D is so common, its likely that many people who are taking statins dont have enough vitamin D.
Your doctor can check if you have enough vitamin D in your blood using a simple blood test.
What You Can Do: Eat More Omega
I advise my patients to eat real fish instead of taking a supplement, says Dr. Martin. The quality of OTC fish-oil supplements can vary, he says, and some may contain unwanted ingredients or contaminants. Meanwhile, fish is a good source of lean protein. Dr. Martins recommendation: Aim to eat about four ounces of oily fish such as tuna, salmon, or anchovies twice a week. Handy fact: A four-ounce fish filet will be around the size of your palm.
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Can I Eat Fish
Oily fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel and herring are best. Dr. Cho recommends aiming for 2 servings per week.
You can supplement with fish oil, but be careful because very high doses of pure fish oil can lower your triglyceride levels and increase your good cholesterol, she says. It doesnt lower your LDL, though. Be sure to read your fish oil supplement label.
When reading the label of your fish oil bottle, look out for the EPA plus DHA in each serving since those are the effective ingredients. For example, if your fish oil says 1000 mg of fish oil but only contains 300 mg of EPA and DHA, know that youre taking 700 mg of unnecessary fish blubber. Make sure youre choosing fish oil with the highest amount of EPA plus DHA in each pill.
Why We Need Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps you absorb calcium and phosphorus from your diet and use these minerals to keep your bones, teeth and muscles strong. This helps prevent falls as you get older.
Vitamin D may have other roles in the bodys immune system and heart health too.A lack of vitamin D can cause bone problems such as rickets in children and muscle weakness and painful or tender bones in adults.
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Plant Sterols And Stanols
Plant stanols and sterols, such as beta-sitosterol, are naturally-occurring substances found in certain plants. Stanols are also found as dietary supplements. Some are added to margarine, orange juice, and dressings.
Research suggests that plant stanols and sterols may help to lower cholesterol. They are similar in chemical structure and may help block the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines. The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends you take in 2 grams of plant sterols and stanols each day.
The FDA allows an approved health claim on phytosterols stating, “Foods containing at least 0.65 gram per serving of vegetable oil plant sterol esters, eaten twice a day with meals for a daily total intake of at least 1.3 grams, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.”
Stanols and sterols appear to enhance the effects of other methods to lower cholesterol. In studies, people taking statin drugs to lower cholesterol had an additional improvement in their cholesterol levels with stanols/sterols.
Ranking The Best Cholesterol Supplements Of 2021
Cholesterol supplements are designed to keep your cholesterol at a healthy level. They do this using a variety of different methods and ingredients.
If your cholesterol levels are too high, you are at a higher risk for heart attack and stroke, so it is vital to lower them to a healthy level. Generally, this is done through both medication and diet. However, supplements can also play a key role when used correctly.
Here are some of our favorite supplements for lowering cholesterol levels:
This supplement contains 500 mg of niacinamide, which can lower your LDL levels. Plus, it also contains a variety of other expert-chosen ingredients, like red yeast rice and garlic powder.
It also promotes the creation of healthy HDL cholesterol to keep your heart healthy. For these reasons, it is Bodynutritions #1 pick.
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An Ancient Natural Protector More Potent Than Vitamin E
Why do we keep inventing unnatural chemical stews when nature gives us a buffet banquet of health-keepers?
For example, an antioxidant blast from the pastsilymarin, from the milk thistle plant.
Recommended by genius Greek physician Pliny for carrying off bile, silymarin is a mega-antioxidant, said to be at least ten times more potent than vitamin E.
Silymarin does just what doctors orderurgentlyfor statin patients:
- Regenerates liver cells damaged by alcohol or drugs, e.g., statins
I insistently recommend three doses of 175/mg per day.
But let your doctor recommend, based on your individual case.
Supplements To Take With Statins
The drugs known as statinsthe most widely prescribed drugs in the USstake their claim to fame on their ability to reduce LDL cholesterol.
Thats the kind that gunks up your arteries and increases your risk of congestive heart failure and heart attack, among other bad situations.
Lowered LDL is a good outcome for many people. But statins arent a good way to get it.
When the warnings on the label include a heightened risk of type 2 diabetes and elevated blood sugar levels, youre looking at a claim to infamy, not fame. Thats deadly serious stuff.
Nevertheless, millions of people remain on statins. Even though they are also linked to:
- Tripled risk of artery calcification, making heart disease more dangerous, not less
- Depletion of essential nutrients, including vital coenzyme Q10
- Erectile dysfunction
- Heart attack, abnormal heartbeat, and stroke
- Hardening of the arteries
- High blood pressure
EPA and DHA, working together, can help prevent them, reduce their severity, or even reverse some of them.
On statins belongs on the list of problems above.
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Why Claims Made About Dietary Supplements Often Need More Research
In the United States, the dietary supplement industry is estimated to be worth about $122 billion dollars as of 2016, and it continues to grow every day. Sound pretty crazy? Maybe not as much when you consider the 327 million people who live in the U.S. and the increase in demand for health and wellness products. In fact, as of 2009, it was estimated that about 114 million people in the U.S. were consuming dietary supplements.
Increased desire for health products is not a bad thing. But it can get tricky when you consider that the dietary supplement industry is not regulated by the FDA the same way that food products or prescription medications are. Plus, the criteria for regulation are much less strict.
In fact, the FDA is not required to review dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed. This means there are many companies out there that can create products that may be harmful or contain something different than what is described on the label. As of 2009, hundreds of dietary supplements were shown to be contaminated, with a majority of the thousands of estimated adverse events being unreported. However, even if the supplement is safe and legitimate, it does not mean that it will help solve a specific health problem.
What’s The Difference Between Good And Bad Cholesterol
There are two types of cholesterol: good cholesterol or HDL and bad cholesterol or LDL .
HDL is the good kind of cholesterol because it moves from your arteries to your liver, which then expels it from your body. While LDL is the bad kind of cholesterol because it goes to your arteries, where it may collect in the artery walls and create a clog.
However, there is a bit of good news in all of this. You don’t have to give up your favorite foods in order to reduce bad cholesterol. In fact, with some diet modifications and regular light exercise, a good supplement can help manage your cholesterol.
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How Much Vitamin D Is Enough
Adults and children over the age of one need 10mcg of vitamin D per day. This is the same for everyone, including people at risk of vitamin D deficiency and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Babies up to one year old need 8.5-10mcg of vitamin D per day. Find out more about how you can reach this from the NHS.
Top Ingredients To Lower Cholesterol
A number of clinical trials showed impressive cholesterol-lowering properties of the Italian citrus fruit bergamot. Blood tests in one major study from the International Journal of Cardiology, revealed that even in low dosages, participants’ LDL levels lowered significantly after only one month. Bergamot, has few if any side effects and works like statins by inhibiting cholesterol-producing-enzymes.
However, bergamot extracts are frequently adulterated or cut with other lower-cost ingredients such as bitter orange. Thats why we recommend looking for at least 550 mg of a clinically studied bergamot, such as Bergavit®, in order to ensure potency and effectiveness.
Niacinamide, also known as niacin, is a powerful vitamin B3 that inhibits the enzymes that break down HDLs and prevents cells from releasing too much LDLs.
Allicin is an ingredient found in garlic that relaxes the blood vessels and helps your body fight high cholesterol.
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Getting Vitamin D From Sunlight
To make vitamin D, you need sunlight on your skin. From April until the end of September its possible to get enough vitamin D by spending time outside.
For most people, you only need to be outside for short periods of time, for example around 20-30 minutes. Although the exact time isnt known because its different for different people. If you have dark skin, for example if youre of south Asian, African or African Caribbean origin, you will need longer in the sun.
You need to have some skin exposed, for example, your forearms, hands and lower legs. But you can still make vitamin D even if you sit in the shade.
Sitting inside by a sunny window doesnt count because glass filters out the UVB rays the type of light that is needed to make vitamin D.
In the UK, we dont get enough vitamin D from sunlight between October and March, because the light doesnt contain enough UVB rays. During this time, we need to rely on getting enough vitamin D from food, and possibly supplements.
The guidelines in the UK are that everyone should consider taking a vitamin D supplement in the winter, especially if youre more like to have a deficiency.
Genius Heart And Cardiovascular
As you might have guessed from the name of this supplement, it achieves more than just lowering your cholesterol levels. It lowers your blood pressure effectively, reduces the risk of heart disease, promotes the supply of fresh oxygenated blood throughout your body, enhances the endurance of your cardiovascular system by supplying more oxygen and last but not the least, it boosts your cognitive functions. This supplement literally puts a check in all departments. As such, this amazing supplement rounds up as an ideal product for people aiming for good overall health and wellness.
The Genius Heart and Cardiovascular serves its functionality by virtue of its 4 potent ingredients which are present in the most optimal amounts.
- Pantesin Pantethine: This is one of the most supreme ingredients to support healthy lipid levels and contribute towards the overall cardiovascular health.
- MenaQ7 Vitamin K2: It paves the way for a healthy heart and also prevents the clotting of blood.
- Grape Seed Extract: It supports cognitive function, lowers blood pressure and maintains a healthy heart.
- MicoActive CoQ10: Improves the health of your heart, reduce stress and support the tissues.
How does the Genius Heart and Cardiovascular work?
The ingredient Pantesin Panthethine is primarily responsible for the functionality of this cholesterol lowering supplement.
Directions for usage
You should ideally take 1 capsule, twice a day along with your meals.
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Lycopene Supplements Lower Cholesterol
Lycopene is a red, carotenoid plant pigment which lowers cholesterol and reduces hardening and furring up of the arteries.
Lycopene is found in tomato skins, where it is locked away inside cells. Cooking tomatoes releases the lycopene so it becomes five times more bioavailable than in raw tomatoes. Tinned tomatoes provide around 3mg lycopene per 100g, for example, compared while tomato ketchup supplies around 17mg/100g.
Lycopene is also found in pink guava, watermelon, red and pink grapefruit, tangerines and papaya, where lycopene is stored in a liquid, crystal form that is also readily absorbed.
Results from 12 trials suggests that taking lycopene in doses of at least 25mg per daily reduces LDL-cholesterol by around 10%.
Having a good lycopene level is also associated with reduced thickness of artery walls. Lycopene also has beneficial effects on the prostate gland.
Plant Sterol Supplements Lower Cholesterol
If you are unable or unwilling to take a statin, or if your statin is not working as well as your doctor would like, then plant sterols are the best cholesterol-lowering supplement. Plant sterols are the equivalent of cholesterol in the vegetable world. Their structure is so similar to human cholesterol that they can block the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines without being significantly absorbed themselves.
Plant sterols reduce the uptake of pre-formed cholesterol from your diet . Plant sterols also block absorption of the much larger amount of cholesterol which is made in your liver and squirted into your intestines in the bile.
Following a plant-based diet that is rich in sterols can lower levels of LDL-cholesterol by around 15%, while the results from 124 studies involving plant sterol supplements found they lowered LDL-cholesterol by an average of 12% at dose of 3g per day.
Within the EU, there are authorised health claims that plant sterol supplements can lower blood cholesterol levels:
Supplements tend to provide 800mg plant sterols per tablet, and taking 3 tablets a day can have a significant cholesterol-lowering effect within 2 to 3 weeks.
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What To Do Instead: Make Lifestyle Changes
The only proven way to reduce cholesterol naturally is to adopt lifelong healthy habits and ditch the not-so-great ones, says Dr. Martin. Stop smoking. Try a Mediterranean diet. Skip processed, high-in-saturated-fat foods as much as possible. Find a form of exercise you can be consistent with . The American Heart Association is a good place to start for tips and ideas, but talk to your doctor about what will work for you. Sometimes, diet and exercise can only go so far you may need prescription statins to help get your cholesterol to a comfortable level.
- Fish Oil for Heart Health:Journal of the American Medical Association. . Effect of High-Dose Omega-3 Fatty Acids vs Corn Oil on Major Adverse Cardiovascular Events in Patients at High Cardiovascular Risk: The STRENGTH Randomized Clinical Trial. jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2773120
- Red Yeast Rice Extract:European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. . Variability in strength of red yeast rice supplements purchased from mainstream retailers. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28641460/
- Garlic and Cholesterol:Archive of Internal Medicine. . Effect of Raw Garlic vs Commercial Garlic Supplements on Plasma Lipid Concentrations in Adults With Moderate Hypercholesterolemia: A Randomized Clinical Trial. jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/411743